By: Richard Obert, azcentral sports | January 7, 2017
Former Phoenix Horizon head football coach Kris Heavner should have fun turning Scottsdale Chaparral’s offense loose next season after freshman quarterback Jack Miller this week transferred in from Scottsdale Christian.
With Miller throwing and running, and Heavner newly appointed by Chaparral coach Thomas Lewis as his offensive coordinator, the Firebirds could be making a quick comeback after what was considered a rare down season.
Heavner, who left Horizon after the 2015 season, had fun with Dalton Sneed, now at UNLV, as his quarterback at Horizon in the 2013 and ’14 seasons when the Huskies had one of the more dynamic offenses in the state.
The 2013 Horizon team scored 667 points and went 10-3 with Dalton, then a junior, throwing for 3,740 yards and 44 touchdowns and running for 498 yards and four more TDs. In 2014, Dalton threw for 3,565 yards and 28 TDs to go with 984 rushing yards and 14 scores.
Miller, 6-foot-3, 197 pounds, is coming off a freshman season in which he set 2A Conference state records for passing yards (3,653 yards) and scoring passes (53).
This is a tremendous coup for Chaparral to get Heavner, especially with Miller coming in.
Heavner, who played quarterback at the University of Arizona, where he also served as a graduate assistant, is known for his imaginative, high-powered offenses.
“I’m very excited to get back on the sideline and help develop young men at Chaparral on and off the field,” Heavner said in a text message. “I have a great amount of respect for Coach Lewis and his vision he has set out for Chaparral football.
“Chaparral has a great history of success and great players and we will strive to continue that.”
Chaparral, in Lewis’ first season as head coach, went 5-6 in 2016, the school’s first losing season in 20 years. The Firebirds scored 340 points in 11 games. They scored only 337 points in 12 games in Conrad Hamilton’s last season as head coach in 2015. But that team went 9-3, behind a strong defense that held teams to a total of 218 points.
The Firebirds return sophomore running back Marqui Johnson, who ran for 970 yards and 11 TDs.
Freshman wide receiver Tommy Christakos, who is 6-3, had five catches for 98 yards on varsity. He is expected to blossom into a major college prospect.
“We will play fast and give the Chaparral community something to be proud of,” Heavner said. “Scoring points and creating a dynamic offense is what I love to do. And we will have the boys ready to succeed and light up the scoreboard come Friday nights.”
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