Gilbert at Skyline
This one is another perfect example of a toss-up. This hasn’t been the same Gilbert team of the past few years, which is good for Skyline because, at least in past years, that would have been trouble for the Coyotes. Containing Connor Helvig at quarterback will be key for Skyline, as his running ability to set up the pass can cause problems for Skyline, as Mesa scored 24 points on the Coyotes last week. The Coyotes have plenty of motivation because a win here would be a big step in moving toward earning one of the final playoff spots in the power rankings, and a loss would damage those hopes. Gilbert is playing for pride, while Skyline needs this game with Red Mountaon on the docket next week.
Prediction: Skyline 24, Gilbert 20
— Mark Heller
Highland at Mountain View
Let’s see, it’s two teams that play good defense, like to run the ball, throw just enough to keep defenses honest and are fundamentally sound. So what’s the difference betweeen these two feel-good stories? Nothing. What’s going to be the difference in this game? Hard to figure. The Toros will continue to rotate John Clark and Chase Funk at quarterback, have a very good kicker in Luis Bustillos and have made big plays on special teams the past couple weeks. Desert Mountain’s offense still got theirs against Highland’s defense but the Hawks still found a way to win, but the Hawks are also knicked up (again) at running back. The Hawks have continued to succeed with its depth, but can they be effective yet again against a team that appears to be at its peak right now? This should be a dandy.
Prediction: Mountain View 20, Highland 17
— Mark Heller
Boulder Creek at Pinnacle
Pinnacle hasn’t been getting many style points lately, as its latest win came over an average Mountain Ridge team in a back-and-forth affair. However, the Pioneers improved to 6-1 with the victory and sit fifth in the most recent power rankings with three games remaining. The schedule ramps up with games against Desert Mountain and Brophy to end the year, so Pinnacle needs a win this week against Boulder Creek to have a chance at a first-round home game. The running game continues to impress and Pinnacle is fourth in Division I in points scored, but the Pioneers’ defense needs to step up against a Boulder Creek team which averages 30 points per game. This one could be a shootout.
Prediction: Pinnacle 35, Boulder Creek 28
— Kyle Odegard