East Valley Tribune: #VXRecruit


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  • Westwood fends off late Mesa rally to win first game against Jackrabbits in four years

    Westwood High School overwhelmed Mesa High School early and hung on late to beat the Jackrabbits 38-28, giving the Warriors their first win against Mesa in four years.The Division II Warriors stuffed the Jackrabbits’ running game and force fed the Division I school with a healthy serving of junior running back Ethan Johnson, who compiled over 200 yards.The Warriors led 31-7 as the third quarter waned, but Mesa refused to go away quietly. Draven Taylor caught a 32-yard touchdown pass from Jacob Ray, who started in place of Turrell Pietz-Noble, and Mesa running back Garrison Gardner later punched in a one-yard run to cut the lead to 31-21 with 7:55 remaining in the fourth quarter.Plans for a Westwood celebration looked derailed when Mesa defensive back Kodii Dale picked off a Kane Tieman pass on the next series and scored.“My heart dropped,” Johnson said.Mesa eventually got the ball back on its own 17-yard line with 2:42 left and down by three points, but Westwood strong safety Dj Bex answered with a resounding interception. Johnson sealed the game with a six-yard touchdown run.

  • Tempe overcomes slow start to down rival McClintock 36-10

    A combination of great speed and the passing skills of senior quarterback Emanuel Gant were more than enough to give Tempe a 36-10 win against crosstown rival McClintock on Friday night.After stalling early, Gant and the rest of the Buffaloes’ offense picked up steam in the second half as the team pulled away from the Chargers. Gant threw for three touchdowns in all, including a 45-yarder to wide-open Quntion Garrett in the third quarter that ended the team’s scoring for the day.However, Tempe’s win did not come without a multitude of setbacks, many of which could have been avoided, due in part to a quick start by McClintock.“(The Chargers) did a great job at the beginning of the game, corralling and getting to us early, getting us rattled,” said Tempe head coach Brian Walker.But the Buffaloes wouldn’t allow the Chargers to keep control of the game, as Tempe began to take control of the game by stopping the McClintock’s running game. The Chargers’ offense passed only eight times, making every other forward advancement through rushing. Once the Buffaloes tightened up their defense and figured out the Chargers’ running strategy, they did not allow any more points to appear the home team’s score board.But Tempe could have extended their lead much more than the final score count shows due to many penalties and turnovers. For example, a graceful 40-yard completion by Gant in the third quarter that would have lead to a touchdown was recalled due to a holding penalty on a Tempe lineman.

  • Chadwick churns out yards for Highland in 40-24 win against Mountain View

    Highland coach Pete Wahlheim may be biased, but he thinks Hawks senior Josh Chadwick is the best running back in the state. It would be hard for Mountain View coach had DeGrenier not to think so, too, after Friday night.Chadwick rushed for 250 yards and five touchdowns — against a defense geared to stop the run it knew was coming — to lead Highland to a 40-24 victory over the Toros at Mountain View.The 6-foot, 210-pound smooth-running Chadwick ran around, past and through defenders on 32 carries as Highland rushed for 273 yards as a team to move to 2-1."We didn't have a great week of practice but I told my line to come out ready to swing and I just followed them," said Chadwick, who had 183 yards just in the second half. "This is a big win. I can't remember the last time we beat them on this field."Chadwick scored on a pair of 1-yard runs in the first quarter, and then reached the end zone on a 54-yarder and another 1-yard burst in the third as Highland built a lead, and capped the Hawks' lone long drive with a 3-yard touchdown in the fourth to seal the win."I've been saying all year I think he's the best back in the state," Wahlheim said. "I love the kid. He's a great kid, a humble kid and he can run, especially when we block like we did tonight."

  • Mountain View guard Armani Hawkins chooses ASU

    Mountain View junior guard Armani Hawkins has verbally committed to Arizona State, according to multiple reports.Hawkins is rated as the top Arizona player in her class and No.15 nationally by ESPN. Her big sister, Arnecia, was also a standout with the Toros and will be a sophomore next season with the Sun Devils. The pair played together one year in high school and are on a similar path to do so in college.Armani averaged 14.5 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.2 steals per game as a sophomore. Mountain View went 18-10 last season.

  • Mountain Pointe RB Paul Lucas picks up Oregon State offer

    No one has ever questioned Paul Lucas' speed.The Mountain Pointe track star won the Division I 100-meter dash title as a sophomore last season in 10.44 seconds, the fifth-fastest time in state history.But as a running back on the Pride's football team, Lucas still needed to prove he had the ability to make cuts, elude tacklers and see the field. After Friday night's game against Las Vegas Bishop Gorman, he answered any and all concerns.Lucas played a starring role in the upset of the Gaels, rushing eight times for 144 yards and two touchdowns. Shortly after, he was offered a scholarship by Oregon State, becoming the ninth East Valley player in the class of 2015 to pick up a D-I offer.With his game-breaking speed, Lucas could become a hot commodity on the recruiting scene if he keeps this up.

  • First Class: E.V. football seniors a peerless group of recruits

    Sometimes a shift is so gradual, its effect isn’t realized until an event forces retrospection.The Phoenix metropolitan area underwent unprecedented growth from 2000-09, as more than one million people made their way to the area, causing a 33 percent population increase.The subsequent housing collapse helped curb the boom and took some focus off the changed landscape, but there is one place where the results are resoundingly evident: the Arizona high school football scene.With a population increase so substantial, it seemed only a matter of time until the East Valley jumped up the list of destination spots for college football recruiters. A greater pool of players meant overall improvement and an increased ceiling for the cream of the crop.For many coaches, it took time to buy in. Arizona had long been known as an area large on space but short on elite talent, and few wanted to waste their time unless it was a sure thing. So Nebraska dabbled and Southern California would swoop in and steal top-flight recruits when needed, but in the early 2000s, it wasn’t open season quite yet.By 2008, the movement began. Michigan came down to recruit elite defensive lineman Craig Roh from Chaparral and quickly noticed the vast potential in his teammate, Taylor Lewan. Desert Vista’s Devon Kennard and Saguaro’s Corey Adams were also national recruits.


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