Woo-hoo, road trip!!
Don’t get Glendale Prep’s football players wrong. The Griffins thoroughly enjoy the new field on their Peoria campus, but heading out on the road for a game next week means they are still in the Division VI eight-man playoffs.
The sixth-seeded Griffins extended their season for at least another week on with an impressive 43-6 victory on Saturday (Oct. 26) over No. 11 visiting Mesa Prep.
Glendale Prep (7-2) advances to play No. 3 host Bagdad (7-0) in a quarterfinal game on Nov. 2 at 6 p.m.
It has been quite a season for Glendale Prep, which is in its sixth season of playing football but first as a full member of the Arizona Interscholastic Association.
Its two losses were to No. 2 seed Gilbert Christian and No. 5 Heber Mogollon, but it also had a signature victory over perennial power Joseph City, which is seeded 12th this season.
“I’ve got no complaints. We’re going out on the road, but I’ll take it,’’ said Glendale Prep coach Jamie Self.
The Griffins had a balanced offense, picking up 251 yards on the ground and 245 through the air. Their defense held Mesa Prep (4-5) to 231 total yards, not bad by eight-man standards. Glendale Prep also had seven interceptions, many of those putting the offense in good field position.
Self said his team had played Mesa Prep the last few years and each team knew what the other was likely to do. Glendale Prep had run the ball a little more during the regular season, but the situation allowed the Griffins to pass more in this one.
Senior quarterback Jarred Yata completed 10 of 15 passes for 245 yards and four touchdowns, three of them to senior receiver Gabe Klein. Nate Kummeth also grabbed a scoring pass.
Yata also rushed for 50 yards and three TDs, including a 39-yarder.
Mesa Prep receiver Jackson Ventrella had a big game with eight catches for 142 yards and the Monsoons’ lone touchdown.
Glendale Prep has dealt with injuries off and on and had a few backups in the game against Mesa Prep. Running backs Jacob Thompson and Myles Mattox suffered leg injuries and left the game on Saturday, but it did not appear they would be serious enough to keep them out of the Bagdad game.
Self, his staff, players and fans are excited to see what next week brings.
Asked if he knows much about Bagdad, Self said, “They’re really, really good, big and fast. Not a good combination, but we will go out and do all we can.’’