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The Brian Setzer Orchestra, fronted by three-time Grammy Award-winner Brian Setzer, brings its Christmas Rocks 10th Anniversary Tour to the historic Celebrity Theatre at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 17th. Presented by Danny Zelisko Presents, special guest Firebird opens the show.
TUCSON — Chaparral did two things early in Friday's Division II state final that no other opponent had been able to do against Salpointe Catholic this season: score a first-quarter touchdown and take the lead.
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.
No. 3 Chaparral vs. No. 1 Salpointe Catholic (6 p.m. Friday at University of Arizona stadium): It’s funny sometimes how schedules are scrutinized. Salpointe Catholic hasn’t played nearly as difficult a slate as Chaparral did during the regular season or playoffs, but the Lancers are considered unanimous favorites. There’s good reason. The Lancers have it all: explosive playmakers on offense and defense, led by Cameron Denson, Andrew Cota, and Kaelin Deboskie, and one of the top defenses in the state (regardless of division). Chaparral, however, has all of the same ingredients, and the Firebirds know they’re underdogs which bodes well, if not unusual. The game is basically a home game for Salpointe Catholic, which works in their favor. Similar to Mountain Pointe, this could be Salpointe Catholic’s year, but Chaparral has the defense and offensive balance to make the Lancers sweat. Since nobody has played Salpointe closer than 31 points this season (45-14 win over Peoria Liberty in the quarterfinals), what happens if Chaparral gives them a game? The Firebirds will, and we’ll find out what Salpointe is made of.
Prediction: Salpointe Catholic 34, Chaparral 27
Of all things which can impact a football game's outcome, Mother Nature often isn't on the list in this part of Arizona, but it could be a significant factor this weekend.
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.
No. 3 Chaparral vs. No. 2 Mesquite (at Gilbert H.S.): The storybook season for Mesquite continues, thanks to a wild gut-check victory last week against a Campo Verde team which deserves plenty of credit for coming back and forcing overtime after a terrible first half. Still, Mesquite made a couple plays and found a way to win, the kind of toughness and resiliency which has defined the Wildcats this season under coach Jim Jones. Chaparral, however, is a different animal. The Firebirds’ skill position players could be the best Mesquite’s stingy defense has seen this season, and the Chaparral defense – in particular the front seven – are fast, physical and playing as well as they have all season (as Marcos de Niza can attest to). Once again, a potentially wet, sloppy field plays into Mesquite’s hands, but outside that, it’s going to be tough sledding for Mesquite’s offense to consistently move the ball on Chaparral (even though the offensive line is a Mesquite strength). The Wildcats want to plod and slow this game down to a crawl as much as possible, there’s no chance they win a shootout. Chaparral, however, is the most capable team Mesquite has played, of not allowing that to happen.
Prediction: Chaparral 24, Mesquite 17
Chaparral may have racked up 421 yards of total offense, but the real story came on the defensive side of the ball for the No. 3 Firebirds, recording eight sacks in a 35-21 victory over No. 6 Marcos de Niza in the quarterfinals of the Division II playoffs Friday night.
Chaparral's Robbie Kleifield (No. 22) gets warmed up during pregame before the Firebirds take on Marcos de Niza in the Div. II quarterfinals on Nov. 15, 2013.
These matchups are inevitable. Whether sooner or later, a second helping is almost always required for a football team to play on.
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.
No. 4-seed Gilbert needed four sets to defeat No. 13 Chaparral, but were able to hold off the visiting Firebirds, 25-13, 23-25, 25-18, 25-15 in the first round of the Division I volleyball state tournament on Tuesday at Gilbert High School.
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.
A variety of historic cars take to the track at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park (formerly Firebird Raceway) during this three-day event, featuring races, a classic car show, and a celebrity parade celebrating Bob Bondurant’s 80th birthday.
Following a whopping 83-yard punt, Notre Dame’s offense was pinned in its own end zone. A quick pass from Thomas Lehman to Christian Rodriguez earned a little room, and the Saints appeared to be driving.
The Hamilton football team was beat up physically heading into Friday night’s showdown against Mountain Pointe, as several key players sat out with injuries.
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 fans cheer on their home team against the visiting Chaparral Firebirds, Friday, Sept. 20, 2013 at Desert Mountain. [Jerry Burch/ Special to Tribune]
The Wolves jumped out on Chaparral, 28-0, last week, but lost star wide receiver Mark Andrews to injury and watched the Firebirds rally for a 35-28 win. It’s a deflating defeat, and Desert Mountain must bounce back quickly against the surprising Huskies. Horizon only lost by a field goal to Marcos de Niza and its offense has led the team into the top-10 for the first time. Desert Mountain has several key injuries, and Andrews is questionable to suit up. If he does, it’s a massive boost, as he is almost an unstoppable force on offense and even played some standout defense against the Firebirds. Horizon may have more balance, but provided Andrews is in action, I’ll take the team with the two best players on the field...
Prediction: Desert Mountain 38, Horizon 35
-- Kyle Odegard
The Firebirds are coming off an emotional 35-28 win over Desert Mountain, where they rallied from a 28-points deficit for a 35-28 victory. Chaparral was clicking on all cylinders for the final 2 1/2 quarters, and if it can duplicate that performance once again, shouldn’t have a problem against the Lions. However, Red Mountain may have the best defense Chaparral has seen this season and is coming off a nice win over Brophy. The Mountain Lions’ tough schedule continues, and they could really use another win to improve to 2-3. The problem is, if Chaparral can jump out to a lead, Red Mountain could have a tough time rallying to catch up...
Prediction: Chaparral 27, Red Mountain 14
-- Kyle Odegard
This showdown was televised on ESPNU and a national audience had the chance to watch the year’s most stirring comeback to date. Desert Mountain jumped all over Chaparral early, taking a 28-0 lead on a 32-yard pass from quarterback Kyle Allen to wide receiver Sam Sabato midway through the second quarter. The Firebirds would not fold, storming back with 35 straight points to steal the win. The Wolves were rolling in the game until injuries to wide receiver Mark Andrews and a host of others slowed them down. Chaparral took full advantage and Kurt Shughart sealed the deal by intercepting Desert Mountain star quarterback Kyle Allen with under two minutes remaining.
Honorable mention: Marcos de Niza 56, Horizon 53; Hamilton 24, Pinnacle 20; Poston Butte 32, Marana 29 (OT); Highland 27, Campo Verde 24; Higley 27, Cactus Shadows; Mesquite 17, Marana Mountain View 14.
5. Liberty 7-1...
4. Campo Verde 7-1...
3. Centennial 7-1...
2. Chaparral 7-1...
1. Salpointe Catholic 8-0...
No changes to the top-5, but the Firebirds dominated Brophy on Thursday night and seem to have separated themselves as the main threat to Salpointe in the division. Quarterback Sean Paul Brophy has missed a few games in a row with a back injury but it hasn't slowed down the Chaparral attack.
Everything was going perfectly for Desert Mountain on Friday as it raced out to a 28-0 lead on Chaparral. Then star wide receiver Mark Andrews and center Christian Boettcher went down with injuries and the Firebirds scored 35 straight points for the win. The Wolves drop a spot in the top-10 with the collapse and must regroup quickly for next week's game against Horizon.