St. David (#3 seed) vs. Joy Christian (#2)
When was the last time we have seen an 8-man team improve this much from 1 season to the next? Joy finished 3-5 last year and did not beat a team with a winning record. Their best player the past 2 seasons (Josh James) transfered to Northwest Christian.
This season they are 9-0 and have steamrolled opponents by an average score of 62 to 11! Their closest game was a 22 point win at Mayer in week 2 (when Mayer was at full strength). And in that game, Joy was up 28-0 before Mayer even realized a football game was being played.
New coach Brian Cole has done a great job with this group. Cole built a very good program at North Canyon HS and even won a state title there in 2006. So there was never any doubt that the man could coach. The new transfers from Glendale have made a HUGE difference for this team as well. Take your pick as to the main reason for the huge turnaround for this team.
St. David meanwhile has had a re-birth the past few seasons as coach Brett Davis has brought back pride to the Tiger program. His son Tyler Davis has had quite a career running the St. David offense.
I said at the beginning of the season, that I thought last year was St. David's year and they let an opportunity at a state title slip through their fingers in the 2nd half against eventual champ Joe City. I will stick to that.
St. David is a VERY good team. But they arent the team they were last season. I think Joy comes into this game prepared to shut Davis down and does just enough to move on to the finals.
Joy Christian 42
St. David 36
Joseph City (#4) vs. Pima (#1)
Joseph City the #4 seed? Im still laughing about that one...
After struggling to be average for a few seasons in 2A, Pima picked up where they left off in the 8-man game and had a great season under 1st year coach Jace Hancock. The Roughriders are a deep, fast, and physical football team.
Joseph City? It has a been long time since an 8-man team has seemed this dominant. The Wildcats have appeared to be on another level this season. Remington Baldwin might be the most exciting player I have ever seen at this level. And I have seen some good ones.
When these two teams matchup, they will be going against their toughest competition by far this season. But for Pima to win, they will need for some crazy things to happen and fall their way.
I in no way can see a John Bryant coached team coming out flat in the state semis against his former school. Bryant knows how good Pima is and will have his boys ready to play.
Joseph City 52
So, JCHS vs. JCHS in the state title game.