Scottsdale Chaparral’s perfect tour through 5A after moving up a classification continued on Thursday, with a little hiccup. The Firebirds won their third straight to start the season, a lackluster 17-6 win over host Gilbert Mesquite in nonregion play.
Scottsdale Chaparral’s perfect tour through 5A after moving up a classification continued on Thursday, with a little hiccup.
The Firebirds won their third straight to start the season, a lackluster 17-6 win over host Gilbert Mesquite in nonregion play.
“We didn’t execute as well as we wanted,” said Chaparral quarterback Conner Brewer, who threw for 207 yards and two touchdowns. “But at the end of the day it’s a win, and we go back to practice and work on all the things we didn’t do well today.”
After two big wins — scoring 42 points in each, including dominating Mesa Mountain View last week — Chaparral had trouble in Mesquite territory on Thursday. The Firebirds moved the ball but didn’t see the red zone until the second quarter and even then, they could only come away with a field goal.
It wasn’t until they got some field position later in the quarter that the Firebirds could cash in, with Brewer throwing the first of two 11-yard scoring passes to Danny Trittler with 3:02 left until halftime for a 10-0 lead.
“A short week, we had to make some changes, it is what it is,” said Chaparral coach Charlie Ragle.
“They are a good football team so I am going to take away from it that we are 3-0 and go back to work.”
Meanwhile, Mesquite stumbled with junior quarterback Tommy Trammell substituting for starter Steven Hansen, out with an ankle sprain. The Wildcats (2-2) never really got anything going with their running game or the option until the final minutes.
Despite that, Trammell felt positive.
“We just have a few mistakes we have to fix up this time and we should come out next week and win,” said Trammell, who was 9 of 17 for 121 yards after the break. “I was feeling good in the second half because we all came together.”
Chaparral’s best drive came at the beginning of the fourth quarter — a 75-yard, nearly five-minute march down the field to seemingly put the game out of reach.
But Mesquite then drove 66 yards to the Firebird 14 only to stall when Chris Fox knocked down a fourth-down pass with 4:17 left. Fox also had a pair of big sacks earlier to keep the Mesquite offense in check.
However, the Wildcats got a little luck when a Brewer pass got popped in the air and Cory Allen intercepted at the Chaparral 37 with 2:43 left. Eight plays later, Trammell found R.J. Rickert in the far corner of the end zone and the 6-foot-3 junior somehow outleaped the triple coverage for the lone Mesquite touchdown.
The Wildcats even recovered the ensuing onside kick but Trammell was sacked on the final two plays of the game.
LIVE IN-GAME UPDATES
Chaparral kicker Ben Damari hits a 29-yard field goal with 7:49 left in the half.
Chaparral quarterback Connor Brewer hits Danny Trittler on an 11-yard pass. Trittler sneaks in for the score with 3:02 left in the half. Chaparral 10 - 0
Firebirds decide to go back to the air - driving for clinching score. Brewer to Trittler for the 11-yard touchdown as Chaparral leads 17 - 0 over Mesquite with 7:02 left to play.
Chaparral 17 - Mesquite 6 with 42 seconds left: Trammel to RJ Rickert for 17 yards for Mesquite.
Chaparral (2-0) vs. Mesquite (2-1)
Time: 7 p.m.
Address: 500 S. McQueen Road, Gilbert
Key matchup: Mesquite’s defense vs. Chaparral offense. The Wildcats have been stingy so far, but they haven’t faced an offense with this much talent yet, either.
Key stat: Chaparral has rushed for more than 700 yards in two games. That’s 250 more than Mesquite, which has played three games.
The intrigue: The Firebirds get another shot at a 5A-I school, granted it’s not storied Mountain View, but the Wildcats have the best chance so far to force the Firebirds into throwing the ball. If that happens, we’ll see how sophomore quarterbacks Connor Brewer handles being a defense’s focus. Mesquite quarterback Steven Hansen is questionable with an ankle sprain.