On the shorter field, with three fewer players, it’s basically mano-a-mano.
And nobody in Arizona eight-man football has been able to stop junior wide receiver Matt Munsil.
In eight games, the 5-foot-11, 175-pounder has caught 58 passes for 1,171 yards and 24 touchdowns. He has run 11 times for 94 yards and three scores. He also plays cornerback, returns kicks and has 29 total touchdowns and 18 two-point conversions and averages 24 points a game.
His scoring average is more than what the opposition (155 points total) is averaging against Scottsdale Prep (8-0).
And this isn’t a one-man team.
Scottsdale Prep has amassed 539 points with Ethan Wright catching 17 touchdown passes, and Greyson Boyll eight more. Sophomore Nick Smith has thrown 36 touchdowns passes and his backup, Chad Weisbrod, 14 more.
“Really, in eight-man football, if they put a safety over the top and double team me, there’s going to be a gaping hole,” Munsil said. “It just opens up the other side. I feel very confident in one-on-one situations.”
Munsil is coached by his brother, Will, who was a quarterback at Scottsdale Christian, before becoming a college pitcher in baseball.
In two years as a full Arizona Interscholastic Association member, Scottsdale Prep’s football team is 16-2 with Matt Munsil catching 123 passes for 2,293 yards and 44 touchdowns.
What makes it so tough for cornerbacks to defend him?
“I think it’s a combination of route running and his ability to come up with tough catches in traffic,” Will Munsil said of his brother. “He’ll go up over people and make catches often.”
It also helped that Will had his team played against top 11-man teams during summer 7-on-7 passing leagues. Scottsdale Prep held its own.
“That gave us a lot of confidence,” Matt said. “That summer preparation helped a lot.”
Scottsdale Prep received the No. 1 seed in the Division VI football playoffs, which open this week for eight other schools.
Its first game is Oct. 26 against either Phoenix Valley Lutheran or Duncan. The championship game is Nov. 10 at Phoenix Shadow Mountain at 6 p.m.
It’s championship or bust for Scottsdale Prep.
“Oh, yeah, that’s been our goal all season,” Matt Munsil said. “We always felt if we win state, this is our year to take it.”
After the season, Matt Munsil will put together a highlight tape to send to four-year colleges. He will hit some college camps before his senior season. And still steer the basketball team at point guard and play baseball, another sport in which he has a good shot of playing college.
It’s difficult for eight-man football players to land college scholarships, but Matt Munsil might become an exception. He is that good.
“I think in most levels of 11-man football, he’d be contributing, be a standout player,” Will Munsil said. “He’d be successful.”
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