Prep football preview capsules for 10/23 - East Valley Tribune: VarsityXtra

Prep football preview capsules for 10/23

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Posted: Thursday, October 22, 2009 5:54 pm | Updated: 1:54 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

Mountain View (5-2, 4-0) vs. Gilbert (2-5, 2-2)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 1101 E. Elliot Road, Gilbert

Key matchup: Gilbert defense had perhaps its best game of the season last week. Now it goes up against one of region's most versatile and turnover-free offenses.

Key stat: Mountain View has produced back-to-back shutouts to key a four-game winning streak.

The intrigue: Toros clinch a playoff berth with a victory and guarantee playing for region title in season finale. Gilbert must win out (Mountain View, Highland and Westwood) for a shot at postseason.

Desert Vista (2-5, 0-2) at Chandler (4-3, 2-2)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 350 N. Arizona Ave., Chandler

Key matchup: Desert Vista's defense had a difficult time handling Corona del Sol's Chase Cartwright and his pass-run ability, and it's going to be even more difficult dealing with Chandler's Brett Hundley.

Key stat: Chandler put up 573 yards total offense against Mesa Red Mountain last week.

The intrigue: Chandler needs a victory to stay in the thick of the race for getting a home game in the playoffs, while Desert Vista pretty much has to win its final three games (Chandler, Brophy, Red Mountain) for any postseason hope.

Corona del Sol (2-5, 0-3) vs. Basha (6-1, 3-0)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 5990 S. Val Vista Drive, Chandler

Key matchup: Senior quarterbacks Chase Cartwright and Mike Benjamin lock up for third time in their careers. Aztecs prevailed in 2007; Bears won in 2008.

Key stat: Basha has outscored last five opponents, 84-14, in first half. All those games are wins.

The intrigue: Basha victory would set up a battle with Mesquite and Mountain View for region title the final two weeks.

Mesa (5-2, 1-3) at Maryvale (6-2, 6-1)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 3415 N. 59th Ave., Phoenix

Key matchup: Mesa knows what it's going to get. Maryvale has three running backs who've eclipsed 600 yards rushing and two others with more than 300 yards

Key stat: Maryvale has 40 rushing touchdowns this season.

The intrigue: Mesa will be without 15-20 players who have been suspended for violating team rules. How do the Jackrabbits cope with that much of their roster - the school hasn't identified the players - on the sidelines?

Highland (2-5, 0-3) vs. Dobson (1-6, 0-3)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 1501 W. Guadalupe Road, Mesa

Key matchup: Highland defense vs. Terrance Martin, Jordan Gruber and Jarrett Duff. The Hawks have had trouble putting the clamps on anyone since Week 2 when they lost 14-6 to Avondale Westview.

Key stat: Teams have dropped their last six games combined.

The intrigue: Notching a region win will be late-season consolation for the victor. Highland could finish .500 with a trio of wins, which would mean beating Dobson, Gilbert and Corona del Sol. That's the rest of the bottom of the Central Region.

Centennial (7-0) at Red Mountain (5-2)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 7301 E. Brown Road, Mesa

Key matchup: Red Mountain has been pushed around defensively the past few weeks, and Centennial's offense - especially the O-line - is as good as it gets in the state. Can the Mountain Lions turn it around quickly and find a way to contain one of the best offenses in the state?

Key stat: Red Mountain has allowed 47.5 points per game the past two contests against Chandler and Phoenix Brophy.

The intrigue: With Centennial and Hamilton its next two opponents, the Mountain Lions are likely to drop further in the power rankings before their finale against Phoenix Desert Vista. Red Mountain can move the ball on Centennial if it stays turnover-free and runs the ball effectively, but keeping up with the three-time defending 5A-II champion is a tall order.

Casa Grande (0-7, 0-4) vs. Marcos de Niza (7-0, 3-0)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 6000 S. Lakeshore Drive, Tempe

Key matchup: Marcos de Niza's ground game looking is for improvement/polishing heading into a late matchup with Mountain Pointe and then the postseason.

Key stat: Marcos de Niza is scoring 42 points a game; Casa Grande is giving up 41 points a game.

The intrigue: Marcos has played down to the competition on more than one occasion this season. Can the Padres put the Cougars away early and clear the bench by halftime?

St. Mary's (4-4, 2-0) at Chaparral (7-0, 2-0)

Time: Friday 7 p.m.

Address: 6935 E. Gold Dust Ave., Scottsdale

Key matchup: Chaparral has a size advantage up front on both sides of the ball, but several teams have against St. Mary's this season and it hasn't been enough. The Firebirds can't relent their physicality up front against the Knights, especially if they want to curtail the big-play threats of St. Mary's R.J. McGill and Laron Tarkington.

Key stat: St. Mary's has rushed for 300 yards in each of the past two games against Desert Valley opponents.

The intrigue: It's battle of Desert Valley undefeateds and running backs, with Dwayne Garrett and Cole Tyree shining for Chaparral, and McGill, Tarkington and Tyron Glasco excelling for the Knights. St. Mary's is going to try and do what Mesquite and Pinnacle tried to do on Chaparral: keep the Firebirds' offense off the field by chewing up clock.

Pinnacle (6-1, 1-1) at Desert Mountain (5-2, 1-1)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 12575 E. Via Linda, Scottsdale

Key matchup: Alex Zemezonak is probably Pinnacle's biggest downfield threat offensively and the Pioneers will need to stretch Desert Mountain's defense to keep the Wolves from crowding the line of scrimmage and going after QB Alex Cappellini.Key stat: Desert Mountain QB Drew Seaman threw for a career-high 257 yards and three TDs last week against North Canyon.

The intrigue: In trying to keep up with Chaparral and St. Mary's, the winner stays alive in the Desert Valley race while the loser is all but eliminated. Both teams should withstand a defeat, but Pinnacle needs to bounce back coming off an emotional, frustrating performance against Chaparral. Desert Mountain RB Kevin Radcliffe is recovered after fighting through illness last week, which would allow the Wolves to return to their solid running game.

North Canyon (3-4, 0-2) at Horizon (4-3, 0-2)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 5601 E. Greenway Road, Scottsdale

Key matchup: North Canyon has moved the ball on Pinnacle and Desert Mountain, but was ravaged by turnovers both times. Can Horizon's defense do the same after it allowed 31 points to St. Mary's in three quarters of play last week.

Key stat: North Canyon has been shut out for two consecutive games.

The intrigue: Somebody has to win, right? Thanks to Cesar Chavez and Salpointe postseason bans, North Canyon is still hanging on in the 5A Division I playoff picture. Based on opponent wins, Horizon has played the toughest schedule to date in 5A-II but the Huskies are slipping in the rankings and will need at least one win in these three games to keep themselves alive.

Skyline (2-6, 0-3) vs. Perry (4-3, 1-2)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 1913 E. Queen Creek Road, Gilbert

Key matchup: Perry defense vs. struggling Skyline offense, which may be piloted by sophomore Chad Leonard if Michael Bailey (knee injury) can't answer the bell.

Key stat: Neither team has scored more than two touchdowns in its last seven games (four for Skyline, three for Perry).

The intrigue: Both teams are scuffling down the stretch, but Perry still has life if it can win one of its final three games. This is the Pumas' best chance among the remaining three.

Westwood (5-3, 3-1) vs. Mountain Pointe (7-0, 3-0)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 4201 E. Knox Road, Phoenix

Key matchup: Westwood defense trying to slow Mountain Pointe rushing game. The Pride hasn't been stymied on the ground in a game all season, although they have been shut out in the first half twice.

Key stat: Teams combined for seven scoring plays of 40 yards or more last week.

The intrigue: Westwood's losses are to teams headed for the playoffs. Can the Warriors win or put up a credible showing against another playoff-bound opponent?

Apache Junction (6-2, 1-1) at Queen Creek (5-2, 1-0)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 22149 E. Ocotillo Rd., Queen Creek

Key matchup: Someone has to cover the Bulldogs' Kendall Augustin and that someone this week will likely be Kyrel Parker, who leads Apache Junction with four interceptions. Parker's job will be to try to limit the big plays to Augustin, who has 24 catches in his last three games and receptions of 80 and 70 yards.

Key stat: Nate Scola had 13 carries for 42 yards last week against McClintock, his worst game of the season.

Intrigue: Queen Creek has arguably the toughest final stretch of any team in 4A-I. The Bulldogs, currently No. 8 in the 4A-I power points, play Cactus Shadows (7-0) and Saguaro (5-2) after this week and needs a win over one of those teams to get a good playoff seeding.

Sunnyslope (1-6) at Cactus Shadows (7-0)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 5802 E Dove Valley Road, Cave Creek

Key matchup: This is a matchup where the Falcons just need to take care of business, not turn the ball over and give the Vikings an opening to make the game closer than it should be.

Key stat: Falcons running back Zach Sexton has been a real effective option for the normally pass-happy offense. Sexton has scored 12 touchdowns and has just two fumbles in 114 touches on offense.

Intrigue: Which Falcons offense will show up? Cactus Shadows has displayed the ability to grind out victories on the ground as well as winning shootouts with its passing game. Against an inferior opponent, the Falcons may try to open up the passing game after throwing just nine passes last week in a win over Saguaro.

Maricopa (2-5, 0-4) at Notre Dame (5-2, 2-2)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 9000 E Chaparral Rd, Scottsdale (Scottsdale Community College)

Key matchup: Notre Dame should try and get its running game going in this game, because it will be needed for the Saints to make a deep postseason run.

Key stat: The Saints have lost their last two games after winning 28 in a row.

The intrigue: Notre Dame gets a reprieve after a pair of down-to-the-wire losses to Phoenix Arcadia and Gilbert Williams Field. Quarterback Will King has been banged up, so expect him to see as little action as needed in this one.

Seton (2-5, 1-3) at Arcadia (5-2, 4-0)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 4703 E Indian School Road, Phoenix

Key matchup: Seton's defense has to find a way to slow down Arcadia quarterback Colby Kirkegaard and his talented wide receivers. This game will almost certainly be a shootout, but the Sentinels need to make some plays on defense to have a chance.

Key stat: Kirkegaard and Seton quarterback Justin Sieczkowski have combined to throw for 3,310 yards and 38 touchdowns this season.

The intrigue: Arcadia's defense has improved from the start of the season, while Seton's continues to have trouble. The Titans shouldn't have much trouble if they play as well as they have on their current four-game winning streak.

Tempe (2-5, 1-4) at Coronado (5-2, 3-2)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 2501 N. 74th St., Scottsdale

Key matchup: Both teams can run the ball well and have defenses that can be solid. Which one will bend?

Key stat: Tempe has run for 400 yards each of the past two games.

The intrigue: This is a crucial game for Coronado, because it ends the regular season with games against Williams Field and Notre Dame. A win over the Buffaloes likely clinches a playoff spot, but a loss against an improving Tempe team will make for some tense times for the Dons.

Williams Field (7-0, 4-0) at Higley (1-6, 1-3)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 4068 E. Pecos Rd., Gilbert

Key matchup: Williams Field has an abundance of athletes on offense, and the Knights will have to play mistake-free football on defense to limit the big plays.

Key stat: The Higley defense has given up 20 points or more in every game this season, and the Williams Field offense is averaging 46 points per contest.

The intrigue: A majority of Williams Field's seniors went to Higley for their freshman years before moving to the new school. A natural rivalry is in place, although this game might not be close.

Cactus (6-1, 2-0) at Paradise Valley (4-3, 2-0)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 3950 E Bell Road, Phoenix

Key matchup: Both teams have stellar running games, but it might come down to who can move the ball through the air. Paradise Valley quarterback Kevin Spain has Division I talent but has had an average year. If the P.V. passing game can get going, it will have a good shot at winning.

Key stat: These were two of the final eight teams standing in 4A-I last season, and have both moved down to 4A-II.

The intrigue: If Paradise Valley wins, it will almost certainly take the Black Canyon Region title, but beating Glendale Cactus won't be easy. Cobras running back Allan Woods is one of the best running backs in the state and the team is always well-coached.

Camp Verde (6-2, 1-2) at Valley Christian (6-1, 2-1)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 6900 W. Galveston St., Chandler

Key matchup: Valley Christian got back on the horse last week against Tempe Prep after falling in a heartbreaker to Northwest Christian two weeks ago, and the Trojans' running game will be difficult for Camp Verde to contain. Key stat: Valley Christian has won the past three meetings by a combined 119-41.

The intrigue: Not much. It's hard to imagine Camp Verde keeping up with the Trojans, even if V.C. is without a couple key guys. But, as was the case in 2007, these two could see each other again in the playoffs.

Scottsdale Christian (6-1) at Estrella Foothills (8-0)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 13033 S. Estrella Foothills Pkwy., Goodyear

Key matchup: SCA wants to unleash a heavy dose of Chauncey Wright and Jenson Cruse (1,300 combined rushing yards) and it's the best way to keep Estrella Foothills and its explosive offense (322 points) off the field.

Key stat: The SCA defense has held the last three opponents to single-digit points.

The intrigue: It's an interesting late-season matchup of a 2A Central power against a 3A West horse. Though it hasn't played the most rigorous of schedules, Estrella Foothills is currently No. 1 in the 3A power points and No. 2 in the rankings (though this game won't count for Estrella Foothills in the power points because it's against a 2A school). Estrella Foothills has a huge game against Wickenburg next week to conclude the regular season.

Tempe Prep (3-4) at Bourgade Catholic (1-7)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 4602 N. 31st Ave., Phoenix

Key matchup: Bourgade QB Blake Comella is coming off a career day of 241 yards passing and three TDs in a blowout win against Westwind Prep Academy, but the Tempe Prep defense has been stingier than Westwind for most of the season.

Key stat: None of Bourgade Catholic's top four running backs average more than six yards per carry.

The intrigue: It's all the Tempe Prep side of things as they attempt to sneak into the 2A playoffs. The Knights are currently outside the bubble, but if they win out and get a couple other schools to cooperate, they could sneak in. If they lose, it's over.

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[Stats Courtesy of MaxPreps]