A strong running game and stingy defense led visiting Avondale Westview to an upset win over Paradise Valley, 28-6, Thursday in the first round of the 5A Division II playoffs.
It's the second year in a row the Trojans have fallen in the opening round of the postseason.
Last year, Paradise Valley cruised to a 10-0 regular-season record, but made an early exit from the playoffs after Tribune player of the year Matt Clapp when down with an injury.
On Thursday, the Trojans (5-6) gave up a whopping 342 yards rushing on 49 carries to the Knights (5-6).
Westview's Brendan Crudup, Lloyd Jones and Nate Jones all scored rushing touchdowns. Nate Jones broke a 51-yard TD run, and also caught a 40-yard touchdown pass at the end of the third quarter to seal the game.
“I did not play well last week and I knew I had to step up in this game,” Nate Jones said. “I am excited for next week. This is football, anything can happen.”
Paradise Valley's Michael Williams got the Trojans off to a quick start with a 54-yard kickoff return, and was the home team's biggest offensive threat with 105 yards rushing.
But mistakes plagued the Trojans. Three interceptions and a lost fumble ended four Paradise Valley drives, while the Knights turned the ball over just once. Trojans' holding calls negated what would have been a 51-yard pass and a 12-yard touchdown.
Westview will face the Ironwood/Marana Mountain View winner.