Speed, size and playmakers. That’s fourth-ranked Chandler High’s football team in a nutshell. No. 5 Mesa Mountain View isn’t that fast, doesn’t have much size and is behind well behind the Wolves in playmakers. Despite those differences, both are on their way to postseason play and a showdown tonight at Toro Stadium.
Speed, size and playmakers. That’s fourth-ranked Chandler High’s football team in a nutshell.
No. 5 Mesa Mountain View isn’t that fast, doesn’t have much size and is behind well behind the Wolves in playmakers.
Despite those differences, both are on their way to postseason play and a showdown tonight at Toro Stadium.
“It’s the same mindset, just a different year for them,” Chandler coach Jim Ewan said. “They are relentless. They’re like an army of ants. They just keep coming.”
Mountain View, winners of its last five games, hasn’t matched up well physically with most of its opponents. What keeps them competitive is limiting mistakes, be it turnovers or penalties. Mountain View has eight turnovers for the year (one per game). They’ve been penalized 35 times in eight games, a tad more than four per game.
“We have to keep our mistakes to a minimum,” Mountain View coach Tom Joseph said. “They have a lot of good athletes. We don’t have what they have on the field. We have to do a good job of tackling. And we have to make sure we tackle 17.”
Seventeen refers to Chandler quarterback Brett Hundley, the focal point of the Wolves’ offense. Hundley has started the last six games for the Wolves. His presence this season has afforded Chandler 2,101 yards of offense, 1,123 passing and 978 rushing. Hundley produced a balanced game last week, rushing for 176 yards and passing for 145 and two TDs. Hundley has help on offense, it just hasn’t been consistent mostly due to injury.
Running back Taylor Walstad returned two weeks ago after missing five games with a knee injury. Wide receiver-defensive back Jeremy Morris, the Wolves’ leading receiver, missed last week’s game and may miss the final two regular-season games as well with a sprained knee. Defensive back-receiver Malcolm Holland will play although he won’t be 100 percent. Oshae Hatcher has picked up the slack on the ground and junior wide out Michael Okonkwo hauled in the game-winning TD pass in the final seconds last week to beat Phoenix Desert Vista, 29-22. Chandler is the most explosive team the Toros have seen since Scottsdale Chaparral in Week 2.
“We’re quicker and we’re bigger, but the challenge is, can we match their intensity for 48 minutes,” Ewan said. “That’s the part of the game that makes them so tough.”
Mountain View quarterback Brad Heap is completing 60 percent of his passes this season. The senior has thrown for 1,205 yards, 14 TDs and three interceptions.
Running back Jacom Brimhall is closing in on his second straight 1,000-yard rushing season. He’s piled up 938 yards and 10 TDs heading into Friday’s non-region clash.