Game Preview: Tempe High School vs Apache Junction
September 11, 2017 by Millard Thomas, Arizona State University
It's a battle of the winless as Tempe High School (0-4) takes on Apache Junction (0-3) Friday at 7p.m.
The Buffaloes look to rebound after losing 40-14 last Friday against Youngker Roughriders.
Not a lot of things went right for the Buffaloes as they struggled on both sides of the ball.
“We did not do a good job tackling,” coach Brian Walker said. “We have to get better overall."
They were some positives from the game. Starting quarterback Nathan Clayton, who has been injured since the second series of the first game, made his debut.
“He looked okay. We still got to work to do to get the rust off,” Walker said.
Friday’s touchdown in the second quarter ended a two-game scoring drought for Tempe.
During last year’s matchup against Apache Junction, the Buffaloes lost 21-7. To not repeat the same result, the ground game will be a major focus, with the passing attack finally stabilizing itself.
The Buffaloes enter Friday’s game averaging a pedestrian 44 yards per game, something that will need to change if they expect to win.
“We need to get better at running the football. Our passing game was on, on Friday. The line was doing a good job run blocking; our running backs just weren't hitting the holes,” Walker said.
No player may mean more to Tempe than senior Stevie Maddox.
Maddox leads the team with 107 receiving yards and is second with 181 all-purpose yards. It’s not the numbers that make Maddox such a good player, it’s what you can’t see.
Sophomore Elijah Cason believes Maddox's skill goes beyond the football field.
“Stevie has shown great leadership to this team,” Cason said.
“Across the board, our best player is Stevie Maddox. He has been helping us on both sides of the ball. He has been giving us great production.''