Friday's prep football capsules - East Valley Tribune: VarsityXtra

Friday's prep football capsules

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Posted: Thursday, November 13, 2008 10:55 am | Updated: 9:10 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Here's a look at Friday's playoff games.

5A-I

No. 13 Highland (6-4) at No. 4 Desert Vista (8-2)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 16440 S. 32nd St., Phoenix

Key matchup: Desert Vista has found better balance on offense the past month, and QB Cody Sokol’s ability to find Casey Bolena and Ryne Rezac in the passing game must be contained by Highland’s secondary. The Hawks can’t afford a high-scoring affair.

Key stat: The teams had three common opponents (Chandler, Mesquite and Gilbert). Desert Vista was 2-1; Highland was 1-2.

The intrigue: Highland must run the ball well to have a chance. Will the ground game that was present vs. Gilbert (200 yards) or vs. Mesquite (128) show up?

No. 15 North Canyon (8-2) at No. 2 Hamilton (9-1)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 3700 S. Arizona Ave., Chandler

Key matchup: The Rattlers are overmatched in this one on both sides of the ball. They need a turnover-filled day from Huskies to be able to compete at all.

Key stat: North Canyon’s opponents during the season combined for 5A-I playoff field low of 30 wins.

The intrigue: How much will Hamilton be able to rest the first teamers? More than likely at least a half.

No. 16 Tucson (5-5) at No. 1 Mountain View (10-0)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 2700 E. Brown Road, Mesa

Key matchup: Tucson operates out of the spread and has some speed. But the Toros can control the ball and likely move it at will on the ground or through the air.

Key stat: Tucson gave up 50 points to both 5A-I playoff teams it lost to (Corona del Sol and Salpointe) and scored 11 points combined.

The intrigue: Not much. The Toros haven’t beaten themselves with turnovers and that’s the only way this can become a contest.

No. 12 Basha (6-4) at No. 5 Brophy (8-3)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 1202 W. Thomas Road, Phoenix (Phoenix College)

TV: Cox (Ch. 7)

Key matchup: Brophy’s running game managed to keep Basha’s offense off the field for much of the second half in their early October matchup. The Bears need to stuff running back Max Leonesio and force Brophy to become a purely passing team.

Key stat: Basha has put up 35 points in each of the past two weeks.

The intrigue: These two teams locked themselves up in an offensive struggle on this same field (or, depending on your point of view, a defensive exhibition) during a 7-0 win by Brophy. While defense is the name of both teams’ games, it’s the offenses which have come to life the past few weeks.

No. 9 César Chavez (7-3) at No. 8 Corona del Sol (8-2)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 1001 E. Knox Road, Tempe

Key matchup: Chavez hasn’t faced a team that can run the ball as well as Corona has for most of the season. Corona tailbacks Michael Lange and Evan Altheide have had most of their success running between their tackles, so Chavez will have to be stout along its defensive line.

Key stat: Chavez running back T.J. Smith (1,160 yards, 12 TDs) averages 10 yards per carry.

The intrigue: Following an 8-0 start to the season, the Aztecs fancied themselves a state championship contender. They still are, but consecutive losses to Desert Vista and Basha have removed their air of invincibility and cast some doubts. Corona needs to find its lost swagger quickly against a Chavez team that has beaten Mesa Red Mountain and Glendale Mountain Ridge on the road.

No. 14 Mesa (6-4) at No. 3 Salpointe (9-1)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 1545 E. Copper St., Tucson

Key matchup: The Mesa defense vs. the high-powered Salpointe offense. The Lancers have a 2,200-yard passer, a 1,000-yard rusher and a 983-yard receiver.

Key stat: Mesa scored 40 points in five games against teams that qualified for 5A-I or 5A-II playoffs (eight points per game.)

The intrigue: Mesa is still hoping its offense clicks against a quality opponent. This would be the night to do it, but it’s a tall order against the large and veteran Lancers defense.

No. 11 Red Mountain (5-5) at No. 6 Mountain Ridge (8-2)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 22800 N. 67th Ave., Glendale

Key matchup: Red Mountain has seen a good share of teams that like to pass more than run. It hasn’t fared well in stopping teams with that bent. Red Mountain must find a way to put Mountain Ridge quarterback Kevin Yost under stress.

Key stat: Both teams have two common opponents — César Chavez and Desert Mountain. Both lost to Chavez and defeated Desert Mountain.

The intrigue: Who fares better? Red Mountain, which beat one 5A-I playoff team (North Canyon), or Mountain Ridge, which owns wins over three playoff teams from 5A-II — Sunnyside, Pinnacle and Skyline.

5A-II

No. 14 Deer Valley (5-5) at No. 3 Marcos de Niza (9-1)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 6000 S. Lakeshore Drive, Tempe

Key matchup: Deer Valley can really throw the ball, but Marcos showed last week it has the type of defense that can contain a potent passing game.

Key stat: Marcos de Niza quarterback Zach Schira threw a career-high four touchdowns last week against Mesa Desert Ridge.

The intrigue: Deer Valley played teams like Chandler Basha and Avondale Westview tough, so this isn’t an easy first-round matchup for the Padres.

No. 9 Pinnacle (5-5) at No. 8 Desert Ridge (7-3)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 10045 E. Madero Ave., Mesa

Key matchup: Desert Ridge racked up 336 rushing yards against Pinnacle in a regular season win, a rarity for the pass-heavy Jaguars. The Pioneers obviously need a different game plan in order to stop the run.

Key stat: Pinnacle has given up 21 points or more in its last four games after giving up that much just once in the first six games.

The intrigue: Desert Ridge dominated Pinnacle just three weeks ago. Do the Pioneers have an answer this time around?

No. 11 Skyline (7-3) at No. 6 La Joya (8-2)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 11650 W. Whyman Ave., Avondale

Key matchup: La Joya’s Jeremiah Cornist is a quarterback in name only. He ran for 368 yards and five touchdowns in a one-point win over Valley Vista earlier this season, and does nearly all his damage on the ground. The Coyotes must focus much of their attention on him.

Key stat: La Joya won five games by 10 points or less this season.

The intrigue: Skyline might be the underdog according to power points, but a win probably shouldn’t be classified as an upset. La Joya took advantage of an easy schedule to post a solid record, but got pounded by Peoria Centennial and Avondale Westview, the top two teams in 5A-II, in region play.

4A-I

No. 16 Lake Havasu (5-5) at No. 1 Saguaro (10-0)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 6250 N. 82nd St., Scottsdale

Key matchup: Every time an elite running back faces the stout Saguaro defense, he gets shut down. Lake Havasu’s only chance is if Brent Michaels can find a way to rack up the yardage against a dominant Sabercat front line. Don’t count on it.

Key stat: Saguaro has won its past two opening-round contests by an average of 35 points.

The intrigue: The Sabercats shouldn’t have too much trouble if they play to their capabilities, which they always seem to do.

Agua Fria (4-6) at Chaparral (9-1)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 6935 E. Gold Dust Ave., Scottsdale

Key Matchup: Chaparral RB Dwayne Garrett has reached an elite level the past three weeks, and Agua Fria will have its hands full trying to keep him in check.

Key stat: Chaparral’s Desert Sky Region brethren Apache Junction and Saguaro outscored the Owls a combined 118-12 in non-region games earlier this year.

The intrigue: Chaparral should have an easy time in the first round before the action really picks up the quarterfinals.

Catalina Foothills (6-4) at Paradise Valley (8-2)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 3950 E. Bell Road, Phoenix

Key matchup: Catalina Foothills has held opponents to eight points or less five times this season with a pair of shutouts. Paradise Valley, though, has one of the best running games in 4A-I, and slowing that down will play a big role in the outcome.

Key stat: Catalina Foothills does most of its work on the ground, as evidenced by its four touchdown passes this season.

The intrigue: Catalina Foothills is no pushover. It lost by two touchdowns or fewer to Tucson Sabino, Tucson Canyon del Oro and Tucson Santa Rita, all quality programs. This game could stay close, given Paradise Valley’s penchant for running the ball and shortening the game.

Apache Junction (8-3) at Cienega (8-2)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 12775 E. Mary Ann Cleveland Way, Vail

Key matchup: Cienega’s Seth Mejias-Brean is one of the best quarterbacks in the tournament, a dual threat with a cannon arm and quick feet. Apache Junction’s defense has been good, and players like defensive end Rusty Fernando must make Mejias-Brean uncomfortable in the pocket.

Key stat: Mejias-Brean leads Cienega with 441 yards rushing. Apache Junction has four players with more rushing yardage than that.

The intrigue: Cienega might have the better team on paper, but Apache Junction’s option offense is tough to defend, especially for a team unfamiliar with it. This should be an interesting contest.

McClintock (5-5) at Millennium (8-2)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 14802 W. Wigwam Blvd., Goodyear

Key matchup: McClintock quarterback Eric Urry is mobile and can use his legs for big plays, but Millennium’s Justin Teal already has more than 100 tackles this year and will be keeping an eye on him.

Key stat: The teams have played one common opponent: Phoenix Shadow Mountain. Millennium won by nine points, while the Chargers won by 14.

The intrigue: McClintock pulled the upset of the tournament last year when it beat No. 2 seed Glendale Cactus in the first round. It wouldn’t be nearly as much of a surprise if the Chargers won this game.

4A-II

No. 16 Sahuarita (6-4) at No. 1 Notre Dame (10-0)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: Scottsdale Community College, 9000 E. Chaparral Road

Key matchup: Both teams feature powerful run games. Notre Dame’s Andrew Stutz (1,028 yards, 15 touchdowns) and Patrick Foley (501 yds., 11 TDs) will likely have their way. The play of Sahuarita’s Allonte Singfield (1,622, 20) will determine whether or not this game is over by halftime.

Key stat: The Saints have won their home games by an average score of 44.8-4.2.

The intrigue: Notre Dame has limited seven of 10 opponents to fewer than 10 points this season. Can the Saints bring that total up to eight?

No. 15 Bradshaw Mountain (5-6) at No. 2 Coronado (9-1)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 2501 N. 74th St., Scottsdale

Key matchup: After missing the past two games due to injury, Coronado running back Kaylin Ashley (1,322 yards) returns to action tonight against a defense that allowed 279 rushing yards its last time out.

Key stat: Following an 0-5 start, Bradshaw Mountain won five of its final six regular season games. None of those victories, though, came against a team with a winning record.

The intrigue: A win would be Coronado’s first in the playoffs this decade. The school is 0-4 since 2000.

No. 13 Moon Valley (5-5) at No. 4 Queen Creek (7-3)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 22149 E. Ocotillo Road, Queen Creek

Key matchup: For Queen Creek to continue its rushing success (254.6 yards per game) it will have to run where Moon Valley linebacker Matt Ramirez (Black Canyon Region-high 111 tackles) isn’t.

Key stat: The Rockets are 0-2 against teams from the East Sky Region this season, losing to Tempe and Gilbert Higley. The Bulldogs defeated both those teams.

The intrigue: A victory would be Queen Creek’s sixth straight in the first-round.

No. 10 Arcadia (6-4) at No. 7 Higley (7-3)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 4068 E. Pecos Road, Gilbert

Key matchup: Arcadia quarterback Colby Kirkegaard, who sat out the first meeting due to injury, is a difference maker. His play against a defense that has 17 sacks and 11 interceptions will likely determine the Titans’ fate.

Key stat: The Knights, who had their 10-game home winning streak snapped last week, haven’t lost two straight at home since 2005.

The intrigue: Can Arcadia rediscover its winning formula after losing its last four?

No. 12 Tempe (5-5) at No. 5 Greenway (8-2)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 3930 W. Greenway Road, Phoenix

Key matchup: Greenway receiver/defensive back Ryan Harper has the ability to take over a game on either side of the ball (31 receptions, 589 yards, five touchdowns, eight interceptions). Tempe will have to bottle him up on offense and throw away from him on defense.

Key stat: After going 0-9 on the road under John Rodriguez in the coach’s first two years, the Buffaloes were 3-3 away from home this season. Greenway was just 3-2 at home, but its losses came against the top two seeds in the playoffs, Scottsdale Notre Dame and Scottsdale Coronado.

The intrigue: Tempe, which comes into tonight on a two-game winning streak, nearly knocked off No. 2 seed Scottsdale Coronado and No. 7 Gilbert Higley on the road this season. Is this the week the Buffaloes complete the feat against an upper echelon team?

2A

No. 8 Scottsdale Christian (8-2) at No. 1 Phoenix Christian (11-0)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 1751 W. Indian School Road, Phoenix

Key matchup: Scottsdale Christian averages 336 yards rushing per game, but hasn’t faced a defense like Phoenix Christian (Valley Christian is as close as they’ve come and that didn’t go well for the Eagles). The Eagles are going to have to find a way to move the chains on the ground to keep Phoenix Christian’s offense off the field and prevent quarterback Jacob Storrer from having to throw constantly to play catch up.

Key stat: Phoenix Christian has forced 2.8 turnovers per game.

The intrigue: A few Eagles players may remember the 49-3 waxing given out by Phoenix Christian (then coached by Jim Rattay) in 2006. Phoenix Christian was tested once in the past six weeks (Yuma Catholic) and the Eagles should be able to do the same. As No. 8 seeds go, they’re pretty good.

No. 6 Northwest Christian (10-1) at No. 3 Valley Christian (8-2)

Time: 7 p.m.

Address: 6900 W. Galveston St., Chandler

Key matchup: Valley Christian’s defense effectively bottled up NW Christian’s ”spread” offense (80 yards rushing allowed and 304 yards passing, mostly late) and forced four turnovers in a 46-23 win on the road. They’ll need to do it again against a Crusaders squad that will run and throw out of its shotgun, four-wide formations.

Key stat: The Trojans rushed for 457 yards on 46 carries in last month’s win at Northwest.

The intrigue: Expect a more efficient game from NW Christian’s offense than was displayed last month, even if the Crusaders are on the road. The Trojans think they can exploit NW Christian’s defense again, and both teams will need a big effort on defense to have a chance against heavyweights Yuma Catholic (a better “spread” team) or St. John’s next week.

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