Dylan Carter
ASU Student Journalist

Corona Del Sol's Offense Squares Off Against Chavez's Defense

September 11, 2017 by Dylan Carter, Arizona State University

TEMPE, Ariz. -- The Corona Del Sol Aztecs will face off against the Cesar Chavez Champions on Friday evening. With two losses each, both the Aztecs and Champions will seek to swing momentum in their favor.

The Aztecs, 1-2 on the season, are hoping to ride the hot hand of quarterback Ryan Helt. The junior has accumulated 917 passing yards in just three games.

“I like the way he handles himself in the pocket,” said Mountain View coach Micah Felt. “He seems to be pretty cool back there. He’s got a nice arm and hits his receivers in stride down the sidelines.“

Helt connected on 29-48 passes against Mountain View last Friday and will look to take advantage of the Champions’ secondary.

The running game of Cesar Chavez will be a focal point for the Aztecs’ defense. Led by senior Chris Russell, the Champions notched 183 rushing yards against Highland last week. Despite keeping the game close, Chavez fell to the Hawks 24-22.

“The last two games we’ve either won on the turnover margin or we won the total yardage battle but we haven’t won the game and we’re just trying to have a complete game,” said Cesar Chavez coach Manuel Alcantar.

The Champions have a history of playing within close margins, as last year’s matchup resulted in a 27-25 victory for Corona Del Sol. Despite racking up 504 all-purpose yards, Cesar Chavez was unable to close out the game.

Corona Del Sol will look to improve upon their rushing game against Cesar Chavez’s defense. Through their first three games, the Aztecs have carried the ball 45 times for just 207 yards. Head Coach Jon Becktold has shifted focus to his running back tandem of Brandon Gavel and Luther Saxton

““We’re always working on trying to get better in the running game,” Becktold said. “That’s what we worked on this week, so we’ll see what happens.”

Becktold accepted the position as head coach for Corona Del Sol in December of 2016. Now, in his first full season with the team, Becktold has found a great respect for the school’s spirit and support of the football program.

“I love it here,” Becktold said. “They’ve taken care of me and they’ve welcomed me well.”

After blowing out La Joya in their first home game of the year, home field advantage may have an impact on Corona Del Sol’s energy. While the Champions won four of their six road games last season, they have yet to win a road game this year.

“We’re hoping that we could pull out a win but nothing’s ever promised so we know we have to work hard for it,” Alcantar said.

The game will kickoff at 7:00 PM from Corona Del Sol High School in Tempe, AZ.