Blogs / Features
Les WillseyStaff Writer, AIA365.com email@example.com
Queen Creek-Desert Edge: Shootout or defensive struggleNov 22, 2012
Queen Creek football coach Joe Germaine and Desert Edge coach Rich Wellbrock are proud of their staffs and the systems from whence they as players or coaches have come.
Germaine played at Mesa Mountain View, defense as well as what he is renouned for quarterback. When Germaine played at Mountain View 20 years ago he competed under Jesse Parker and then defensivecoordinator Don Kramer. Well, Kramer has been Queen Creek's defensive guru the three years of Germaine's tenure at Queen Creek. Ditto strength and position coach Mark Swartz, who spent several seasons assisting on offense at Mountain View. Add line coach Travis Schureman, a teammate of Germaine's at Mountain View and who coached there as well for a time. For good measure is Fred Clare, who played quarterback at Gilbert High, and helps ride herd with Swartz over the players on campus. Not too shabby a support group for Germaine to have at his fingertips.
Kramer and Swartz were on staff at Mountain View under Tom Joseph the last time the Toros won a state title in 2002. That team posted some gaudy numbers, scoring a big-school record 602 points and giving up a big-school record fewest points (34) in going 14-0. Queen Creek has amassed 590 points and has six shutouts to its credit The Bulldogs have allowed 85 points (6.5) in 13 games.
"It's a great staff," Germaine said. "We were sort of keeping up with that Mountain View team Don and Mark coached, but we won't come close. That was an impressive season. I'm glad to have them. We have a special back in Matt Guida, but guys behind him who are talented with a good quarterback, receivers and a solid veteran line."
Wellbrock has fashioned Desert Edge into a contender in just three seasons after the early years of the program were fraught with struggles and coaching changes. Wellbrock has served under former Glendale Community College and current Deer Valley coach Joe Kersting (five years) and current Cactus coach Larry Fetkenhie (six years). Wellbrock's defensive coordinator Travis Guiney, offensive coordinator Jose Lucero and running back s coach Lamar Baker have been with Wellbrock for his three seasons at Desert Edge. Ian Gardner and Colin Poe are first-year coaches on the varsity staff.
Desert Edge, like Queen Creek, has run over most of its opponents. Desert Edge has scored 593 points and posted three shutouts. The Scorpions have given up 148 points (11.5 per games). Neither team has scored fewer than 21 points in a game this season. Their matchup Saturday afternoon (Nov. 24) at 3:07 p.m. at Sun Devil Stadium could be a shootout or a defensive struggle. Best bet is somewhere in between.
"Our offense can do a lot of things with some great athletes, and we play great team defense," Wellbrock said. "It's 11 bodies flying to the ball."
PLAYERS TO WATCH, NUMBERS TO PONDER: The key player to watch for each team are Queen Creek's Guida and Desert Edge quarterback Sawyer Lung. Queen Creek's junior tailback has rushed for 2,668 yards, 30 touchdown and averages nearly 15 yards per carry. In three postseason games he's totaled 697 yards (232 avg) and scored 8 TDs. Lung has passed for 3,119 yards and 36 TDs. In his three posteason games he's totaled 942 yards (314 avg.), 11 TDs and two interceptions. Those are just two reasons why a defensive struggle is less likely than a shootout. There are more threats where they came from on both sides. On defense Desert Edge has a whopping 44 takeaways. Queen Creek has been very good in the takeway department with 28, mostly via interceptions. The Bulldogs have taken care of the ball extraordinarily well with only 8 turnovers all season.