4A Playoff Preview

<STRONG>Let's get ready to rumble.....</STRONG>

#1 Centennial vs. #16 McClintock

The Coyotes have been on cruise control since a week 2 contest against Chaparral, which they won 21-14.  So much attention has been given to the Centennial ground game led by Tim House and Terry Longbons and deservedly so, these two are as good as anyone in the state.  However, the thing that separates them compared to other team is their balance, quarterback Joe Caskey is probably the most underrated signal caller in the desert and WR Matt Keith always makes big plays.  The task at hand this Friday for the Coyotes will be to try and contain all region running back Ivan Oakry.   

Tale of the Tape:                                            Playoff Teams Played

Centennial (10-0)                                        Chap W 21-14          

Points Scored – 532                                         Prescott W 56-22

Points Given Up – 84                                        Cactus W 54-6

                                                                   Indy W 54-6


McClintock (6-4)                                           Cactus L 9-10

Points Scored – 218                                         Flagstaff L 7-27

Points Given Up – 193                                      Moon Valley L 21-48


#8 Chaparral vs. #9 Prescott

Chaparral is the only team this season to hang with Centennial.  However, they played that game with all-american DT Ekom Udofia who is sidelined for the rest of the season.  Prescott has a tough running game with a three headed monster of Chris Reed, Tyler Regnier and Clancy Cooper, however they also have a legit quarterback in Ricky Ordorfer in order to keep balance.  Chaparral's defense is led by Matt Boatman and Rodney Shaw who will try and keep the Prescott offense contained.  Offensively the Firebirds are led by running back Spencer Rothery, who had a great regular season eclipsing the 1200 yard mark, and wide out Vince Coleman.  The key defensively for Prescott will be to contain Rothery and eliminate the big plays that he can make. 

Tale of the Tape:                                            Playoff Teams Played

Chaparral (7-3)                                            Sunnyside L 7-17

Points Scored – 365                                         Centennial L 14-21

Points Given Up – 123                                      Saguaro L 22-24


Prescott (7-3)                                              Cactus L 36-39

Points Scored – 353                                         Centennial L 22-56

Points Given Up – 252


#5 Flagstaff vs. #12 Independence

Flagstaff had an undefeated regular season stopped last week by Coconino however, that should not take away from a great season for the Eagles.  Led by Fresno St. bound lineman Joe Bernardi and super sophomore James Brooks, the Eagles are huge.  They will try and pound it out on the ground with the big boys up front and RB Michole Cottrell.  The Patriots who are led defensively by Dustin Wicktor, who has been all over the field this season leading his team in tackles and sacks.  Offensively for Independence they will rely on all-region quarterback Cameron Douglas to lead the charge and try and penetrate a Flagstaff defense that has only given up 65 points on the season.  He should get some help from the trio of Ray Canty, Michael Reyna and Marshawn Ross.  These teams have played once already this season with Flagstaff winning that match up 23-0

Tale of the Tape:                                            Playoff Teams Played

Flagstaff (9-1)                                              Coconino L 15-20

Points Scored – 278                                         McClintock W 27-7

Points Given Up – 65                                        Independence W 23-0        


Independence (8-2)                                      Flagstaff L 0-23

Points Scored – 330                                         Centennial L 54-6

Points Given Up - 171                  


#4 Moon Valley vs. #13 Sabino

The Rockets are team that has pretty much been on cruise control all season.  They score a ton of points, averaging 53.4 points a game this season.  They are led offensively by quarterback Brian Wriston who has eclipsed the 2500 yard passing mark on the season.  His favorite target is big athletic Chris McGaha who is a threat to take it the house every time he touches it.  In order to keep teams honest they will give it to Matt Hain who has put up over 900 yards rushing this season.  For Sabino they are led by D1 recruit Cody Jones and junior running back Glyndon Bolasky.  Jones has faced double and triple teams this season but has still managed 5 sacks on the year.  Sabino must be able to get some pressure on Wriston with just their front four to keep extra men in the secondary to help out on McGaha and company.  If they can eliminate the Moon Valley big plays and grind it out with Bolasky and sprinkle in some movement threw the air with quarterback Justin Randall they have a shot.  Moon Valley will try and load up to stop Bolasky who has passed the 1300 yard mark on the season. 

Tale of the Tape:                                            Playoff Teams Played

Moon Valley (10-0)                                        McClintock W 48-21

Points Scored – 534

Points Given Up – 105


Sabino (8-2)                                                 Cienega W 16-14

Points Scored – 285                                         Amphitheater L 28-36

Points Given Up - 134


#3 Sunnyside vs. #14 Coconino

Is there a better way to follow up a state championship then with an undefeated regular season? Sunnyside proved any doubters wrong very early with a very tough non-region schedule. After those 1st three games, everything came relatively easy for the Blue Devils as they plowed through every team in their way led by all state candidates Jamie Cota and Xavier Smith. Both players were a little banged up during the season but should be at full strength to make another run at a state championship. Things have gone a little differently for Coconino. Led by QB Will Campbell and RB Michael Young, they have looked great against playoff teams Prescott and Flagstaff but have lost to two mediocre teams in Shadow Mountain and Mingus. They have actually struggled when they have been forced to travel, except for their win over Cactus Shadows. In fact, their two losses have come when they have had to pack up the bus. How will they play when they are forced to make the long trip down to Tucson?

Tale of the Tape:                                            Playoff Teams Played

Sunnyside (10-0)                                          Salpointe W 38-14

Points Scored – 477                                         Chaparral W 17-7

Points Given Up – 65                                       Millennium W 32-0

                                                                   Ironwood Rdg W 49-7


Coconino (8-2)                                             Prescott W 35-29

Points Scored – 311                                         Flagstaff W 20-15

Points Given Up – 168


#6 Saguaro vs. #11 Amphitheater

Saguaro has not tasted defeat since their week 1 loss to Cactus. They rattled 9 straight wins and unexpectedly won the East Sky Region. Twins, Taylor and Mike Kleinschmidt and Josh Mendenhall form a very big and talented offensive line that has cleared lanes all season for RB Tyler Porras to gain over 1,000 yards on the ground. Amphitheater was only 6 points away from having a 9 win season of their own. But they have struggled against playoff opponents, only winning 1 out of 4 games. They have a talented offensive lineman and running back of their own in Ray Lobato and Efe Okoughbo. But will this be enough to handle Saguaro's defensive line that had three 1st team all region performers?

Tale of the Tape:                                            Playoff Teams Played

Saguaro (9-1)                                               Cactus L 10-33

Points Scored – 292                                        Millennium W 12-9

Points Given Up – 118                                      Chaparral W 24-22


Amphi (7-3)                                                  CDO L 14-17

Points Scored – 304                                        Cactus L 32-35

Points Given Up – 159                                      Sabino W 36-28

                                                                   Cienega L 0-27


#7 Cienega vs. #10 Ironwood Ridge

Not many people expected Cienega to win 8 games after they took heavy losses to graduation. John Olague has been their main threat out of the backfield but what has been the key ingredient to their success has been their ability to install any player in the line-up and get production. Eight different players have scored rushing TDs while nine players have scored from the receiving end. Ironwood Ridge on the other hand has relied heavily on RB Dakota McQuay and QB Ryan Crawford for TDs. McQuay pitched in 16 scores while Crawford was involved in 14. Cienega won their head to head match-up pretty convincingly.

Tale of the Tape:                                            Playoff Teams Played

Cienega (8-2)                                               Sabino L 14-16

Points Scored - 293                                         Amphitheater W 27-0

Points Given Up – 84                                        Ironwood Rdg W 29-7


Ironwood Ridge (8-2)                                    Cienega L 7-29

Points Scored - 298                                         Sunnyside L 7-49

Points Given Up – 128


#2 Cactus vs. #15 Millennium

Despite the rankings, this might turn out to be the best game of the opening round. Both of these teams are battle tested and ready for more action. Cactus was hit very hard with losses to graduation but still managed to win their 1st nine games of the season. The Cobras simply found ways to win, coming back from way behind against Prescott and squeaking out two wins over playoff teams McClintock and Saguaro. The Cactus offense has been fueled by the legs of RB Richard Morris' 900 yards on the ground and 11 TDs and by the arm of Jr QB Jonathan Tobin. Tobin has been less than spectacular in his 1st year as a starter but can never be taken lightly in Coach Fetkenhier's high powered offense. Millennium has been led all season by super Jr Aaron Gentry. Gentry was the West Valley Offensive Player of the Year and is a threat rushing, receiving, on special teams and on defense.

Tale of the Tape:                                            Playoff Teams Played

Cactus (9-1)                                                 Saguaro W 33-10

Points Scored - 282                                         McClintock W 10-9

Points Given Up - 195                                      Amphitheater W 35-32

                                                                   Prescott W 39-36

                                                                   Centennial L 6-54


Millennium (8-3)                                           Sunnyside L 0-32

Points Scored - 298                                         Saguaro L 9-12

Points Given Up - 142                                     

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