The opponents have been tough enough the past few weeks for Chandler Valley Christian. Dealing with the tragic loss of teammate Danny Pasanella has made the Trojans’ road even harder.
Coach Bill Morgan still was able to praise his squad after its 55-22 loss to 2A title contender Yuma Catholic last Friday.
“There were a lot of mixed emotions and we did very well the first half,” Morgan said. “I think by halftime the events of the day caught up with us.
“So much happened in the 45 minutes before we left for Yuma. Are we going to go? Who is going to play? But I was very proud of the kids and their effort, given the circumstances. For a lot of them this was the first time facing (death).”
On the field Morgan is still pleased with the team’s 3-1 record. The most consistent unit has been the offensive line, comprised of Davis Voss, John Durst, Thomas Drane, John Kredit and Garrett Kitchens.
“They’ve kept us in games,” Morgan said. “We’ve had some injuries elsewhere, but they’ve done a great job giving us stability.”
Valley again will be without fullback Brock Longanecker, who suffered a concussion two weeks ago against Tombstone. Longanecker missed last week’s game in Yuma and won’t play tonight. He is the team’s second-leading rusher.
Mesa passed a hurdle last week, finishing a game it was leading vs. Avondale Westview, unlike it did when it lost to Phoenix Desert Vista a couple weeks earlier.
Tonight represents another huge hurdle for the 3-1 Jackrabbits.
“This is a real test for us in that if we win we know we’re a really good football team,” Mesa coach Kelley Moore said of the Rabbits’ meeting with Phoenix Brophy. “If we don’t win we’ll see how much work we have to do.”
Mesa Mountain View and Gilbert Highland both sport 4-1 records. Because they began the season a week early and don’t play an 11th game, both are idle this week. Mountain View begins East Valley Region play next week with Mesa.
Highland returns to action next week and opens Fiesta Region play at Chandler.
ALIVE AND KICKIN’
Paradise Valley is healthier than it has been all season, and the timing couldn’t be better with No. 1 Scottsdale Saguaro on the schedule tonight.
Kicker Danny Compton is back to full strength after missing the team’s game against Glendale Apollo two weeks ago.
He showed off his considerable leg power last week when, after the ball was placed in Cave Creek Cactus Shadows territory following a penalty, he sent a kickoff 55 yards through the uprights. Compton is getting looks from Division I schools.
Phoenix Arcadia will be without starting nose guard Dargin Romanin for the rest of the season after an MRI this week revealed the junior has a torn ACL. Romanin suffered the injury in Friday’s victory over Goodyear Desert Edge. … Tempe Marcos de Niza will be down a defensive lineman in tonight’s matchup with Mesa Westwood. Junior Keoni Kalama has an injured ankle and hamstring but is expected back for next week’s region opener against Phoenix Pinnacle. … Tempe will be without one of its top linebackers in tonight’s region opener at Queen Creek. Senior Billy Hammel was ejected from last week’s game after a flagrant hit. Players who are ejected are automatically suspended for the next game.
Tribune writers Kyle Odegard and Matt Paulson contributed to this story.