Outlook: Mesa should be accustomed to playoff-caliber teams now after a tough second half schedule opened the Jackrabbits’ eyes.
Mesa has been unsettled at quarterback the last two weeks, but the player that has produced the most is junior running back Keelan Johnson. The running game has been Mesa’s most consistent weapon with Johnson rushing for 984 yards and 18 touchdowns.
Salpointe had been on cruise control for five or six weeks since playing and edging Brophy in late September. They ran into tough, defensive-minded Sunnyside and couldn’t hold a nine-point lead in dropping their only game of the season last week.
The Lancers can run and throw. Quarterback Max Fritz has thrown for 1,920 yards and 20 touchdowns. His favorite target by far is Matt Ransom (55 catches for 765 yards and eight TDs). Blake Birmingham leads a running game by committee with 584 yards and eight TDs. The Lancers boast arguably the state’s best offensive lineman in tackle Kris O’Dowd.
Mesa at Salpointe
Address: 1545 E. Copper St., Tucson
Records: Mesa 7-3; Salpointe 9-1