Desert Vista’s 35-7 pounding of Marcos de Niza left Padres coach Mike Maluski impressed.
He said the Thunder squad Marcos faced last week was vastly different than the one that lost three of its first four games because it was finally playing as a team.
"To their credit, I think they’ve realized they have a lot of talent, and they’ve put aside some of their individualism. They’re starting to play like a team," Maluski said.
CORONA DEL SOL
Corona del Sol’s Allen Smith, one of the top college football prospects in the state, is already deep into the recruiting process.
The 6-foot-5, 320-pound tackle has already made official recruiting visits to Arizona State and Notre Dame and has two more lined up with Stanford and Washington. His final visit will be to UCLA or Tennessee.
Smith has named no frontrunner, but said he was very impressed with his visit to Notre Dame two weekends ago.
"My first reaction was it was a bit chilly," Smith said. "But once I got past that, it was amazing . . . I had a tough time leaving."
Gilbert coach Jesse Parker tried a different approach when the Tigers visited struggling Casa Grande last week. He started his secondteam players and played a lot of reserves before giving his first team some token work.
‘‘I didn’t think they (first team) would be motivated enough to play at the start, so we went with the second team,’’ Parker said.
The Tigers built a 27-0 halftime lead, getting most of their output from reserves. Senior running back Kenneth Wesley, normally the complement to fullback Bobby Ili, scored four touchdowns.
The top 16 teams in the 5A power-point rankings will not make state this year. The Metro Region champion will likely have a power ranking in the high 20s or low 30s, but will displace the 16th team in the rankings because all region champions make the playoffs.
So who will the Metro champ (likely Phoenix South Mountain) bump?
If the playoffs began tonight, the bumpee would be Phoenix Brophy. Phoenix North Canyon, Westwood and Dobson are all one power point behind Brophy.
Taylor Ayers didn’t perform badly last week for a kid who had no idea at the start of the season he’d be called upon to play quarterback.
Ayers made his debut as a starter behind center in the 42-6 loss to Dobson. He completed 6-of-12 passes for 98 yards and a touchdown and one interception.
Ayers played receiver before last week and is the Jackrabbits’ leader in receptions.
Skyline has gotten a variety of production this season from senior Chris Handler.
Handler has 22 catches for 282 yards and one TD — one reception behind team leader Corey Brown. And in the Coyotes’ victory over Yuma Cibola two weeks ago, Handler was shifted to quarterback due to injuries.
He filled in deftly running the option, rushing for 123 yards — tied for the most in a game this season by a Coyote (running back Evan Henry had 123
against Phoenix Central in Week 3).