Arizona high school football rewind: Week 6

Arizona high school football rewind: Week 6


Arizona high school football rewind: Week 6


SPOTLIGHT GAME: Chandler ended 15 years of futility against its rival on Arizona Avenue with a 26-16 Division I victory over Chandler Hamilton. Bryce Perkins found Dionte Sykes for a 14-yard touchdown with 13 seconds left for the go-ahead score and Jefferson Hunt returned an interception for a TD, giving Chandler its first win in 18 tries against the defending state champions, who lost for a second consecutive week. Perkins had given Chandler a 13-9 lead late with a scoring run, before Sammy Sasso tossed a TD pass to Elijah Williams with 1:03 left to give Hamilton a 16-13 lead. Perkins then drove Chandler from his 32 with no timeouts left.

WHAT WE LEARNED: Production from Tempe Marcos de Niza (4-2) diminishes greatly without senior dual-threat quarterback Josh Eckley (ankle injury), who played in only a couple of series in a 40-7 loss at Tucson Salpointe Catholic two weeks ago and didn’t play in Friday’s 28-7 loss to Campo Verde. But credit Campo Verde (5-1) and the job coach Max Ragsdale has done since the program began playing varsity in 2011. Campo Verde has never had a losing season and continues to make strides. This team is defined by a fast, physical defense, led by tackle Finton Connolly, who caused a fumble, recovered another and had two sacks in the Division II game.

ON THE RISE: Much of the focus in Division IV lands on the schools in the White Mountains – most notably Lakeside Blue Ridge and Show Low. But Coolidge (6-0), even after star athlete JT Gray left in the summer, is the only unbeaten team left in Division IV, after beating host Scottsdale Coronado 27-20. Coolidge, led by sophomore running back Charles McCarty, has outscored its opponents 231-59 with its biggest test coming up Friday against defending state champion Chandler Seton Catholic.

MAKING A MOVE: Phoenix Washington (4-2) has won four in a row and let the rest of Division III know that it could pose as a serious threat after scoring 70 points on Tempe, handing the Buffaloes their first loss with a 22-point win. Tempe star quarterback Emanuel Gant was knocked out of the game in the final quarter with an arm injury. Washington QB James Rasmussen threw for nearly 300 yards and four TDs and ran for a score. Washington won only three games each of the past two seasons.

UNDER THE RADAR: For the first time since he took over as Eagar Round Valley’s coach three years ago, former St. Johns star Marcus Bell beat his old coach, Mike Morgan, 35-26, in a Division V game. St. Johns had dominated the 109-year-old rivalry since Morgan took over as head coach 25 years ago. But Bell, the former University of Arizona and Seattle Seahawks linebacker, was able to break through with tough defense and a strong running game, led by Ethan Workman’s 170 yards and two TDs. Round Valley (5-1) has won one more game than all of last season.


-Scottsdale Saguaro (5-1) ended top-ranked Queen Creek’s 19-game winning streak with QB Luke Rubenzer throwing three touchdown passes, including a 68-yarder to Cameron Koutsalas, and running for another after an emotional tribute was paid to Mike ‘Tug’ Garcia, the 12-year equipment man at Saguaro, who had died early in the week.

-Receivers Cameron Denson (136 yards) and Kaelin Deboskie combined for 239 receiving yards with Deboskie scoring twice early in top-ranked (Division II) Tucson Salpointe’s 56-9 rout of Marana Mountain View.

-Top-ranked (Division IV) Blue Ridge scored 21 points in the second quarter and withstood No.3 Snowflake’s late comeback, hanging on for a 38-35 victory. Brennan Schimmel returned a kickoff 73 yards for a score, and Nolan Cook had two rushing TDs for the Lobos (5-1), who forced a late turnover at midfield to preserve the win.

-Blue Ridge’s win sets up the showdown this Friday with No.2 Show Low, which scored 41 points in the opening quarter of a 76-0 rout of Globe, as 12 different players ran the ball for Show Low. Rusty Allen had three carries for 78 yards and two TDs.

-Phoenix Horizon junior QB Dalton Sneed threw for more than 200 yards and five TDs in one quarter alone in a 52-21 rout of Glendale Mountain Ridge. Sneed finished with a school-record seven TD passes.

-In perhaps the biggest win since Scott Indahl has been coach, second-ranked Phoenix Arizona Lutheran Academy (6-0) beat top-ranked and defending Division V champion Phoenix Northwest Christian (5-1) 29-22, as sophomore QB Cameron Haag found RB Jesse Zwick on a 6-yard scoring pass to break a 22-22 tie.

-Taren Morrison had four scoring runs, including two for more than 80 yards, in second-ranked (Division I) Mesa Desert Ridge’s 41-17 win over Mesa.

-Mesa Red Mountain QB Caleb Murray-Thomas, who missed five games with an ankle injury, accounted for six touchdowns, including three TD passes to tight end Diego Hernandez, in a 49-30 Division I win over struggling Scottsdale Desert Mountain, which lost its third straight game.

-Goodyear Desert Edge senior WR Elijah Marks added six more catches for 170 yards and three TDs to his lofty season stats in a 54-0 rout of Buckeye Youngker. Marks has 52 catches for 1,175 yards and 16 TDs after six games.

-Rafael Adames passed for six TDs and ran for another for Sierra Vista Buena in a 63-60 shootout win over Vail Cienega.

-Kayden Bedolla had two touchdown catches and an interception, leading Sahuarita to a 42-7 Division IV win over Rio Rico.

-Tucson Palo Verde has made a resurgence with the return of coach Todd Mayfield, who has his team off to a 5-1 start after a 34-20 win over Tucson Santa Rita. Mayfield led Palo Verde to 11 wins in 2009, before taking a three-year hiatus. While he was gone, Palo Verde went 8-22.

-Chris Salsberry ran for 151 yards and two TDs and he caught a 26-yard scoring passing for Surprise Shadow Ridge (5-1) in a 27-21 Division III victory over Buckeye.

-Parker (4-2) tried to rally from a 21-0 deficit but came up a point short after scoring 20 fourth-quarter points in the Division IV rivalry. Jake Vandever ran for 121 yards and a TD in eight carries for Wickenburg (2-4).

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