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All-Tribune First Team Offense
Here is the 2013 Division II, Section 7 all-section football team as voted on by the section's coaches:
The play call was “Earth and Wind.” The result carried No. 3-seeded Chaparral back to the Division II state championship game for the fourth time in five years.
Chaparral's Elijah Castro is pulled down by Mesquite's Tommy Murphy during their semifinal game at Gilbert High School, Monday, Nov. 25, 2013. [Tim Hacker/Tribune]
Chaparral's Elijah Castro carries the ball while taking on Mesquite in a semifinal game at Gilbert High School, Monday, Nov. 25, 2013. [Tim Hacker/Tribune]
Chaparral's Elijah Castro carries the ball as Mesquite's Juan Giraldo tries to pull him down in a semifinal game at Gilbert High School, Monday, Nov. 25, 2013. [Tim Hacker/Tribune]
A year ago, Mesquite’s football team had turned in their uniforms and was about to go through the process of finding a new coach.
Led by Tyler Whiley and Sean Paul Brophy, No. 2 Chaparral scored 29 first quarter points and led by as many as 59 en route to an easy 64-21 win over visiting 14th seeded Tolleson (8-3) in the first round of the Division I playoffs.
Taren Morrison, Desert Ridge: 315 yards rushing, 2 TD; 99-yard KO return for TD
Austin Carver, Gilbert: 3 FG (20, 44, 52)
Luke Rubenzer, Saguaro: 357 yards passing, 3 TD, 2 2-pt. conversions; 151 yards rushing, 3 TD
Ricky Wilson, San Tan Foothills: 161 yards rushing, 2 TD; 14 tackles, 4 TFL, sack, INT
Bryce Perkins, Chandler: 180 yards passing, 3 TD; 91 yards rushing, TD
Chandler defense (pictured): 5 sacks, 2 INT
Morris Kroma, Hamilton: 77-yard punt return for TD
Tyler Townsley, Pinnacle: 78-yard KO return for TD
Grant Thompson, Highland: 9 tackles, 4 TFT, sack, 3 FF, fumble recovery
Juan Giraldo, Mesquite: 80-yard KO return for TD
Elijah Castro, Chaparral: 45 yards rushing, TD; 94 yards receiving, 2 TD
Francisco Avitia, Skyline (pictured): 329 yards, 6 TD
Luke Quinn, Horizon: 188 yards, 3 TD
Kam’Ron Johnson, Tempe: 187 yards, TD
Paul Perry, Mesquite: 175 yards, 4 TD
Weston Barlow, Queen Creek: 165 yards, TD
Zech Gatling, Scottsdale Christian: 163 yards, TD
Truman Tucker, Skyline: 159 yards
Turrell Pietz-Noble, Mesa: 152 yards, 2 TD
Ricky Marshall, Higley: 131 yards, TD
Rajhan Meriwether, Basha: 123 yards
Elijah Castro, Chaparral: 119 yards, 3 TD
Ethan Johnson, Westwood: 118 yards, TD
Deion Warren, Desert Mountain: 100 yards
Chaparral is coming.
In only his second career start at quarterback, senior Chandler Fox completed 7 of 13 passes for 122 yards and three touchdowns to lead Chaparral to its fourth straight win and a 49-0 shutout victory over Arcadia on Friday night.
Sean Paul Brophy, Elijah Castro and company were not going to allow No. 4 Chaparral to have a letdown after an emotional comeback win a week ago against Desert Mountain.
Falling behind 28-0 less than 15 minutes into a game is never a good idea.
Desert Mountain's Sam Sabato stops Chaparral's Elijah Castro, Friday, Sept. 20, 2013 at Desert Mountain. [Jerry Burch/ Special to Tribune]
Chaparral's Elijah Castro is stopped from behind in a closely contested game against Desert Mountain, Friday, Sept. 20, 2013 at Desert Mountain. [Jerry Burch/ Special to Tribune]
Weston Barlow, Queen Creek: 320 yards, 4 TD...
Turrell Pietz-Noble, Mesa: 230 yards, 3 TD...
Ryan Velez, Brophy: 187 yards, TD...
Brandyn Leonard, Mountain Pointe (pictured): 180 yards, 3 TD...
Dylon Gillette, Gilbert: 150 yards...
Kam’ron Johnson, Tempe: 148 yards, 2 TD...
Ricky Marshall, Higley: 144 yards, 2 TD...
Ethan Johnson, Westwood: 138 yards, 3 TD...
Francisco Ativia, Skyline: 120 yards, 2 TD...
Cade Van Raaphorst, Desert Vista: 120 yards, TD...
Paul Perry, Mesquite: 116 yards, TD...
Elijah Castro, Chaparral: 112 yards...
Antonio Marchica, Cactus Shadows: 111 yards, TD.
It was late July, and perched in the football office, Chaparral coach Dave Huffine recalled seeing Desert Mountain's two best players, quarterback Kyle Allen and wide receiver Mark Andrews, on the Firebirds field throwing passes to one another.
One of the best ways to bounce back from a tough loss is correcting some of the things that led to being on the short end of the score.
Josh Eckley and Mauriece Lee led Marcos de Niza to a pair of wins over powerhouse Chaparral a year ago. Eckley was back Friday night, and he brought a new backfield mate to frustrate the Firebirds.
It’s a lot of fun to watch the East Valley’s best go toe-to-toe throughout the season, and there will be no shortage of those heavyweight showdowns in upcoming weeks.
Chaparral’s Elijah Castro runs the ball during the second half against Saguaro, Friday, Aug. 30, 2013 in Scottsdale. [Ana Ramirez/ Tribune]
The Padres beat the Firebirds early in the 2012 season and then ended their attempt at a fourth consecutive state championship in the Division II quarterfinals. Despite last year’s results, Chaparral will be the favorite heading into this contest based on each team’s season opener. The Firebooks easily dispatched rival Saguaro, 52-27, while Marcos de Niza held on to defeat Horizon, 56-53. Padres quarterback Josh Eckley was a force in the opener but could meet his match against a tough Firebirds defense. Marcos de Niza may have problems defensively slowing down Chaparral’s variety of weapons, including running back Elijah Castro, who had four touchdown runs last week. The Firebirds look like the clear-cut favorite in Division II and could further cement that status with a comfortable win over Marcos de Niza.
Prediction: Chaparral 45, Marcos de Niza 28
-- Kyle Odegard