Blogs / Features
AZPreps365 Cornerby AIA365.com Staff
MdN@ChaparralAug 30, 2012
By: Jake Novy
They say rivalries are born and not made. Not in this case. Friday night's AIA365.com Game of the Week takes us to Chaparral High School where the Firebirds host the Marcos de Niza Padres in one of the most anticipated games of the early season. These two teams have built one of the biggest rivalries in the state over the last few years. It started in 2009 when Chaparral cruised to a 34-21 victory over Marcos in the state championship game at Arizona State University. That was the first of three-straight Firebird titles. The rivalry took a brief hiatus in 2010, but some fuel was added to the fire before last season even started when the two squads scuffled during a spring passing league game. Chaparral went on to beat the Padres, 24-6, in Tempe at Marcos the second game of the season.
For the first time in this series, Marcos comes into the matchup as the favorite and with a ton of momentum. The Padres routed Notre Dame Prep, 42-0, last Friday night in their season-opener. MdN hasn't done much losing lately either. Marcos suffered just two regular-season losses last season to Chaparral and Ironwood Ridge. They beat Canyon del Oro in the first round of the playoffs before losing to Cienega in the second round. Cienega lost to Chaparral in the state championship game.
Meanwhile, for the first time in nearly four years, the 'Birds face some early adversity. The Connor Brewer and Davonte Neal era is over and the program has a lot of new faces left to pick up the slack. Brewer is now at Texas, while Neal is with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Chaparral had a 14-game winning streak snapped to start this season after suffering a 27-20 loss to Salpointe Catholic last Friday. It was the Firebirds first setback since falling to Las Vegas powerhouse Bishop Gorman to start last season at University of Phoenix Stadium.