Blogs / Features
Don KetchumStaff Writer, AIA365.com email@example.com
Chaparral tries to avoid 0-2 start vs. Marcos de NizaAug 29, 2012
By Don Ketchum
The calendar hasn’t even flipped over to September and yet here we are, already at Week 2 of the football season. Pretty amazing.
Here is a quick look at some of the top games for the area that covers Scottsdale, Phoenix, the southwest and north-northwest Valley and northern Arizona . . .
Tempe Marcos de Niza (1-0, Division II, Section III) at Scottsdale Chaparral (0-1, DII, SIII) – It certainly has been a long time since Chaparral, the three-time defending state champion, has lost its first two games. The most recent struggle out of the gate was in 2004, when the Firebirds won their opener but then dropped their next two. Chaparral fell 27-20 to Tucson Salpointe Catholic last week.
Marcos de Niza has one of the best teams in school history. The Padres kicked off with a 42-0 win over Scottsdale Notre Dame Prep. Josh Eckley completed 14 of 21 passes for 241 yards and three touchdowns. Defensive back Priest Willis might be the state’s best player.
Goodyear Millennium (1-0, DII, SI) at Peoria Centennial (1-0, DII, SI) – Millennium opened with a 31-14 win over Laveen Betty H. Fairfax, but Centennial is an entirely different animal. The Coyotes feature their usual array of talented players, who combined for a 48-13 opening win over Glendale Raymond S. Kellis.
Surprise Valley Vista (1-0, DI, SI) at Surprise Willow Canyon (1-0, DII, SI) – These neighborhood schools are building a good rivalry, and this edition should be entertaining after both put a lot of points on the board in opening wins, Valley Vista over Phoenix Trevor Browne and Willow Canyon over Glendale Deer Valley.
Mayer (1-0, DVI, SI) at Glendale Joy Christian (1-0, DVI, SIII) – Joy Christian continues to develop a high-powered offense under coach Brian Cole, but its defense is tough, too. Mayer is trying to keep pace with defending state champion Joseph City and Heber Mogollon among the schools up north.
Glendale Ironwood (1-0, DII, SI) vs. Phoenix St. Mary’s (1-0, DI, SI) at Phoenix College – Along with Millennium, Ironwood is vying to become the biggest west-side challenger to Centennial. Ironwood can run the ball and should have a size advantage over the Knights, who bested Phoenix North in the opener.
Phoenix Brophy Prep (1-1, DI, SIII) at Anthem Boulder Creek (1-0, DI, SIII) – Brophy is playing its third game in 10 days, so expect Boulder Creek to make an early push to test the Broncos’ stamina. Brophy quarterback Tyler Bruggman had an off night in the loss to Santa Margarita, Calif., last Saturday (Aug. 25), and will see if he can bounce back against the tough Boulder Creek secondary.
Scottsdale Notre Dame Prep (0-1, DII, SIII) vs. Father Judge, Pa. at Dublin, Ireland – Notre Dame has to go all the way across the Atlantic Ocean in an attempt to score its points after a 42-0 setback to Tempe Marcos de Niza. This game is expected to start at 11:30 a.m., Arizona time.
St. Johns (0-1, DV, SI) at Round Valley (1-0, DV, SI) – Round Valley coach Marcus Bell, entering his second season, will try to do something he was unable to do in Year 1 – beat alma mater St. Johns. Bell’s team rolled past Whiteriver Alchesay 55-6 in the opener, while St. Johns fell to Division IV power Show Low 24-8.
Florence (1-0, DIV, SII) at Show Low (1-0, DIV, SI) – Florence defeated Eloy Santa Cruz 53-6 in its opener, but the Gophers won’t have it as easy this week against a defense that is becoming one of the division’s toughest.
Scottsdale Saguaro (0-1, DIII, SIII) at Phoenix Thunderbird (0-1, DIII, SIII) – Saguaro is hoping to bounce back from a last-second stunner to Phoenix Paradise Valley. Thunderbird fell to Goodyear Desert Edge, not necessarily a surprise, but a surprise in how many points the Chiefs gave up (45).
Phoenix Paradise Valley (1-0, DIII, SIII) at Flagstaff Coconino (1-0, DIII, SII) – The Coconino program has struggled in recent seasons but is looking to turn things around. A win over PV would be another step. PV’s Ryan Finley completed 23 of 41 passes for 346 yards and four touchdowns against Scottsdale Saguaro last week, a prime example of why Boise State wanted to get a commitment from him ASAP.
Buckeye Verrado (1-0, DIII, SII) at Peoria Sunrise Mountain (1-0, DIII, SII) – Verrado is looking to continue to establish its young program, and gained some confidence with a 35-13 win over Glendale Copper Canyon in the opener. Sunrise Mountain survived a scorefest with Phoenix Greenway with a 38-35 triumph.