Football walk through Week 4 (Sept. 7-8)

September 5, 2017 by Les Willsey, AZPreps365

Football matchups for Week 4 (Sept. 7-8) involving East Valley/Northeast Valley schools. Ten highlighted:


2A Tempe Prep (1-1) vs. 2A Glendale Prep (1-2) at Cortez HS



6A Mountain Pointe (1-1) at 6A Chandler (2-1): Rematch of last year's 6A final has seen both schools drop a game this season to an out-of-state foe. They will meet for the eighth time this decade with Mountain Pointe holding a 4-3 edge. They split two games in 2016. Chandler has looked the part of a title hopeful as expected. Chandler has played half its games with backup quarterback Billy Bolger (360 yards, 5 TDs and one pick), who has done a fine job filling in for injured Jacob Conover. This is Mtn. Pointe's time to put its name squarely in the conversation in the new season. Mountain Pointe didn't have the output on the ground last week (half as much as its opener at 175 yards) and that's its forte.

6A Red Mountain (0-2) at 6A Basha (1-2): Two high-profile coaching changes made at these schools in offseason and one win in five outings between them. Way too early to heap criticism or turn naysayer. Red Mountain's losses are to Chandler and Hamilton in lopsided fashion and Basha has dropped games to Pinnacle and Desert Vista, the former on track to go deep in the playoffs if the first three game are an indication. Basha's schedule won't let up much and be brutal the final half of the season (Chandler, Hamilton, Perry, Brophy). Red Mountain was rattled by some suspensions and injury to versatilte Lance Lawson and should be primed for a better showing. 

6A Skyline (2-1) at 6A Desert Vista (1-1): Skyline came out with some fire last week after getting blanked by Highland (3-0 Highland) the week before. The Coyotes shredded Valley Vista and put up 41 points. Skyline's offense relies on its ground game, but also has been able to hit some big plays and key plays the last couple years via the pass when needed. That needs watching as this year progresses. New quarterback Steven Castle piled up 239 yards of offense, 146 rushing last week. Desert Vista put up 19 points early and finished with 10 in the fourth to subdue Basha last week for its first victory. Quarterback Derek Kline passed for 253 yards and three TDs.The teams played a close one last year with Skyline prevailing 27-21.

6A Desert Ridge (2-0) at 6A Hamilton (2-1): Stiffest test thus far for Desert Ridge after rolling past Tucson High big (49-0) last week. Desert Ridge displayed balance on offense with 400 yards almost split down the middle run to pass. Two quarterbacks -- Matt Purnell and Cooper Schmidt -- alternated leading possessions and its gone smoothly. Hamilton rebounded from its defeat at the hands of Queen Creek with a dominating effort against Red Mountain. The Huskies marquee players -- Tyler Shough (300-plus yards passing, 3 TDs) and running back Jawhar Jordan (100-plus yards rushing, 3 TDs) --  were in step. Desert Ridge dealt Hamilton a humbling defeat last year, the first time in eight meetings the Jags lknocked off Hamilton.

6A Brophy Prep (1-2) at 6A Highland (3-0): Highland's three-game win streak to open the season is its best start since 2005. A two-point win over Cesar Chavez was the latest triumph. Two of the wins have come against playoff teams from last year (Skyline and Chavez). Allowing 35 points in the three games has been key in the victories. Highland has turned the ball over eight times in three games, but is plus-1 in the turnover battle. The Hawks have been led by the two-way play of Kohner Cullimore and Jacob Wood. Brophy notched its first win last week after bowing to Pinnacle and Desert Ridge in August so the Broncos are making strides. Quarterback Noah Gonzales has put togther back-to-back 200-yard passing games with four TDs and one interception. Brophy blanked Highland last year, 31-0.  

6A Mesa Mtn. View (2-0) at 6A Pinnacle (2-1): Mountain View faces its top challenge of the young season in this one. The Toros have recorded a pair of solid outings, but contend with arguably the state's best quarterback in Spencer Rattler. Rattler is averaging 250 yards passing per game. Pinnacle's ground attack is more formidable averaging better than 200 yards per game and 75 more per outing than last year. Mountain View has a nice QB-receiver duo in Brandon Nunez and Jacobby Dinwiddie, respectively. Dinwiddie has half the Toros' receiving yardage and 17 catches after two games.

5A Queen Creek (3-0) at 6A Boulder Creek (0-2)

6A Westview (0-2) at 6A Horizon (2-1)

6A Dobson (2-0) at 6A Gilbert (1-1)

6A Westwood (1-2) at 6A Maryvale (0-2)

6A Cesar Chavez (0-2) at 6A Corona del Sol (1-2)

6A Sandra Day O'Connor (1-1) at 6A Perry (3-0)

6A Mesa (1-2) at 6A Tolleson (1-1)


5A Centennial (2-0) at 5A Maricopa (3-0):  Maricopa rattled off a third straight win and avenging a loss to Desert View last year. The Rams face unscored-upon Centennial, which was idle last week and has defeated Desert Edge and Apollo. Running backs Kemo Akins and Camron Sanders have combined for 399 yards rushing and eight TDs thus far. Quarterback Alec Smih has been on target two-thirds of the time for 556 yards and four TDs. Centennial senior running back Zidane Thomas has a pair of 100-yard rushing games. He is averaging 13 yards per carry. Quarterback Ruben Beltran III is an efficient 19-of-23 passing for 249 yards and four TDs.

5A Williams Field (3-0) at 5A Verrado (2-1): Williams Field gave up its first points of the year (6) in last week's triumph over Ironwood. That occurred late with a running clock after the Black Hawks built a 42-0 lead at intermission. It's back on the road to the West Valley -- way west to Buckeye. Williams Field topped Deer Valley in Week 2. Steady junior quarterback Zach Shepherd is picking up where he left off last year. He's passed for 543 yards, 7 TDs and no picks thus far and is completing 63 percent of his passes. Junior Noa Pola-Gates is thriving rushing and receiving. He has 335 yards combined and has scored 5 TDs.Verrado dropped a 27-20 decision to Millennium last week after opening with wins over Paradise Valley and Arcadia -- both 0-3 thus far. Verrado running back Ja'Tai Jenkins has run wild (467 yards and nine TDs in three games). Jenkins was lmiited to 59 total yards by Williams Field last year in a game dominated early and lateby the Black Hawks iun a 45-15 victory. Verrado junior quarterback Titan Widjaja likes to throw to Marcus Rivera and Elijah Johnson (better than 400 yards receiving between the pair). 

5A Sunnyslope (1-1) at 5A Arcadia (0-3) 

5A Poston Butte (1-1) 5A Glendale (2-0)

5A Campo Verde (3-0) at 5A McClintock (1-1)

5A Ironwood (0-2) at 5A Mesquite (1-2)

4A St. Mary's (0-3) at 5A Notre Dame Prep (3-0)

4A Shadow Mountain (1-1) at 5A Paradise Valley (0-3)

5A Chaparral (1-1) at Valencia, Calif. (1-0)


4A Higley (2-0) at 4A Saguaro (1-2): It's a marquee matchup up of four-time defending champ Saguaro and title-hungry Higley. Higley as usual is having no trouble putting points on the board with 124 points in two games. Saguaro has dropped two successive games to solid out-of-state teams. Perhaps the Sabercats are vulnerable. HIgley senior running back Draycen Hall has seen a light workload the first two weeks with only 15 carries for 141 yards. He's found the end zone four times. Backfield mate James Mageo has 240 yards rushing and receiving and 5 TDs. Junior quarterback Spencer Brasch in his first two varsity starts has thrown fo 356 yards and seven TDs. Saguaro has managed 388 yards of offense per game, led by quarterback Max Massingale (738 yards throught the air, 132 rushing). The defense has given up 33 points a game, most of it the past two weeks.

4A Peoria (2-0) at 4A Marcos de Niza (1-1): A matchup of quarterfinalists last year at state last year with Peoria performing a little better early in 2017. The Panthers have a pair of shutouts while Marcos has played two tight games. Peoria running backs Sonatane Zabala and Juwaun Price have enjoyed an easy time of it combining for 463 yards rushing and 6 TDs. The Padres were without head coach Paul Moro last week, hospitalized with pneumonia and eventually a diagnosis of lung cancer. Moro out of the hospital and is guiding practice and plans on coaching even as treatment begins. Marcos de Niza is new at every skill position this season. Marcos Moreno has assumed quarterback duties and the only returning player with appreciable offensive states is wide out Joren Davis.That likely accounts in great part to the Padres scoring only 21 points in its two games.

4A Estrella Foothills (2-1) at 4A Apache Junction (0-2)

4A Combs (0-2) at 4A Bradshaw Mountain (0-2)

4A Coronado (0-2) at 4A Buckeye (1-1)

4A Youngker (1-1) at 4A Tempe (0-3)

4A Seton Catholic (2-1) at 3A Yuma Catholic (2-0)


3A ASU Prep Academy (0-1) at 3A Ben Franklin (2-1)

3A North Pointe Prep (1-1) at 2A Chandler Prep (1-1)

3A Valley Christian (0-2) at 3A Florence (2-0)

3A American Leadership Academy (2-1) at 3A Fountain Hills (1-1)


2A Arizona College Prep (0-2) at 2A Camp Verde (0-2)

2A Antelope (1-0) at 2A Gilbert Christian (2-0)

2A Scottsdale Christian (3-0) at 2A Veritas (1-1)

2A San Carlos (1-1) at 2A Scottsdale Prep (0-2)