Week 5: East Valley, southern Arizona FB games of note
Originally published: Sep 26, 2013 - 12:00 am
It's a week of high-powered matchups in the East Valley and a couple interesting ones in southern Arizona. One of those weeks one can go crazy picking a game if not tethered to a particular school.
Here's a brief look at six that are good looks, led by Division I matchups
DIVISION I: Brophy (1-3) at Desert Ridge (3-1) -- Desert Ridge has one blemish (a loss to nationally-ranked Serra HS, Gardena, Calif.). It was a valiant defeat after the Jaguars tossed a second-half shutout and just ran out of time in a 28-22 loss. Desert Ridge, winners of three games in a row, has not allowed a touchdown in the last 14 quarters and six points overall in that span. Junior running back Taren Morrison has picked up where his injured brother, quarterback Tarek, left off last year rushing. Taren has rushed for 536 yards and eight touchdowsn. Tarek played for the first time this season last week and performed with efficiency. Also in Desert Ridge's backfield and finding the end zone seven times is senior back Danny Siamau. Brophy has played a stacked schedule and dropped three games in a row - the last two by a total of four points to Centennial and Red Mountain. The Broncos haven't been prolific on the offensive side, but have played well enough defensively to win more than once. If the Broncos defense plays like they have, this one should be a fairly low-scoring game. Hamilton (4-0) at Mountain Pointe (5-0): Hamilton's been bit hard by the injury bug, but few have sympathy for the Huskies who pride themselves on numbers and two-platooning. Mountain Pointe may have its best team in the Norris Vaughan era at present. In their two toughest games (Bishop Gorman and Chandler) the Pride has dominated. They beat Bishop Gorman worse than the 28-21 score indicated despite losing the turnover battle, 4-0. Mountain Pointe has arguably its most complete offense and a stout defense. All trends point to a decisive Mountain Pointe victory at this point, but don't count the defending state champs, who are unbeaten despite a pair of close calls. Westview (4-0) at Basha (3-1): Westview snatched a road win two weeks ago in the East Valley over Red Mountain. That does nothing but bolster the confidence for the next tiime. Basha, however, offers an offensive challenge Westview is yet to see this season. Basha can inflict plenty of damage with quarterback Zach Werlinger in the passing game. Werlinger set season highs in attempts (49), completions (32) and yardage (390) last week. Basha played without Rajhan Meriwether last week after he was limited due to injury the week prior. That didn't keep the scoreboard from flashing to the tune of 35 points against Pinnacle. Westview battered Sandra Day O'Connor, 41-18, last week and played without quarterback Kordell Provchy. Provchy was dinged in the Sept. 12 win over Red Mountain. Westview features a ground-dominated attack with Jalen Johnson and Desmond Washington carrying the load with help from a couple others. Washington filled in at quarterback last week and rushed for 105 yards. Johnson added 108 yards rushing. Both are threats in the return game as well. DIVISION II: Marcos de Niza (4-0) at Salpointe (5-0) --It's an attractive matchup, but appears Marcos quarterback Josh Eckleyis very questionable and most likely won't play due to injury for the second straight week. That handcuffs what has been an explosive Marcos de Niza offense .Without Eckley the game swings heavily in Salpointe's favor. Even with Eckley, Marcos would face a tough matchup given Salpointe has played outstanding defense and has been able to pick the score in its first four games -- 48-7 over Liberty (Henderson, Nev.), 47-7 over Sabino, 49-7 over Crespi, Encino, Calif., and 46-0 over Sunnyside. Salpointe had a bye last week, thus two weeks to prepare for Marcos. The Lancers bring a high-powered offense of their own which should give Marcos de Niza fits. Quarterback Andrew Cota and receivers Cameron Denson and Kaelin DeBoskie have toyed with Lancers' opponents to date. Cota has thrown for more than 900 yards and 12 TDs -- six each to Denson and DeBoskie. Mesa High (3-1) at Tucson High (3-1) -- This matches two of Arizona's oldest schools. Mesa has won its last two games and is led by running back Turrell Pietz-Noble, who has 100-yard plus rushing games in all three of the Jackrabbits' victories. Pietz-Noble rushed for a season-high 227 yards last week in a win over Valley Vista. Mesa Mesa thrives on a ground attack and has won its last two games. senior Rafeal Bellorin has started the last two games at quarterback after senior Chris Shelton got the nod in the first two. Tucson is more than stable at quarterback where senior Donovan Moore has piled up 1,087 yards rushing and passing in 2013. He was in on all six Tucson TDs last week (three rushing and three passing). The Badgers have won their last three games (Nogales, Yuma and Sunnyside) after a 31-28 opening-night loss to Sahuaro. Tucson is averaging 48 points a game. DIVISION V (Saturday Sept. 28): Valley Christian (2-2) vs. Tempe Prep (1-3) at Arizona Lutheran Academy -- Tempe Prep was on the winning end of a shutout last week, ripping Paradise Honors. That followeda trio of shutout losses to D-V powers Yuma Catholic and Northwest Christian and one of D-IV's best in Show Low. Valley Christian has played well under first-year coach Jeff Rutledge. The Trojans dropped games by a TD to NWC and Arizona Lutheran the first two weeks and posted routs the last two. This is the first sectional game for VC and the second for Tempe Prep (1-0). It's huge as the top three teams in the section based on the first month figure to be VC, Tempe Prep and Scottsdale Prep. Tempe Prep and VC have lighter schedules the rest of the way. Each has a meeting in October against Scottsdale Prep.
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