Sunrise Mountain, Liberty set for highly-anticipated meeting in Peoria

Sunrise Mountain, Liberty set for highly-anticipated meeting in Peoria


Sunrise Mountain, Liberty set for highly-anticipated meeting in Peoria


It used to be Peoria-Glendale Cactus. There was no greater Westside football rivalry.

Move over for Peoria Sunrise Mountain and Peoria Liberty.

The neighborhood schools meet Friday night in the most anticipated in schools’ histories with both teams 4-0 and battling for power points in Division III.

Liberty is scoring 56 points a game and Sunrise Mountain 55. Liberty quarterback Tyler Rogers threw five touchdown passes in his last game. Sunrise Mountain receiver Elroy Masters Jr., caught five touchdown passes last week.

“Without a doubt, the largest crowd on the west side for a high school game is anticipated and it’s the fastest-growing rivalry,” said Liberty Athletic Director Rick Johnson, who was an administrator at Peoria High during the height of the Peoria-Cactus football rivalry. “With both schools undefeated and top ranked, it’s one of the most anticipated neighborhood games with bragging rights on the line. Just like the old Peoria and Cactus days for me.”

The Peoria Student Broadcast Network is working the game, which will be streamlined on Johnson said there will be six cameras and four student “sideline anchors” and a production team of more than 50 students. It even got McDonald’s as a sponsor.

Cox still slowed

Arizona State-commit Chans Cox is trying to get healthy for the stretch run and the playoffs. Lakeside Blue Ridge coach Paul Moro said the 6-foot-3, 235-pound senior linebacker was held out last week and will see limited action tonight.

Cox has four solo tackles on the season. He has been slowed by a pre-season ankle injury. Moro expects Cox to be at full speed next week when Blue Ridge plays St. Johns. It could be for Moro’s 300th career win, all at Blue Ridge.

Unleashed fury

Peoria Centennial senior defensive end Marcus Farria, who committed this summer to play football at Washington, came off his suspension this week. He missed the first four games, but worked hard in practice every day, satisfying coach Richard Taylor. But Farria suffered a sprained ankle in practice and now he is a game-time decision for its game against Surprise Willow Canyon (3-1), which is led by running back Antony Thompson.

“He said, ‘Coach, I’m going to be ready,’ but he was limping badly,” Taylor said. “He wants to play. I appreciate him over these weeks. He’s gone against the first-team offense every day knowing he wasn’t going to play. We’ve not had anyone block him on a consistent basis.”

Record breaker

Prescott senior running back Brady Mengarelli has a chance to go over the 1,000-yard rushing mark Friday night against Cave Creek Cactus Shadows. Twice this season he put himself in the Prescott record book when he ran for 316 yards the last day of August and last week broke that mark with 335 yards. Last week, he tied a school record with five rushing touchdowns. Not bad for a program that has been around for 102 years.

Mengarelli leads the state with 991 yards and 14 rushing touchdowns. His rushing yardage ranks 15th nationally, according to

First-year head coach Cody Collett, who came over from Mesa Red Mountain where he learned from Ron Wisniewski, said the next two games will determined whether Prescott (3-1, 11th in Division III power points) returns to the playoffs for the first time since 2008.

“Coach Wiz is one of the smartest football coaches I have ever met,” Collett said. “His knowledge of the game is incredible. I do most of my practice planning of the template he showed me. He is extremely organized and detail oriented. We had 11 coaches at Red Mountain. Every day at work was a blast, because we would bounce ideas around as a staff.”


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