It's too bad 4A and 5A schools don't regularly play each other in football. With the way Chaparral is mowing down 4A opponents, it would be interesting to see how the top-ranked Firebirds would do against the state's biggest schools.
Chaparral turned what was supposed to be a good matchup into a rout Friday night, whipping visiting and No. 6 Tucson Sunnyside, 41-14. The victory moved the Firebirds to 2-0 while Sunnyside fell to 0-2.
"We always wish we could (play 5A teams)," said Chaparral quarterback Darren Mougey, who passed for two touchdowns and ran 75 yards for another. "We think we could play with them, but we're just happy getting it done at 4A."
Chaparral, showing off its bevy of offensive stars, had no trouble moving the ball against Sunnyside, a team that the Firebirds nipped in last year's state playoff semifinals. In fact, the only time Chaparral's first unit offense was slowed down was when the game was halted for a half hour when an official's assistant was injured.
The unidentified elderly man — a high school basketball referee who was serving as a ball boy — was knocked unconscious when he was hit on a play, fell backward and slammed his head into the asphalt track runway. He received medical attention at the scene and refused to go to a hospital.
"They're good," said Sunnyside coach Richard Sanchez of the Firebirds. "They've got a lot of weapons. They are a big-play team. They have always been a big-play team. In the past when we played them, that's how they've beaten us, with big plays. That wasn't any different today."
Kam Kranz made two of those big plays for the Firebirds, scoring on runs of 50 and 36 yards. Cornerback Geoff Williams also got into the act. He picked off three passes, returning one 88 yards for a score.
"It was amazing," Williams said. "They were coming in here to play us hard. We just turned around and did what we do. We just played our game."
Mougey said the Firebirds made a big statement with the victory.
"It was huge," he said. "Everyone knows Sunnyside is always a powerhouse, but we came out hot and just kept it rolling."
Not surprisingly, Chaparral coach Ron Estabrook was far from satisfied with the effort of his team, which plays top-10 teams the next two weeks.
"It proves one thing, that we can play to a high level," Estabrook said. "So we know the level we are at. I was disappointed in how sloppy we played the first half. I didn't think we were a very sharp football team. We showed early season sloppiness, and we need to work on that."