Chaparral, Notre Dame facing 'must win' Friday

Chaparral, Notre Dame facing 'must win' Friday


Chaparral, Notre Dame facing 'must win' Friday


Scottsdale schools Chaparral and Notre Dame may feel extra pressure Friday night when they meet in a Division II football game that will have playoff implications.

Both are 2-3. Both are on the outside looking into the top 16 playoff seeds. Chaparral is at No. 18 in power ratings and Notre Dame at 20.

“The most important thing is to get to .500,” Chaparral coach Dave Huffine said. “That’s the goal for both teams.

“I told our team, ‘We’re in a must win every week.’ We don’t want to look down the road. Notre Dame is in the same situation.”

Both teams lost in the final seconds to Desert Mountain, which goes into Thursday’s home game against Phoenix North Canyon at a school-best start 5-0.

Notre Dame was in this situation last year when it closed the season with four consecutive wins and upset Tucson Salpointe in the first round of the playoffs.

This is new for Chaparral, which won the past three D.II championships and won 14 games in a row after losing its season opener in 2011.

Injuries have forced Huffine to mix up personnel and use five sophomores.

There was also instability at quarterback to start the season. But Huffine has been pleased with senior Brad Schencker, who is completing almost 70 percent of his passes since he took over during the second game against Tempe Marcos de Niza. Huffine still gives sophomore Sean Paul Brophy qualities reps. Last week against Tempe McClintock, Schencker was 18 of 20 for 234 yards and three touchdowns.

And speedy Josh Aganon has run the wildcat well at quarterback. He also is a threat to throw the ball, Huffine said, even though he has yet to attempt a pass.

Notre Dame also is relying on a first-year starting quarterback with Nick Duckworth, who through three touchdowns passes in the 40-37 loss to Desert Mountain.


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