VX Division I football rankings: Sept. 28
Updated VX Division I football rankings as of Sept. 28: [compiled
by Kyle Odegard and Mark Heller]
10. Desert Mountain (2-3)
Desert Mountain struggled this week in a 63-34 loss to Horizon. The team has been hit hard by injuries and must regroup for the second half of the regular season. The Wolves remain in the top-10 almost by default, as other teams either have poor records are have beaten easy competition.
9. Mountain View (4-1)
The Toros dropped their first game of the season to Pinnacle on Friday night, although it was only by a field goal. Mountain View has proven to be a legitimate top-10 team halfway through the season as it heads into next week's game against Skyline.
8. Horizon (4-1)
Horizon continued to impress on Friday night, cruising past Desert Mountain behind another offensive explosion. Quarterback Dalton Sneed and running back Luke Quinn are putting up huge numbers every week and it's fair to wonder just how good this team can be. The Huskies jump up two more spots in the rankings to No. 8.
7. Pinnacle (3-2)
The Pioneers bounced back from consecutive losses against Hamilton and Basha to beat Mountain View, 28-25, on Friday night. Pinnacle moves up a spot in the rankings with the victory. Quarterback Brian Lewerke threw for 241 yards and two touchdowns in the win.
6. Basha (3-2)
Basha fell behind Avondale Westview on Friday night and rallied to within three points late in the game but could not complete the comeback. The team's run defense didn't perform very well, and while quarterback Zach Werlinger had a nice game, it wasn't enough. The Bears remain at No. 6 because the loss was to a quality Knights' squad.
5. Chandler (3-2)
The Wolves bounced back nicely this week with an easy win over Cesar Chavez to remain at No. 5 in the rankings. Quarterback Bryce Perkins threw for five touchdowns and the offense once again showed its explosiveness. Chandler has a huge game on Friday against Hamilton as it hopes to finally show it can come out on top against an elite Division I opponent.
4. Westview (5-0)
Westview picked up another big win on Friday night, defeating Basha, 38-28. The team's running game was in high gear and the Knights proved once again they are the one West Valley team in contention for the state title. Westview has now knocked off East Valley teams Red Mountain and Basha this year to remain at No. 4 in this week's rankings.
3. Hamilton (4-1)
The Huskies drop to No. 3 in the rankings after losing to Mountain Pointe on Friday night, 37-27. The offense continued to struggle and the defense couldn't contain Pride playmakers Paul Lucas and Jalen Brown. Hamilton is still a title contender, but injuries and offensive concerns are legitimate problems at this point in the season.
2. Desert Ridge (4-1)
The Jaguars had their toughest in-state test to date on Friday night, and after a slow start, picked it up to run past Brophy, 34-14. Running back Taren Morrison had 213 rushing yards and four touchdowns as Desert Ridge overcame some early turnovers to cruise to the win. Hamilton is struggling, which has opened the door for Desert Ridge to be a legitimate title threat, and it moves up one spot with the victory.
1. Mountain Pointe (6-0)
There's no doubting Mountain Pointe's spot atop the Division I rankings now. The Pride jumped out to a 24-6 lead on Hamilton and cruised to a 37-27 win. Paul Lucas had 143 rushing yards, a 96-yard kickoff return and two touchdowns while Jalen Brown added 96 receiving yards and two scores. Mountain Pointe has good balance and is one of the faster teams in recent memory. While Hamilton and Desert Ridge lurk, the Pride has separated itself as the team to beat.
No. 3 Hamilton vs. No. 1 Mountain Pointe (3:30 p.m. Saturday at University of Phoenix Stadium): What did we say about never going against Hamilton a second time if it lost the first (frankly, it’s hard to go against the Huskies even if they won the first matchup)? Chandler was warned. Regardless, the Pride’s win over Desert Ridge in the semifinals, in which they shut down the Jaguars’ running game completely, bodes well, because Hamilton wants to do similar things to what Desert Ridge did. Hamilton’s ability to run the ball, not turn the ball over and hold up in special teams are the three biggest caveats to this game, because the Huskies’ defense will fare better than the first meeting (a 37-27 win for Mountain Pointe). Having won this game vs. simply playing this game bodes well for Hamilton, but last year’s loss resonates with Mountain Pointe, a team which believes this is the year of the Pride. Mountain Pointe has played like it all season, and this time they get over the hump. It’s going to be close because Hamilton is too good up front and well-coached, but the Pride’s offensive balance is good, and Mountain Pointe will have a couple key members of the secondary back. It’s nearly impossible to go against Hamilton, but nearly impossible to go against Mountain Pointe given what the Pride have done this season.
Prediction: Mountain Pointe 24, Hamilton 20