Game Previews

Several Top 10 Teams Face Off This Week, Breaks A few Down



Wolf offense versus Thunder defense


Chandler's entire roster is deep on speed, and their offense is no exception; running backs Jamil Hines, Bryce Lamb, and Taylor Walstad have all gained over 140-yards through two games, with each averaging in excess of nine-yards a carry.  When the Wolves pass, junior QB Kyle Yount has hit on 65% of his passes, with six of his 26 attempts going for scores.  Caleve Deboskie leads the team in receiving with 135-yards.


The success of the Chandler offense will depend greatly on how their offensive line neutralizes the defensive end tag team of Devon Kennard and Danny Mullarkey.  One of the nation's elite recruits, Kennard has been the center of attention for opposing coaches yet still has 13 tackles on the year; last season saw him put up 111 tackles and 24.5 sacks.  Mullarkey is coming off a junior year in which he recorded 10.5 sacks and currently leads the Thunder with 3.5 sacks. 


Thunder offense versus Wolf defense


Desert Vista rebounded from a seven-point outing in their opener against Gilbert to rip Mesa in a 49-0 victory.  In his varsity debut as a starter, junior QB Cody Sokol passed for over 200-yards and ran for another score; as a fullback Kennard has led the team in scoring, punching in four touchdowns.  Wide receiver Casey Bolena had a big outing for the Thunder versus Mesa, hauling in seven passes for 89 yards.


After transferring from Class 3A power Coolidge, LB Rodney Reagans has had little difficulty adjusting, leading the Wolves in tackles with 17.  Another transfer, defensive back Markus Wheaton is one of the state's fastest players and recorded 49 tackles last season at Mountain Pointe.




Last season this was a contest of teams trying to turn around disappointing starts, with each coming in at 1-1 despite high expectations.  While Chandler has soundly defeated its two opponents to open the year, Desert Vista was shocked 28-7 in its opener to Gilbert before romping over Mesa.


After sitting out the Gilbert game, D-1 recruit Marcus Washington made his debut last week, rushing for 53 yards on just four carries.  In his absence Kennard shared the rushing duties with BJ Wilson and Anders Battle.



Cobra offense versus Dorado defense


Star running back Mike Brown has not failed to disappoint during his senior campaign, scoring eight touchdowns in just two games and racking up over 200-yards last week against Cactus Shadows.  When Cactus goes to the air look for senior Trey Sam to be on the receiving end-he's one of only three Cobras to score offensive touchdowns this year. 


The linebacking trio of Paul Carter, Deandre Tanguay-Penn, and Garrett Henderson will be counted upon to corral Brown; before last week's win over Catalina they were the team's top tacklers, while Tanguay-Penn was leading the team in sacks.  Speedy sophomore Kadeem Carey is an all-world talent in the secondary.


Dorado offense versus Cobra defense


While Cactus depends heavily on the superhuman efforts of Brown the Dorado backfield operates by committee, with three athletes registering at least 100-yards rushing through this young season.  Carey is the team's leading yardage gainer with 191, while QB Doug Steele's four touchdowns leads his unit.  Lanky junior receiver Josh Robbins is beginning to establish himself as a deep threat, averaging over 20-yards per catch for two scores.  Steele has completed just under 58% of his pass attempts on the year.


In their season opener versus Washington the Cactus offense accounted for 20 of the team's 51 points, with senior defensive back Kandon Thomas returning two interceptions for scores (one of 80-yards and another of 102-yards) and secondary mate Ryan Wescott returning a third pick for a score. 




This game is a rematch from a classic shootout last season, when the Cobras came back from a 24-7 halftime deficit to win 36-34.  Brown ran for 107 yards and a score in that contest.


Both Steele and his Cactus counterpart Mark Wineker are first year starters.  Steele took just 12 attempts last season behind all-region selection Daniel Nicholas, while Wineker passed just four times.


Apart from his skills on the offensive and defensive side of the ball Carey is also an excellent return specialist, averaging 66-yards a return after a late season varsity call-up (including a score versus Saguaro in the state title game).  Look for the Cobras to kick away from this dynamic athlete.

24-7 Football Top Stories