Bagdad will wear white as the lower seed in this matchup. I dont think most people realize just how good Bagdad is. When you are down there at field level, the size and athleticism of their O and D line is really impressive. They would really have to implode to not take it to Gilbert Christian. GC QB is very good and they have speed on the outside. They will try to get Bagdad in space and beat them with their speed. Bagdad has the Coaching and athletes to figure this thing out. They wont completely stop it, but they will do just enough to force a couple of turnovers and a couple of punts.
Bagdad still hasnt punted this season. And they wont on Saturday. They will score at will against the undersized Gilbert Christian.
Bagdad 70 Gilbert Christian 36
Mogollon vs. Pima:
Mogollon has been on a roll since their week 2 head scratching loss to Valley Lutheran. Despain was not healthy that game and they were missing another key player on the line. That game just proved how valuable Despain is to the Mogollon team on both sides of the ball.
Everyone expected a close game in round 1 down in St. David. That proved to be anything but. The Mustangs proved that they belong in the semis with a convincing victory over the Tigers.
Pima has been rolling all season as usual. Sometimes the scores arent all that impressive, but I would tend to believe that they call the dogs off early and often and let their younger kids play when the game is in hand.
People will look to both teams' games vs St. David to compare these two teams. Dont. It will fool you. These two teams are fairly evenly matched. I think Pima might have a slight advantage on the line of scrimmage.
This will be a classic 8 man football war. Winner is the team that has less turnovers. Ill go with the Roughriders in a close one.
I don't think GC will score that much on Bagdad. I see several sacks and interceptions in their future. GC's most impressive feature is their overall team speed, but it's not like Bagdad is slow. I think any team with good DE's, average LB's and CB's who can cover reasonably well can pretty much control GC's high octane offense. Their pass routes are simple and they rely on their speed. I've seen them play and I was not nearly as impressed as I expected to be, or as Metro is. Maybe I caught them on a bad day... scoring 92 points. I've seen Bagdad and I was much more impressed. I don't think Bagdad could win D-5 this year, but I think they can win D-6. I also agree that Bagdad won't need to punt in this game. They may have a penalty, dropped passes, or broken play that yields a fourth down, but I suspect they'll just go for it.
That being said, I HOPE GC will surprise everyone and make this a game.
I think Mogollon vs Pima should be a very good game. I totally agree that comparing scores is foolish. St. David was actually sharper, and a better team when they played Pima than later in the season when they played Mogollon. St. David, I feel, was hampered by all the open weeks and cancellations. They only played ONE game the entire month of October. Going into the game vs Mogollon, they had played one game in five weeks, compared to playing three games in a row going into Pima. They started the game vs Mogollon similar to how they started the game against Salome after having not played in three weeks--sluggish and not sharp. Salome jumped out to a quick lead, but St. David managed to tie it late in the second half and came back to win. Mogollon also took advantage of St. David's sluggish start, but put up a whole lot more points and forced St. David into trying to play quick catch up. No matter how you prepare, it's nearly impossible to simulate game speed in practice while using a scout team. So, this is another reason that comparing their scores against St. David would be a bad idea.
Mustangs vs Roughriders.
Let's look at Offense: Mogollon has the better running back but Pima has more depth at that position. Pima has the better QB, but little Jimmy is no slouch. He can hit his guys, especially if he can roll out. Mogollon is much better in the receiver position. Gaylor does not drop very many balls. I think Pima may be stronger in the O-line, especially since the Mustangs lost their big sophomore to injury this week. So, Offensively? Even? Can Despain tip the scale in Mustangs favor?
Defense: I would say D-line goes to Pima, especially since DE Turley moved to LB after the loss of Stephens last week. LB's favor Mogollon, but again, Pima is deeper at this position, which will likely be a factor. DB's hands down to Mogollon and I think they can handle Pima's passing attack pretty well. So... Defensively to Mogollon?
What about coaching? Slade has more experience. Advantage Mustangs.
Depth? Pima definitely. Advantage Roughriders.
Add it all up and what do you have? A great game! Since Metro picked Pima, I'll go with Mogollon by the same margin. I think Despain is on fire and will be the factor tipping the score in Mustangs favor.
I for one am looking forward to watching these four teams play this weekend. It's nice when the four best teams in D6 make it to the semi-finals.
I have to agree with Metro and say Bagdad's size & speed will prevail. Plus, this team will come prepared to win, thanks to their head coach and coaching staff.
Bagdad 48 Gilbert Christian 13
As for Pima/Mogollon, this will be a great game to watch. However, Mogollon is on a roll, and you can't overlook what they did against Joe City and St David. The Mustangs seem to be peaking at the right time...
Go Sultans! Between the age of 5 and 10, I watched every Bagdad home football game. Of course, that was years 1958 to 1963. My friends would play tackle football behind the aluminum bleachers (paper cup stuffed with dirt was the football) during the game, but I watched every play of every game.
In those days our biggest rival was Wickenburg. Also saw games against Gilbert HS and even Paradise Valley HS (their first year of being open). Playing Gilbert was equal to boys playing against men.
I fondly look back at those early years of living in Bagdad. A few years ago I took my kids down memory lane. Amazing how much has stayed the same, particularly with the school buildings and gym.
Has Bagdad ever won a state championship in football, at any level? Back in those "old days" Bagdad did beat Benson for the Class B Baseball championship.
Another interesting thing to note is that the 2000 team also had a Low on the team. Clay's older brother Casey I believe was the starting tailback. Had a prosthetic foot but was a beast nonetheless. I worked with him for a month before even realizing he had the foot. Cool dude
Living in Bagdad I have had the opportunity to see some good teams come close to a championship. I have also seen the effects the nature of mining can have on people moving in and out. This team lost an outstanding lineman a few years back in Isiah Chavez who now starts for Morenci. Also last years team lost a good athlete in Colton Lockmiller who also started as a running for Morenci that played in the state championship last year. I had the pleasure of coaching these boys in youth football and little league, where we lost a championship to Chino Valley in overtime, having to watch them beat us with an extra point. Because in youth you weren't allowed to try to block the kick. I've also watched them lose some great baseball games. I agonized with them last year as they imploded in a loss to Pima. I love this team, and because of this I am probably over protective of them and at the same time their biggest critic. It is amazing to me that this core group of kids have been able to stay together and preservere in a challenging environment.
As a father and a fan I feel blessed to be able to witness all of this. They are special and that is what makes them good. They will be good next year as well. And the underclass is tough and have a lot of numbers which will be good as well. Both youth football teams have won their division, received a first round bye, and get a home playoff game this Saturday. Bagdad football as a whole is in pretty good shape for the upcoming years.
FballFan99 wrote: I don't think GC will score that much on Bagdad.
I was figuring in GC scoring 2 or 3 TDs in the 4th quarter when the game is out of reach and Bagdad calls off the dogs.
On paper (based on results and scores), GC is the best team Bagdad has faced all season. So maybe Coach Mills will want his 1st teamers to go for a full four quarters in preparation for the following week.
Anyway, its all just speculation and fun. I think both teams have some good bulletin board material to work with here if they actually need more motivation.
Chapo, I remember that kid Casey Low. It must have been in 98 or 99 when my team visited the Bagdad Sultans. I must have been 8 or 9. Low was their best player by far. Was a stud. No one know had a fake leg, until late in the 4th quarter he was kicking off and the bottom half of his leg came unattached. I was young, but I remember him bowing to the crowd before reattaching it. He then proceeded to run like an animal on us. I will never forget that day. His example showed me that no obstacle can stop a determined young man that wants to succeed. Just a story I will always remember.
Pima by at least 14 and Bagdad by three scores. Despain "might" be the best running back in d6. With that in mind Pima has the best run defense that I have seen this year! And their d backs are also good. This being said I think it will be an exciting game to watch. Make that an exciting day of football. I have not seen Bagdad or Gilbert Christain play, but from what I have heard. I predict that this will be Bagdads closest game of the year.