Div. I: Hamilton vs. Mountain Pointe championship preview - East Valley Tribune: VarsityXtra

Div. I: Hamilton vs. Mountain Pointe championship preview

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Posted: Wednesday, November 21, 2012 12:50 pm | Updated: 3:38 pm, Fri Nov 23, 2012.

No. 1 Mountain Pointe vs. No. 3 Hamilton

What: Division I state championship

When: 12:07 p.m. Saturday

Where: University of Phoenix Stadium

TV: Fox Sports Arizona

Internet: AIA365.com

Records: Mountain Pointe 12-1; Hamilton 11-2

Mountain Pointe leaders: QB Antonio Hinojosa (133-217, 2,132 yards, 29 TD, 9 INT); RB Garette Craig (185 att., 1,552 yards, 18 TD; 30 rec., 458 yards, 6 TD); RB Thomas Warren (120 att., 901 yards, 13 TD); WR/DB Jalen Brown (65 rec., 1,221 yards, 18 TD; 4 INT); LB Wesley Payne (148 tackles, 2 INT); LB Landry Payne (82 tackles, 5 sacks).

Hamilton leaders: QB A.J. Thigpen; RB Frankie Felix; WR Izzy Simpson; DL Qualen Cunningham; DL Caleb Peart; LB Luke Parrish; LB Santana Sterling; DB Levi Sterling; DB Cole Luke.

Keys to the game

Passing the test: Both teams want to and love to run, and both teams like to set up the passing game off fakes and play-action. Mountain Pointe’s Antonio Hinojosa has been solid in decision-making and reading coverages during these playoffs, while Hamilton’s A.J. Thigpen has struggled at times when kept in the pocket and forced to read progressions. The passing game which better succeeds will be the team that up points. That is, unless ...

Turnover tirade: ... turnover margin will be huge in this game, not only in giving the other team extra possessions but for the potential of having short fields. Both defenses are so good that 10-. 12- or 14-play scoring drives are unlikely. Turnovers are always the top priority in games such as these, especially because these teams are so evenly matched on paper (and in the first meeting when Hamilton had the game won until a late fumble).

Special teams: One or two big plays — offense, defense or special teams — matter in these games, and both have the potential in that “other” facet of the game. Cole Luke is an elite kick returner, while Hamilton did an excellent job of winning the field position battle against Desert Ridge in the semifinals with Thigpen’s punts and its coverage. Mountain Pointe better be on top of its coverage and blocking schemes.

Mountain Pointe


QB — Antonio Hinojosa

RB — Garette Craig

FB — Thomas Warren

WR — Jalen Brown

OL — Kenny Lacy

OL — Natrell Curtis

OL — Collin Lambdin

OL — Lucas Hunter

OL — Kyle Spight

WR — Dejhon Edwards

WR — Emmanuel Butler


DL — Kenny Lacy

DL — Natrell Curtis

DL — Charlie Trevino

DL — Trey Lauer

LB — Wesley Payne

LB — Landry Payne

LB — Aaron Blank

DB — Ciyre Simmons

DB — Thomas Warren

DB — Trey Campbell

DB — Travonn White


K — Ryan Sheehan

KR— Garette Craig

P — Ryan Sheehan

PR — Travonn White



QB — A.J. Thigpen

RB — Kevin Walters

HB — Frankie Felix

WR — Izzy Simpson

OL — Casey Tucker

OL — Bryce Holland

OL — Gage Jones

OL — Davon Fanai

OL — Patrick Joseph

WR — Tyler Eggers

TE — Chad Nelson


DL — Qualen Cunningham

DL — Ethan Hendricks

DL — Brady Denton

DL — Caleb Peart

LB — Luke Parrish

LB — Santana Sterling

LB — Trevor Lane

CB — Cole Luke

FS — Juwan Jones

SS — Jalen Jenkins

CB — Levi Sterling


K — Daniel Wichman

KR — Frankie Felix/Cole Luke

P — A.J. Thigpen

PR — Cole Luke

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[Stats Courtesy of MaxPreps]