Hamilton v Queen Creek

Chandler Hamilton defender, Satchel Escalante wraps up Queen Creek''s Jace Koester in the first quarter Aug26. 2016 at Queen Creek High School. Will Powersphoto

Three games that intrigue me…..

Hamilton (5-1) at Brophy (6-0)

Still haven’t seen the Broncos this season, but have them at No. 2 in the 6A Conference.

This week will give a better indication of that is the right spot for the Broncos.

The defense has been stingy, giving up 48 points in six games including a season high against Mountain View last week.

The offense has been solid and 5-foot-9 Noah Pittenger is a little guy that does big things.

Hamilton is need of its breakout game.

One where the Huskies resemble the usual group that takes the field in black and silver.

It feels like it is going to be this week.

Wide receiver Chance Brewington and running back Jawhar Jordan can be a devastating combo while Manny Armenta does a little bit everything to give the offense a third option.

The defense has a little more give than in years past, but is growing into a solidified unit. Getting run over by Desert Ridge three weeks ago was either proof the Huskies had some growing to do. Coming up big in the final minutes against Skyline last week was a sign the unit has some cohesiveness and toughness.

Here is betting it shows up against this week.

Hamilton 24, Brophy 20

Queen Creek (5-1) at Mesquite (5-1)

Chad DeGrenier is a coach of the year candidate for what has happened at Mesquite in his first year.

He has gone away from his coaching tendencies and is running the ball like it is the 1980s and Joe Eubanks is the battering ram.

The San Tan Region is one of the toughest in the 5A Conference and the schedule turns begins now.

It will peel back the layers on who is real and who isn’t at this point.

Queen Creek has been a real contender for several years and by the looks of it the Bulldogs are at that level again this year.

The only defeat is to Hamilton, a game most 5A programs wouldn’t even consider taking.

It’s an indication of how Queen Creek goes about its business. The program doesn’t back down from a challenge.

It pays off with a confidence in big games, and behind running back Jake Koester, wide receiver Armon McGuire and quarterback Devin Larsen, the Bulldogs pull this one out.

Queen Creek 31, Mesquite 17

Florence (6-0) at American Leadership (5-1)

Florence has been hammering teams weekly, scoring at least 40 points in all but one week with the only close game being a 28-11 win over Youngker.

The Gophers have won more games in 3A this year than it did all of last year (5-5) in Division IV.

American Leadership has played two close games, losing 16-13 to Sabino, the top ranked team in 3A, and slipped past Northwest Christian 24-21 after nearly giving up a two-touchdown lead in the second half.

The Patriots defense has 33 tackles for loss and 22 sacks along with eight turnovers. If the unit, led by Chandler Way and Jakob Redford, plays at that level again this week ALA will knock Florence from the unbeaten ranks.

American Leadership 17, Florence 14

Thursday

Marcos de Niza at Saguaro

Friday

Basha at Chandler

Gilbert at Desert Ridge

Red Mountain at Dobson

Westwood at Mesa

Desert Vista at Mountain Pointe

Skyline at Mountain View

Apollo at McClintock

Williams Field at Poston Butte

Campo Verde at Vista Grande

Combs at Dysart

Tempe at Higley

Apache Junction at Washington

Valley Christian at ASU Prep

San Tan Foothills at Benjamin Franklin

Casteel at Yuma Catholic

Tempe Prep at Gilbert Christian

Chandler Prep at Veritas Prep

Last week’s record: 24-2. Overall record: 126-27 (82.3 percrent)

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