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Les WillseyStaff Writer, AIA365.com email@example.com
Week 3 FB: Battles of unbeaten contenders highlight scheduleSep 5, 2012
If you crave matchups of contenders and unbeaten teams Week 3's football slate is right up your alley.
Last week was somewhat short on such contests, but that figures to even out this week. Here are a handful of games to keep track of as Friday (Sept. 7) night progresses, most pitting East Valley titans with one another:
MOUNTAIN POINTE (2-0) AT DESERT VISTA (2-0): The Ahwatukee Bowl and more as the teams have planted the contender flag two games into 2012. Each team has encountered a close game and prevailed in a rout against the same foe (Mesa High). The defenses have been stout (Mountain Pointe allowing 21 points) and (Desert Vista 16) in two games. Desert Vista will be fresher with a bye last week and has the home-field advantage. Desert Vista has a playmaking quarterback in Matt Young, dangerous by ground or air. The Thunder's defense is averaging three takeways per game and has three defensive/special teams touchdowns to its credit so far. Mountain Pointe unleashed a decent passing game in beating Hamilton that show the Pride's potential to be balanced. Junior quarterback Antonio Hinojosa has thrown for 300 yards in two games and versatlit running back Garette Craig had a four-TD game vs. Mesa and has 100-yard rushing games in each of the Pride's contests. Wide out Jalen Brown has been in the mix as well with a TD catch in each game. Desert Vista prevailed a year ago decisively, 24-0. The series lead over the last three seasons -- Dan Hinds vs. Norris Vaughan -- is advantage Vaughan (2-1).
QUEEN CREEK (2-0) AT PERRY (2-0): Neither team has been challenged thus far with a pair of lopsided wins. That changes tonight. Queen Creek figures to be in the thick of things in Division III and Perry hopes to stake a higher claim in Division II. Perry has a tad more motivation after falling last year, 27-21. Both teams have put up gawdy individual stats. Perry quarterback Austin Nightengale has thrown for 404 yards and running back Reggie Blader has rushed for 126 yards and caught 110 yards worth of passes. Queen Creek quarterback Carson Joos is a tidy 16-of-19 passing for 355 yards and three TDs. Running backs Matt Guida and Marcus Still have 235 and 201 yards rushing, respectively, with four TDs apiece.
RED MOUNTAIN (2-0) VS. BROPHY (2-1) AT PHOENIX COLLEGE: Pass defenses will be put to the test as Red Mountain's Mason Thorman hooks up against Brophy's Tyler Bruggman. Both have speedy/and or effective receivers -- Aeron Carr and Drake Pierre (Red Mountain) and Devin Allen and Matt Auran (Brophy). It figures to be a matchup where the defense that bends/ doesn't break may prevail. Thorman has passed for 756 yards and seven scores; Bruggman 676 yards and five TDs. All of the aforementioned receivers have double-digits in receptions -- Allen 14-for-281 and Carr 13-for-231 lead their teams. Brophy won last year's meeting, 31-13.
DESERT RIDGE (2-0) AT HIGHLAND (2-0): Excitement is building at Highland with the Hawks off to their best start in the Pete Wahlheim era. They have won six of their last seven games. Highland has surrendered just 10 points thus far against teams struggling to find a groove offensively. Desert Ridge appears as potent as ever offensively. The key matchup comes down to Highland's defense vs. Desert Ridge's offense. Desert Ridge has put up big numbers on the ground thus far led by quarterback Tarek Morrison (390 yards and 5 TDs). J.J. Husar has chimed in with 211 and five scores and Jake Mapes another 119 yards for good measure. Highland's offense centers around junior quarterback Blake Young, who combined for 367 yards rushing and passing last week. He had a hand in all four of the Hawks' TDs vs. Gilbert.
WILLIAMS FIELD (2-0) AT CAMPO VERDE (2-0): This is the first real test of 2012 for Williams Field, which knocked off Campo Verde last season, 28-9. Williams Field has been more efficient on the ground led by running backs Sean Schweichler and Ray Velasquez. Campo Verde attempts to sweep the neighboring Higley schools after last week's 14-3 triumph over Higley. Campo Verde has been stingy on defense allowing just nine points to date and collecting seven turnovers. Williams Field is averaging 45 points a game. Campo Verde relies on its rushing attack. Running back Lorenzo Sanchez and quarterback Luke Pineda are the top producers with 119 and 103 yards, respectively.
ESTRELLA FOOTHILLS (2-0) AT YUMA CATHOLIC (1-1): Defending D-V champ Yuma Catholic got back in the win column after a tough opening loss to Northwest Christian, but had a tough time putting away D-IV River Valley. Yuma Catholic needed a 300-yard, 3 TD rushing performance from Kody Hazlett to turn back River Valley. Yuma Catholic is used to playing competition a division or two higher. That's the same story this week with D-IV Estrella Foothills. Yuma Catholic romped in most of its wins last season, but had a tougher time with EFH. (a 31-14 win). Estrella Foothills is led by quarterback Gerrit Groenewold (311 yards passing and five TDs and running back Branden Leon (215 yards rushing.)