Outlook: This, too, is a rematch game from last year’s playoffs, in which North Canyon knocked Marcos out in the first round.
The 5A-II defending champions look similar to last year. Jordan Scott is the focal point of their offense. The senior running back averages nearly eight yards per carry and 28 touchdowns.
The Padres are a different team than the one the Rattlers saw a year ago, largely because of their defense and Harrison Evans in the backfield. To have any chance, however, the Padres need to repeat last week’s defensive prowess against Ironwood, when they forced five turnovers. The loss of Aaron Dixon to a severe leg injury is a big blow to the Padres’ secondary, and quarterback David Viel has been hobbled with a knee injury. He’s fine to play, but he needs to be willing to throw the ball away rather than take more hits while scrambling.
Marcos de Niza at North Canyon
Address: 1700 E. Union Hills Drive, Phoenix
Records: Marcos de Niza 5-6; North Canyon 9-2
-- by Les, Willsey, Mark Heller, Steve Burks and Kyle Odegard