AIA365 Staff Insiders
Les WillseyStaff Writer, AIA365.com email@example.com
This and that on D-I through D-V FB championship gamesNov 19, 2012
A little of this and a little of that on this week's football championship games that conclude a very entertaining 2012 season:
DIVISION V: No. 1 Northwest Christian (12-1) vs. No. 2 Morenci (13-0)
WHEN: Friday Nov. 23, kickoff at 3:07 p.m; WHERE: Northern Arizona University's Walkup Skydome -- A David and Goliath matchup. The best program in D-V (2A) over the last couple of years (third straight title-game appearance) against the close-knit mining town of Morenci. Morenci didn't dominate the scoreboard last week in beating Tempe Prep, 10-7, but they ate up clock and made a key fourth-quarter stop to deny Tempe Prep precious points. Morenci's last trip to a title game came in 1992. Tempe Prep is the only team to beat Northwest Christian this season, knocking off the Crusaders 21-20 on Oct. 26.
DIVISION IV: No. 1 Blue Ridge (14-0) vs. No. 3 Seton Catholic (12-1)
WHEN: Friday Nov. 23, kickoff at 7:07 p.m.; WHERE: Northern Arizona University's Walkup Skydome -- Blue Ridge keeps carving out cookie-cutter title teams that are dominant in virtually all phases. The Yellow Jackets are seeking a third title in four years and fifth in the new millennium. Blue Ridge has won 28 games in a row. Seton easily, and surprisingly, dispatched Show Low last week, 42-14. It's Seton's first title-game appearance since 2003, a loss to Show Low in the 3A title game. The Sentinels only football titlle came in 1997 -- a victory over Superior at the 2A level. Blue Ridge whacked Seton, 45-14, in last year's semis. The Sentinels get to see if they've climbed the ladder enough for an upset.
DIVISION I No. 3 Hamilton (11-2) vs. No. 1 Mountain Pointe (12-1)
WHEN: Saturday Nov. 24, kickoff at 12:07 p.m.; WHERE: University of Phoenix Stadium -- For the fifth straight year the big-school championship will reside in either Chandler or Ahwatukee. Hamilton won the 2008-2010 titles and Desert Vista took top honors in 2011. Mountain Pointe is subbing for Desert Vista this year in representing Ahwatukee. It's Mountain Pointe's first championship game in football. The school opened in 1991. Mountain Pointe has defeated eight teams that qualified for postseason this season -- Hamilton (season opener), Desert Vista, Chandler, Mesa Mountain View, Brophy, Buena, Desert Mountain and Cibola. Mountain Pointe avenged its only loss of the season by blanking Brophy in the semis last week. Hamilton, which has won 11 games in a row, has wins over five playoff teams -- Desert Vista (twice), Desert Ridge (twice), Highland, Chandler and Basha. Nether team should be lacking for motivation of some sort. Hamilton has won six state titles in the new millennuim and play in its 10th final in 12 years.
DIVISION III: No. 1 Desert Edge (13-0) vs. No. 2 Queen Creek (13-0)
WHEN: Saturday Nov. 24, kickoff at 3:07 p.m.; WHERE: ASU, Sun Devil Stadium -- The only title game this year matching unbeaten teams. It's Desert Edge's first championship game in the sport since the school opened a decade ago. Queen Creek, which has made a habit of playoffs in the new millennum with multiple quarterfinal and semifinal appearances,will appear in its second title-game ever. The first was in 1998 when the Bulldogs lost to Thatcher in the 2A championship. The teams have three common opponents -- Williams Field, Thunderbird and Agua Fria. Queen Creek beat Williams Field, 49-6, Agua Fria, 63-27 and Thunderbird, 28-17. Desert Edge topped Williams Field 37-27, Agua Fria 47-0 and Thunderbird, 45-16.
DIVISION II: No. 4 Centennial (12-1) vs. No. 3 Ironwood Ridge (12-1)
WHEN: Saturday Nov. 24, kickoff at 7:07 p.m.; WHERE: ASU, Sun Devil Stadium -- Ironwood Ridge secured its first title-game appearance with its decisive 35-21 win over Marcos de Niza last week. The Nighthawks lost semifinal games each of the two years prior -- one to Centennial (2010). Centennial would have a perfect season to date if not for --- Ironwood Ridge. Ironwood Ridge took advantage of mistakes and used a couple big plays to beat Centennial in late September, 24-14. Ironwood Ridge's only loss was to Salpointe, the team Centennial knocked off in last week's semifinals, 28-14Centennial last won a state title in 2008. The Coyotes have won three in the new millennum (2006-08) and lost two (2005, 2010).