HS Football: Queen Creek vs. Williams Field

Williams Field's mascot does a back flip prior to the high school football game between Queen Creek and Williams Field at Williams Field high school on Friday, October 28, 2016 in Gilbert, Arizona.

Twenty area teams had their school name placed on a line in the AIA state football playoff brackets Saturday morning.

Some programs were surprised to get in, some coaches were dumbfounded by the final placement and all of the players will be ready to make the most the postseason.

Here is some a mini preview of each conference:


Overview: Mountain Pointe and Chandler are the clear favorites at No. 1 and No. 2 respectively, but the Wolves might be the outright favorite with the way they are playing and how the Pride’s injuries on offense have impacted depth and play calling.

Unsure how Tucson jumped two spots to No. 11, Hamilton stayed put at No. 6 after a fourth defeat and No. 4 Skyline has a much tougher matchup with No. 13 Red Mountain.

Best game: No. 10 Desert Vista at No. 7 Mountain View.

Biggest potential blowout: No. 14 Valley Vista at No. 3 Perry

Upset alert: No. 12 Pinnacle at No. 5 Brophy

Rematch to watch: No. 13 Red Mountain at No. 4 Skyline.

They said it: “I think we are pretty evenly matched. We never thought we were going to play them because of our record and being No. 4. I don’t know how they got jumped by two or three teams and they won (on Friday night). It’s the mystery (the AIA) keeps locked up so it is what it is.” --- Skyline coach Angelo Paffumi


Overview: This is probably the most wide open conference of them all. Desert Edge getting upset in the season finale threw it all into a mess. The top six seeded teams all have a shot at winning it all.

Campo Verde, in the same region as No. 9 Mesquite, No. 6 Queen Creek and No. 2 William Field, did not qualify despite winning seven games and a good strength of schedule.   

Best game: No. 13 Verrado at No. 4 Desert Edge. Verrado just beat Desert Edge 6-3 in two overtimes on Thursday.

Biggest potential blowout: No. 16 Fairfax at No. 1 Cienega.

Upset alert: No. 9 Mesquite at No. 8 Marana Mountain View

Rematch to watch: No. 12 Liberty at No. 5 Centennial


Overview: It has been clear everyone has been playing for state runner-up to Saguaro all year, but the Sabercats still have to go out and prove it. No. 2 Higley and No. 3 Sunrise Mountain, both of whom lost to Saguaro already, feel they can hang with the favorite.

Best game: No. 10 Dysart at No. 7 Cactus

Biggest potential blowout: No. 16 Amphi at No. 1 Saguaro

Upset alert: No. 11 Cactus Shadows at No. 6 Catalina Foothills


Overview: This is another conference were several teams have a shot at winning it all. Show Low comes in at No. 1 but would it be a surprise if No. 5 Sabino or No. 8 Yuma Catholic knocked them off before the finals? No. And that's just one side of the bracket.

Best game: No. 11 River Valley at No. 6 Florence

Biggest potential blowout: No. 14 Wickenburg at No. 3 American Leadership

Upset alert: No. 12 Winslow at No. 4 Monument Valley

Rematch to watch: No. 9 Casteel at No. 8 Yuma Catholic

“Hopefully we don’t make the same mistakes. We’ve made corrections since then. They are coached well and I respect them, but they are beatable. We have to play really well to beat and I believe we have that kind of effort in us.” -- Casteel coach Spencer Stowers on facing Yuma Catholic, the only team to beat the Colts (33-7 on Sept. 30).


Overview: Round Valley seems to have this one in control, but it is a pretty talented bunch with addition of eight-man teams transitioning in 11-man. The field is deeper but Round Valley is still the favorites.

Best game: No. 14 Chandler Prep at No. 3 Thatcher

Biggest potential blowout: No. 12 Tombstone at No. 5 Benson

Upset alert: No. 9 Paradise Honors at No. 8 St. Johns

Rematch to watch: No. 10 Scottsdale Christian at No. 7 Tempe Prep

* Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or jskoda@evtrib.com. Follow him on Twitter @JasonP.Skoda

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