Game Preview: Corona v. Basha

Basha Visits Corona Del Sol in Thursday Night's Central Region Showdown

On Thursday, November 1st, the Basha Bears (6-3) travel to Tempe to take on the Corona del Sol Aztecs (7-2) in a big time Central Region showdown that will end the regular season for both teams. It's a televised game for Cox Channel 7, so that should be extra motivation for both teams coming in.

The Corona del Sol Aztecs come in boasting six game winning streak. The season got off to a bad start after dropping their first two games in close fashion to Red Mountain and Dobson. Since then, they have rattled off six straight and this includes big wins over Chandler and region rival Desert Vista last week. They have been putting points up in bunches, averaging over 30 pointe per game and their defense has vastly improved from the first couple games, pitching three shutouts.

The Basha Bears come in with a lot of unsolved questions. They once were 4-0 but have since lost 3 of 5. A win can put those questions to rest and give them momentum headed into the playoffs. You can argue that they are better or worse than their 6-3 record but in any case they have been very inconsistent this season. They have faced a tough schedule but who will show up, the team that lost to Mesquite or the team that beat Brophy?

Both teams are headed to the playoffs regardless of the outcome of this game, but the Central Region title is on the line, and with that comes a better playoff ranking.

The Aztecs Keys To Victory: For the Aztecs to come out on top, they will have to feed Basha a steady dose of J.R. Hamm who has rushed for 1090 yards and 18 touchdowns this year. Past games have proven that an effective running game keeps Basha on their heels, i.e. Desert Vista. If Corona has success running the ball and keeps quarterback Troy Graham and the talented Basha offense off the field, they will have their best shot.

The Bears Keys To Victory: For the Bears to come out on top, they will also have to rush the ball well. Basha has been running with a couple different running backs this season, but the two major contributors are Dusty Rush (688 yards and 2 touchdowns) and Quinn Evans (502 yards and 6 touchdowns). They will need to have big games.

The wildcards for both teams and the quiet contributors are both quarterbacks, Troy Graham from Basha, and Chase Cartwright from Corona Del Sol. Chase is just a sophomore and he has put up very productive numbers so far this year. He has thrown at a 54% completion rate, for 1238 yards, 9 touchdowns and only 4 interceptions. Solid for anybody, impressive for a sophomore. For Basha, Troy Graham has completed 58% of his passes for 1063 yards, 10 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. Troy is a senior and has verbally committed to Northern Arizona University.

Look for both teams to come out with fire in their eyes. Last year's game ended 30-24 in OT with Corona defeating Basha on a late goal line stand to end Basha's hopes of being ranked 1st in power points going into the playoffs. This is a new year, a new group of kids, but they all have the same goal. Victory. Should be a good one tomorrow night.


24-7 Football Top Stories