One East Valley coach's take on the Division II state championship game:
Chaparral offense vs. Cienega defense
"You give the ball to (Davonte Neal) as often as possible. If you can say it, I think he's underrated as a threat. Every time he touches it there's a good opportunity he'll score, even busted plays, missed tackles. As little as he is, he runs it hard and is not scared of contact and you can't bring him down with one arm or often one person. His speed and change of direction, I've never seen anything like it. A lot of kids went to major colleges and NFL, and he's as good as them, and nobody will catch him from behind. They've used him more of late than last year, partly because they had more playmakers last year. Last year's team was overall a bit better, but they're using him more and he's showing more. They take whatever you give them. If you stack the box or spread it out they'll run it and Connor can throw to those WR, and those WR can run by you, but are also good possession receivers. You see very few dropped balls. Then you throw Neal out there. Their offensive line has improved a lot and looks like it's playing at a different level, whether it's kids back who were sick or hurt or whatever the case. They're not one-dimensional, and can kick. If you have great athletes to cover them, the QB (Connor Brewer) doesn't do well under pressure, and you can make him look ordinary by getting hits on him and making him scramble, but if you don't get there you'll get burned. You have to blitz but then that means playing man-to-man. He can lose his poise but it's a great supporting cast around him and that makes them so difficult to defense across the field."
Cienega offense vs. Chaparral defense
"I think you have to be successful with your screen game, quick passes and get the ball before they bring the pressure. You have to run right at them, not side-to-side, don't try to run outside. Chaparral stunts a lot up front and move their lineman, so you can catch them vacating a gap before someone else fills the hole, sometimes if you go right at them there's an unprotected gap. They mix up their coverages a lot, and they're really good at Cover Zero and man-to-man, that's why screens are effective with a linebacker trying to run with a RB, and the front seven can get mixed up in the shuffle trying to cover a RB. You have to have a QB who can recognize those coverages, because if not they'll eat you alive with their big guys up front and their linebackers. You have to be a well-coached passing team like a Brophy, or someone who knows when to make checks and calls out or in to other plays."