VX Predictions: Week 5 - East Valley Tribune: VarsityXtra

VX Predictions: Week 5

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Posted: Thursday, September 22, 2011 5:19 pm

Saguaro at Cactus

Last year’s game between Saguaro and Cactus was an instant classic. The Sabercats had a two-touchdown lead at halftime, but wore down against the no-huddle offensive attack of the Cobras. Cactus won 42-41, and now that these teams are back in the same division, this could be a preview of a playoff rematch. The Cobras have yet to allow a point in three games, while Saguaro is averaging 61.3 points per contest. D.J. Foster (54 carries, 814 yards, 17 TD) will be the best player on the field, and Cactus’ ability to slow him down will be the biggest determinant in this game.

Prediction: Saguaro 42, Cactus 31

— Kyle Odegard

Red Mountain at Gilbert

Easily the best big-school matchup on the far east side of town, the upstart Tigers (3-1) have a couple close games, but haven’t played an offense with Red Mountain’s potential. Red Mountain found itself a bit last week in beating Mesa by running the ball more often and doing a better job of catching the ball. If Billy Freeman and Daniel McGill are able to return this week from injury, the Lions have a chance to play at full potential with former Gilbert standout Marcus Brantley seeing more action on offense in addition to his defensive duties. If the Lions are still shorthanded, it could be another long night.

Prediction: Red Mountain 21, Gilbert 17

— Mark Heller

Desert Vista at Corona del Sol

Not much separates these two schools, and they really get after one another physically when they meet. Corona has been a good story thus far while coach Tom Joseph helps turn a once-proud program back around. Desert Vista has continued where it left off in 2010, maybe moreso. Win or lose, neither team has been part of a three-touchdown scoring margin, and it’s worth noting that Desert Vista needed a comeback to win 10-6 against woeful Corona del Sol last year. But this Thunder team is a little better (we know Corona has been a lot better) and the Thunder possess more speed and offensive balance that the upstart Aztecs won’t be able to stifle long enough.

Prediction: Desert Vista 24, Corona del Sol 13

— Mark Heller

Notre Dame at Desert Mountain

It’s been a tough season for Notre Dame. The Saints are 1-3 on the year and recently lost coach Scot Bemis indefinitely after a tumor was found on his elbow. Gary Gregory, the team’s defensive coordinator, will take over as the interim coach for the Saints. Notre Dame will try to concentrate on football this week in a matchup against Desert Mountain. The Wolves are 2-2 after getting routed by Chaparral last week. The Saints have struggled thus far, but two of their three losses have come to Hamilton and Marcos de Niza, two of the better teams in the state. Notre Dame is a better team than it is getting credit for, and an upset over Desert Mountain here may get it back on the right track.

Prediction: Notre Dame 31, Desert Mountain 27

— Kyle Odegard

Marcos de Niza at Ironwood Ridge

After pummeling Notre Dame in its season opener, No. 3 Marcos de Niza has looked rather average in a loss to Chaparral and a win over Perry. The Padres get a good test on Friday against Tucson Ironwood Ridge, which is ranked No. 6 in Division II. The Nighthawks already have an impressive win over Oro Valley Canyon del Oro this season, and are looking to make the statement that it is a legitimate contender for a state crown. Marcos de Niza’s defense is very good, and it will look to slow down Ironwood Ridge star Mitch Fischer. This game should tell a lot for both sides.

Prediction: Marcos de Niza 20, Ironwood Ridge 10

— Kyle Odegard 

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[Stats Courtesy of MaxPreps]