If you like running backs check out Thursday night's game that may decide the 5A Desert Valley championship. The 6-0 # 4 ranked Brophy Broncos travel to take on the #2 ranked 6-0 Paradise Valley Trojans. The Broncos have gotten this far on the legs of senior running back Markel DeVorce. DeVorce a 5'10 190 pound senior is averaging nearly 170 yards rushing a game and has scored 19 touchdowns. He is helped by one of the best young quarterbacks in the state, sophomore Conor Hearn. Hearn is completing close to 55% of his passes and has yet to throw a pick. PV counters with one of the most diverse offenses in 5A. Matt Clapp leads the way with over 700 yards rushing, but is supported by backfield mate Aazaad Muhammad who has nearly 600 yards rushing and quarterback Ryan Barela who has connected on 65% of his passes for over 900 yards. It could come down to which defense best controls these two high powered offenses.
Friday night gives us our first look at Basha as they travel to take on Sandra Day O' Connor. Coach McBurney has brought the Bears into varsity play with a 4-1 record. The team is lead by QB Shane McBurney and RB Danny Keegan. The Bears take on a hot O' Connor team that has won three in a row behind multi talented QB Ian Michels. The Eagles Michels is a threat with his legs and arm.
A 4A game we will cover with huge region and post season implications is Independence @ Greenway. Independence 5-2 is currently on top of the Desert Sky region. If Coach Mike Brown hopes to get his Demons into playoffs this is a must win game. Look for a hard hitting match up.
Also Friday, surprise 5A #6 Canyon del Oro travels up from Tucson to take on Horizon. Canyon brings a strong run game lead by Brock Knight and Sean Romero and a defense that gives up less than 16 points a game. Horizon 3-3 has three losses to some of the toughest teams in 5A. They will challenge the Canyon D with Jr. gunslinger, QB Dax Crum who has thrown for over 1200 yards this year.
Our Tucson area match up has us again traveling to undefeated 4A #5 Sabino as they host 4-2 Amphitheater. Amphi could easily be 6-0 as their two losses came at the hands of Canyon del Oro and Cactus by a combined five points. So again a great slate of games. After the games check out the message board where we will have a post game chat room set up to discuss scores and highlights. As always we look forward to bringing you Arizona's best football action.
SMALL BALL PREVIEW
Provided By Az Hoops Man
Pima vs. Duncan
The top ranked Roughriders make the forty-five minute trip to Duncan on Friday to battle the Wildkats. Duncan desperately needs a win to cling to their slim playoff hopes.
The ‘Kats must stop the ‘Riders three headed monster of quarterback Nephi Bryant, running back Jesse Gojkovich and Luis Quezada. Gojkovich is coming off a three-touchdown performance against the Fort Thomas Apaches. This will be the first game the Quezada is completely healthy after last years knee injury.
The ‘Riders must not come into the game too overconfident after being undefeated this far in the season. Even though Duncan has three losses, they are by a combined seven points. Pima must continue to execute and play dominating defense.
Prediction: Pima 42 Duncan 8.
Thatcher vs. Hayden
This may be the small ball game of the week.
Thatcher's defense has only allowed six points all season and that was to 3A Safford. Quarterback Travis Householder has really matured this season and is a true leader. Sophomore running back Heath Allred has averaged three touchdowns per game. Remember, all of Thatcher's conference games have ended prior to the fourth quarter. Thatcher still gets no love in the rankings but I think they are just fine with that.
Hayden has a good ball club this season. They have a couple of running backs that just pound people. They should be as ready as ever, coming off their first loss of the season to San Manuel. The Lobos also have the home field advantage.
Prediction: Thatcher 35 Hayden 16
Safford vs. Willcox
After an abysmal start to the season the Bulldogs have won three straight heading into Friday's showdown with the Cowboys. The ‘Dogs still control their playoff destiny, which makes this game even more important. Senior wide out, Mike McHugh, returned two punts for TD's last week against Santa Cruz in a 38-13 victory. In the words of one onlooker, "Why would anybody punt the ball to that guy?" The Cowboys main focus will be shutting down McHugh.
Willcox narrowly lost the season opener against Queen Creek, who is currently 7-0 and ranked in the top 5. According to Safford head coach Mike Dorrell, "They (Willcox) are scrappy." Safford must be aware of the run and the pass against the Cowboys. Sophomore quarterback Edward Blair can either hit 6'1" Dustin Brown on the deep pattern or just hand off to either Lee Harris or Brett Allred.
Both teams enter the game with identical 3-4 marks. Safford's wins coming against Holbrook, Globe and Santa Cruz and the Cowboys' wins came against Benson, Colonial Juarez and Rio Rico.
Prediction: Safford 35 Willcox 28