Prep football preview capsules 10/30 - East Valley Tribune: VarsityXtra

Prep football preview capsules 10/30

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Posted: Friday, October 30, 2009 3:06 pm | Updated: 2:55 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

Red Mountain (5-3, 1-2) at Hamilton (8-0, 3-0)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 3700 N. Arizona Ave., Chandler

Key matchup: Hamilton’s offense is predicated on running the ball with Michael Allen and Zach Bauman, plus an occasional Wing-T or option play for quarterbacks Travis Dean and Kyren Poe. It creates a difficult guessing game for defenses, and Red Mountain’s discipline and tackling will be put to the test.

Key stat: Red Mountain has allowed an average of 49 points in three Fiesta games.

The intrigue: The Mountain Lions are reeling, having lost three consecutive games since beating Mesa to open region play, and they’re trying to hold on to a top-8 spot and host a playoff game. The Huskies are coming off a tense game and narrow win against Phoenix Brophy. The “letdown” factor shouldn’t apply here given Red Mountain’s ability, but on the whole Hamilton wasn’t nearly as sharp in the second half last week.

Brophy (7-2, 3-1) at Desert Vista (2-6, 0-3)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 16440 S. 32nd Street, Phoenix

Key matchup: Desert Vista’s defense has had trouble against the run lately (Mesa, Chandler, Corona del Sol to an extent) and the Thunder are going to see a good amount of Max Leonesio. DV has speed to get outside and string out plays; can they finish with good tackling?

Key stat: D.V. QB Cody Sokol was 7 of 10 for 98 yards and two TDs in the second half last week. last week against Chandler in his first game after missing four games because of injury.

The intrigue: It’s been a largely lost season for the Thunder, but even after three consecutive losses they’re still in the playoff picture thanks to a top-notch strength of schedule. Sokol’s return from injury makes a big difference, and one win against either Brophy or Mesa Red Mountain might sneak them into the playoffs.

Basha (6-2. 3-1) vs. Mesquite (5-3, 3-1)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 500 S. McQueen Road, Gilbert

Key matchup: Mesquite front seven on defense putting pressure on quarterback Mike Benjamin. The Bears' offense misfired often last week (four turnovers) and was plagued by poor execution. Mesquite's offense needs to provide at least two scores to win.

Key stat: Basha has allowed 78 points in its last three games against teams with a combined record of 7-17.

The intrigue: Both teams are headed to the postseason, but landing in the top eight and securing at least one home playoff game is a goal. A Mesquite victory crowns Mountain View 5A Central champs.

Gilbert (2-6, 2-3) vs. Highland (2-6, 0-4)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 4301 E. Guadalupe Road, Gilbert

Key matchup: The arm of Gilbert quarterback Brandon Bialkowski vs. the legs of Highland quarterback Parker Rasmussen

Key stat: Highland has lost four straight games after a 2-2 start and been outscored in those by a count of 138-30.

The intrigue: It’s a rivalry game, but past that there’s little to be gained by either team in this one.

Desert Ridge (4-4, 2-2) vs. Westwood (5-4, 3-2)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 945 W. 8th St., Mesa

Key matchup: Desert Ridge spread attack vs. Westwood defense. Warriors have seen spread, but not one as prolific as this. Paris Clark, Jordan Becerra, Joey Counts and Zach Finch are a handful.

Key stat: Westwood’s four losses are all to winning teams with a combined record of 27-6.

The intrigue: How Desert Ridge adjusts to the loss of two-way standout Sam Papa. Offense still has plenty of weapons, but can defense plug the hole left by Papa’s injury.

Marcos de Niza (8-0, 4-0) vs. Skyline (2-7, 0-4)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 845 S. Crismon Road, Mesa

Key matchup: Skyline has no favorable matchups in this one. Best bet is to get more offense via the air with Chad Leonard, but it’s a tough task given the Padres’ prowess on defense (11 points allowed per game).

Key stat: Marcos has beaten two teams with a better than .500 record this season (Westwood and Perry).

The intrigue: Skyline has been battered in its last four games, giving up at least 34 points in each loss. Can Coyotes hang with unbeaten Padres for a quarter or perhaps a half?

Perry (5-3, 2-2) vs. Mountain Pointe (8-0, 4-0)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 4201 E. Knox Road, Phoenix

Key matchup: Mountain Pointe endured its least productive rushing game since Week 1 last week (255 yards). Still, that’s more than enough to produce with twin 1,000-yard rushers in De’Andre Currie and Davon Jones.

Key stat: Perry’s three losses are to playoff-bound teams, two of whom are unbeaten (Chaparral and Marcos de Niza). Pumas were outscored in those, 79-3.

The intrigue: Perry isn’t talented enough to knock off Mountain Pointe without an unfocused effort by the Pride. Will Mountain Pointe think about Marcos de Niza Oct. 31 or is its mind wandering already?

Desert Mountain (5-3, 1-2) at Horizon (5-3, 1-2)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 5601 E. Greenway Road, Scottsdale

Radio: KDUS (1060 AM)

Key matchup: Horizon’s passing game was unstoppable last week against North Canyon, while Desert Mountain’s defense has played well most of the season. The Wolves need to pressure QB Ryan Stanford and be able to cover three and four WR sets.

Key stat: Horizon has won the last two meetings by a combined 83-0.

The intrigue: The Wolves have undergone a series of coaching and play-calling changes this week to revive their offense, but are without leading receiver Dekota D’Angelo. It’s a biggie for the Wolves (9th in power points) if they want to nab a home game for the 5A-II playoffs (Horizon is in a three-way tie for sixth), even though they’ll get points next week from the finale against Chaparral, win or lose.

Pinnacle (7-1, 2-1) at St. Mary’s (4-5, 2-1)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 1202 W. Thomas Road, Phoenix (Phoenix College)

Key matchup: Save for one half against Chaparral, Pinnacle’s defense has been tough to beat this season. The Pioneers shut down Desert Mountain’s previously hot running game last week and will have to do the same this week against R.J. McGill, Laron Tarkington and ground-gearing Knights.

Key stat: Without starting QB Bryan Holland (shoulder) the Knights ran for 363 yards against the Firebirds.

The intrigue: The winner stays within a game of Chaparral in the Desert Valley Region going into the last week of the season. The Knights are pretty well locked into a playoff spot in 5A-I as well as a road game, while a win for Pinnacle keeps them in solid standing for a home game in 5A-II.

Saguaro (6-2, 1-1) at Apache Junction (7-2, 2-1)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 2525 S. Ironwood, Apache Junction

Key matchup: Saguaro’s Cyrus Hobbi, Dallas Noriega, Kody Innes and Jordan McDonald have to slow down the Apache Junction fullback, whether it’s Nate Scola or Harrison Pomeroy. If the Sabercats allow Scola or Pomeroy to get to the second level of defenders with regularity, it’s going to be a long night.

Key stat: Sophomore D.J. Foster has scored a team-leading eight touchdowns this season and the Sabercats will need more production from him as the team heads into the playoffs.

Intrigue: This is the regular season finale for the Prospectors, who would love nothing better than to head into an off week before the playoffs with a victory over the Sabercats. Also, the winner of this game will likely be a top-four seed when the playoffs begin.

Prescott (4-4) at McClintock (3-5)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 1830 E. Del Rio Drive, Tempe

Key matchup: McClintock’s defense will need to stop the two-pronged attack of the Badgers. Quarterback Cole Johnson has thrown for 1,272 yards and running back Brian Scates has rushed for 1,038 yards. The Chargers will need to focus on stopping Scates and forcing Johnson to throw.

Key stat: McClintock has no running backs that average more than 10 carries per game and Donte Reid leads the Chargers with 222 yards on the ground.

Intrigue: It’s a do-or-die game for both teams, as the winner of this game will likely make the playoffs and the loser will likely miss out. McClintock could still get in if it loses to Prescott, but only if the Chargers can pull off the upset of undefeated Cactus Shadows in the regular season finale.

Queen Creek (5-3, 1-1) at Cactus Shadows (8-0, 2-0)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 5802 E Dove Valley Rd., Cave Creek

Key matchup: Queen Creek’s defensive backs will have their hands full with the Falcons’ three-pronged receiving attack. Joree Schneider, Brady Dombrowski and Tommy Murphy have made life tough on everyone they’ve faced this season.

Key stat: Cactus Shadows quarterback Dillon Classen has had just one interception in the last four games, so Queen Creek will have to hope Classen is off his game if it wants to force some game-changing turnovers.

Intrigue: Two teams with similar styles meet, but so far this season, Cactus Shadows has run its spread offense much more efficiently than Queen Creek. The Bulldogs need a better effort than the one they showed against Apache Junction last week in a 52-14 loss.

Arcadia (6-2, 5-0) at Tempe (2-6, 1-4)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 1730 S Mill Ave, Tempe

Key matchup: Arcadia’s defense has really stepped up in the second half of the season. Tempe has the ability to get its running game going, but only a few stops by the Titans would be enough with their explosive offense on the other side of the ball.

Key stat: The Titans have been held to under 34 points just once all season.

The intrigue: If Arcadia wins this game and Williams Field beats Coronado, it sets up a showdown for the 4A-II East Sky Region title on Nov. 6 at Arcadia.

Coronado (6-2, 5-1) at Williams Field (8-0, 5-0)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 2076 S. Higley Road, Gilbert

Key matchup: Williams Field might be the most athletic team the Dons have seen this season. Blown assignments can lead to touchdowns against teams like that, so Coronado must play mistake-free football to hang with the Black Hawks.

Key stat: Coronado has the East Sky’s leading rusher in Shawn Martin (1,274 yards and 12 TDs) but Williams Field has three of the next six (No. 2 Brandon Warren with 892 yards and 13 TDs, No. 5 Alex Howard with 570 yards and 11 TDs, and No. 7 Josh Montoya with 420 yards and four TDs.)

The intrigue: A victory would put Coronado back in the thick of the East Sky Region race, but it seems a longshot against a Williams Field team that is running on all cylinders. The more likely scenario is a Black Hawks win to set up a season-ending showdown with Arcadia for the region crown.

Higley (1-7, 1-4) at Notre Dame (6-2, 3-2)

Time: 7 p.m.

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

Key matchup: Higley’s secondary faces a tough task against Notre Dame quarterback Will King, who has been slicing up defenses all year.

Key stat: Higley has the same number of losses this year as in the last two years combined.

The intrigue: The Knights would have to play out of their minds to hang in this one. Notre Dame is looking to get healthy as it prepares for a postseason run.

Maricopa (2-6, 0-5) at Seton (2-6, 1-4)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 1833 W Southern Ave, Mesa (Mesa Community College)

Key matchup: Notre Dame’s Will King threw for 349 yards and three touchdowns against Maricopa last week. Seton QB Justin Sieczkowski might be able to top that. Needless to say, the Rams need some big plays in the secondary to hang in this game.

Key stat: Maricopa has lost by 25 points or more in every region game.

The intrigue: The Sentinels need to win out and have several other games work out perfectly to have a chance at the postseason, but Seton can only worry about itself at this point and take care of business against Maricopa.

Cortez (0-8, 0-3) at Paradise Valley (4-4, 2-1)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 3950 E Bell Rd, Phoenix

Key matchup: Paradise Valley’s defense badly needs to make a statement in this game after being pushed around by Cactus last week. They have to beat Cortez physically on every snap to get headed in the right direction.

Key stat: Cortez has only scored 30 points all season. Paradise Valley has scored more than 30 points in a game four times.

The intrigue: There’s no way Paradise Valley loses this one, but it’s more about what the Trojans need to accomplish. In the next two weeks, Paradise Valley needs to get everyone healthy, get the defense fixed and work on its passing game if the Trojans have thoughts of making noise in the playoffs.

Empire (9-0, 5-0) at Fountain Hills (7-2, 5-0)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 16100 E Palisades Blvd, Fountain Hills

Key matchup: Both teams have stout defenses and like to run the ball. If either offense can come up with a big play early, it will be in the driver’s seat.

Key stat: Fountain Hills has two consecutive shutouts and four on the year.

The intrigue: The winner of this game takes home the 3A South Region crown and positions itself nicely for the 3A postseason. The Falcons have won seven straight since dropping their first two games of the season, while Empire held off Florence 21-18 last week to stay undefeated (9-0) on the year.

Scottsdale Christian (6-2, 3-1) at Northwest Christian (8-0, 4-0)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 16401 N. 43rd Ave., Phoenix

Key matchup: When it’s working, NW Christian is as balanced an offense as any in 2A with a multi-WR attack and Casey Jahn (1,300 yards, 20 TDs) in the backfield. SCA managed to slow Valley Christian’s high-powered offense just enough earlier this season and will have to do it again and more.

Key stat: SCA is 3-2 in the past five years against the Crusaders, with both losses coming by one point.

The intrigue: SCA can force a three-team logjam with NW Christian and Valley Christian atop the final 2A Central standings and hand Northwest its first loss of the season. The Eagles got leading receiver Brett Miller back last week after missing three weeks which bodes well in the playoffs.

North Pointe Prep (3-6, 0-4) at Valley Christian (7-1, 3-1)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 6900 W. Galveston St., Chandler

Key matchup: It’s no secret North Pointe Prep is going to see a lot of Valley Christian’s running game, led by Jordan Morgan, Addison Bare and Tyler Hunt.

Key stat: North Pointe Prep hasn’t scored more than a TD in its last six games.

The intrigue: A somewhat anti-climatic way to end the regular season for both teams, but Valley Christian needs to win to secure a home game in the first round of the playoffs next week.

Tempe Prep (3-5, 1-3) at Camp Verde (6-3, 1-3)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 1326 E. Montezuma Castle Rd., Camp Verde

Key matchup: Tempe Prep should be ready for a three-pronged rushing attack of Ty Wantland, Mike Boler and Donovan Kilby.

Key stat: Wantland averages 12 yards per carry for NPP.

The intrigue: Camp Verde is vying for a home game. Tempe Prep is largely out of next week’s playoff picture, but the Knights could still end the regular season on a “high” note going into next season following their first move up from 1A to 2A.

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