October 29, 2004
McClintock coach Steve Campbell doesn’t pull any punches when talking about what it would take for his Chargers tonight to knock off unbeaten Phoenix Moon Valley, which is ranked No. 3 in 4A.
"A miracle," said Campbell.
That doesn’t mean it will be impossible for McClintock to pull off the upset at Moon Valley. After all, the Chargers have followed an 0-3 start with five straight victories.
"When we were 0-3, we said we could turn it around," said Campbell. "We have."
The turnaround has not been dominating. For instance, last week the Chargers beat a weaker Glendale team only 21-7. "A win is a win," said Campbell, "We’ll take them any way we can get them." McClintock will need a better effort to beat much bigger Moon Valley. "What we have to do is go out and play smart and take advantage of opportunities," said Campbell, "just step up and make plays." Heading into the season the Chargers had a vastly inexperienced lineup, so Campbell wasn’t surprised by his team’s slow start.
"They hadn’t been battle tested," Campbell said. "We now are playing well."
McClintock enters tonight’s game tied for 10th in the 4A state power rankings. If the Chargers win tonight and again next Friday at Phoenix Washington, they would win the Skyline Region title and receive an automatic berth to the state playoffs.
But even a loss tonight may not mean playoff elimination. With Moon Valley 8-0, the Chargers will pick up plenty of power points even in a loss. If they lose tonight but beat Washington, they probably would slip into the playoffs.
"I think 6-4 will get us in," said Campbell, whose team is 5-3. "A win over Moon Valley would take care of it. It’s the region championship."
Moon Valley, though, hasn’t really been tested since its season-opening victory over Phoenix Greenway. It’s a daunting task.
"We have to find a way to get it done," Campbell said.