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AZPreps365 Cornerby AIA365.com Staff
Battle Of Baseline: Undefeated Cesar Chavez Hosts FairfaxOct 11, 2012
The Cesar Chavez Champions (7-0) put their undefeated mark on the line Friday night as they host Laveen-rival Betty H. Fairfax (6-1) in the "Battle of Baseline." The school's, which are less than three miles apart in the southwest valley, are both riding high this season and are in the top-10 in the latest "aia365.com Seedings" for Division II.
Chavez (7-0) is off to its best start in school history. The fifth-seeded Champions have posted wins over La Joya, at McClintock, at Canyon del Oro, South Mountain, Independence, at Millennium and most recently at Camelback. Should the Champions get through their next two games against Fairfax and Sierra Linda (2-5), it will set up a huge game at third-seeded Marcos de Niza to end the regular season.
The Champions are averaging nearly 50 points per game this season while giving up just nine a contest. They have put up 162 points in the last three weeks, outscoring their opponents by 124. Arturo Macias is having a terrific senior season, throwing for over 1,600 yards with 23 touchdowns and just two interceptions. He's also ran for 158 yards and four scores.
The ground game is pretty balanced for the Champions, who have racked up 1,321 yards and 18 TDs as a unit. Junior Kevin Stone leads the team with 436 yards and six touchdowns on 45 carries. Jaylyn Shans has a team-best 25 catches for 514 yards and six scores to go with 133 yards and two TDs on 15 carries. Rodrick Griffin has eight TD grabs and nine total scores despite having just 11 catches. He's averaging 41.27 yards per catch and has scored in every game except one.
The Stampede have won six straight since a season opening loss at Millennium. Fairfax is putting up 39 points per game while giving up just nine points a contest. The Stampede are coming off a 21-3 home win over Kellis last week that moved them into the 10th-seed in Division II. They are facing back-to-back top-10 teams as Fairfax hosts sixth-seeded Apollo next week.
The rivalry is new, but with the close proximity of the school's, it's already built a ton of steam with bragging rights in Laveen on the line. In the first ever meeting last year at Fairfax, the Stampede pulled out a 35-25 win over the Champions. Friday's matchup should be just as entertaining. Kickoff is set for 7 pm.
By Thomas Jenkins