At the beginning of the year, it was easy to pinpoint Chandler-Hamilton the game of the week for the final Friday of the regular season.
Queen Creek (8-1) at Williams Field (9-0) takes over this week. These two teams are ranked No. 3 and No. 4 in the 5A Conference and with Higley no longer on the schedule for either team, this has become the circled game on the ledger.
All eyes should be on this game.
With that said Hamilton (6-3) and Chandler (7-2) will always rank high, but most assumed in August there would be a region title and a top seed would be on the line.
Not the case. Hamilton has two region losses, and are fighting for a top eight seed. Chandler can win the region outright and needs a win to stay at No. 2 in the seeding.
I’ve seen both teams at this worst this year.
Chandler was absolutely hammered by Mountain Pointe in September, and then last week I watched in disbelief as Perry took apart Hamilton 55-21 on the Huskies’ home turf, but I walked from each game with completely different feelings.
The 52-7 loss by Chandler to Mountain Pointe was an aberration. If the squads lined up nine more times there’d never be score like that again.
Hamilton’s defeat was more astounding.
The Huskies were outmanned, were outsized and had very few answers for anything Perry had going offensively.
Hamilton was thoroughly dominated by a program – no offense to Perry, which is very much on the rise – that never had a chance (or lead in previous other meetings) in beating the Huskies in any other year.
“There’s a lot of things everywhere,” Hamilton coach Steve Belles said after the loss. “It’s the whole team. We didn’t play well. They were the better team.
“I didn’t think we’d be in this situation that we are right now.”
No one did.
Here is look at the rankings for five 11-man conferences:
East Valley Top 10 regardless of division:
1) Mountain Pointe 2) Chandler 3) Williams Field 4) Perry 5) Skyline 6) Queen Creek 7) Desert Vista 8) Desert Ridge 9) Hamilton 10) Higley
1) Mountain Pointe 2) Chandler 3) Perry 4) Skyline 5) Desert Vista 6) Desert Ridge 7) Brophy 8) Westview 9) Hamilton 10) Mountain View
1) Desert Edge 2) Williams Field 3) Centennial 4) Queen Creek 5) Cienega 6) Desert View 7) Ironwood Ridge 8) Kellis 9) Mesquite 10) Campo Verde
1) Saguaro 2) Sunrise Mountain 3) Higley 4) Salpointe Catholic 5) Dysart 6) Marcos de Niza 7) Catalina Foothills 8) Buckeye 9) Canyon del Oro 10) Amphi
1) Sabino 2) Show Low 3) American Leadership 4) Snowflake 5) Yuma Catholic 6) Florence 7) Casteel 8) Northwest Christian 9) Monument Valley 10) River Valley
1) Santa Cruz 2) Round Valley 3) Phoenix Christian 4) Thatcher 5) Pima 6) Paradise Honors 7) Benson 8) Tempe Prep 9) Scottsdale Christian 10) Chandler Prep
– Contact Jason Skoda at 480-898-7915 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @JasonPSkoda.
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