Tempe schools (Tempe High and Tempe Prep) have been the only two tests for Seton Catholic most of this season, including last week’s easy win over Chinle in the first round.
But here comes the hitting.
Saturday’s 3 p.m. quarterfinals matchup with No. 6 Cottonwood Mingus at Glendale Apollo H.S. will be a battle of the big boys.
Mingus (8-3) played No. 1 Lakeside Blue Ridge as close as anyone this season in a 16-13 loss in Week 1. The Marauders also lost to Prescott and Snowflake, but are coming off a 17-14 win against a good Coolidge team in last week’s playoff opener.
Although the teams had no common opponents this season, the Snowflake loss (37-17) is of interest to Seton because Snowflake put up 200+ yards both passing and rushing in that game, and Seton has the ability to do the same thing. Mingus, however, is bigger up front, and would love to pound Seton defensively with its multiple variations out of the Wing-T-based offense. It’s been awhile since Seton faced this physical of a team for a full game.
Haven’t we seen this?
Some of the top games on the schedule this week will feature teams quite familiar with each other. The biggest is the rematch between Desert Vista and Hamilton. Not only did they meet in the regular season — a 23-13 Huskies victory — but more importantly, Hamilton eyes revenge for last season’s shocking loss to the Thunder in the state championship game. Brophy and Red Mountain also face off. The Mountain Lions pulled off the regular season upset but will once again be the underdogs in this one. Much depends on the health of Brophy running back Marche Dennard and wide receiver Devon Allen, who are both battling sprained ankles. Then there is Marcos de Niza and Chaparral, which came down to the last play of the game in the regular season as the Padres escaped with a 29-27 win. The winner of this game has a good shot at making the title game.
Run it again
There was a game this year in which Avondale Westview only threw three times. Desert Ridge trumped that with only one pass attempt in a win over Red Mountain. Both teams have gone all-in with the running game, and it’s going to be a clash of strengths in the state quarterfinals on Friday at Desert Ridge H.S.. Westview is coming off an impressive road victory over No. 7 Pinnacle, while Desert Ridge cruised past Valley Vista. The Jaguars’ offensive line has dominated in the trenches this season, and that’s the key in this one. However, Desert Ridge star running back J.J. Husar is done for the year with a knee injury, so it will be up to twin brothers Tarek and Taren Morrison to shoulder most of the load. Westview counters with star running back Seivion Morris and elusive quarterback Kordell Provchy.