MOUNTAIN VIEW TOROS @ BROPHY BRONCOS
Toro Offense versus Bronco Defense
Mountain View has been rolling the past two weeks, putting up a combined 107 points against St. Mary's and Ironwood. Senior QB Blake Decker is the leader of the Mountain View wing-t; he threw for two scores and ran for two more against Ironwood and lit St. Mary's up for four passing touchdowns. When Mountain View runs the ball RB Alex Salas is usually up to the task, scoring three times versus St. Mary's and twice against Ironwood.
In a 17-9 loss to Salpointe last Friday Brophy showed some signs of fallibility, though their overall performance was still strong. The Broncos would likely want to see an improvement in their pass defense, as Salpointe QB Trevor Eggleston completed 75% of his passes and had no interceptions. The Brophy d-line continues to excel, and will be critical in keeping the Toro ground game in check and pressuring Decker.
Bronco Offense versus Toro Defense
Brophy experienced some success moving the ball against Salpointe, gaining 20 first downs by the time the night was through. RB Max Leonesio scored the Broncos' lone touchdown, and also had a big night against Horizon the week before (190-yards rushing and 2 touchdowns). Senior Beau Maggi is capable of good things at quarterback, having thrown three scores against Horizon.
Against Ironwood Mountain View allowed just 70-yards of offense, and surrendered just 124 in their season opener against Highland. Salas also spends time in the Toro secondary, where he recorded 63 tackles and 3 interceptions as a junior.
Brophy is likely very eager to start region play; in addition to Nevada state champion Bishop Gorman the Broncos have taken on 2007 state semifinalist Hamilton, 2007 Southern Region champ Salpointe, and still have two contests versus teams who advanced to the quarterfinals last season (Mountain View and Basha). A brutal schedule should not fool anyone into thinking this squad is a shell of its former self.
Mountain View has had little troubles running through its first three opponents, but those three opponents combined for just 11 wins in 2007. Brophy looks to be the Toros' first legitimate challenge this year, and a strong showing would go a long way towards validating their status as a top-tier team.
While the 20 first downs were nice, Brophy could really use an offensive outing where they match that number in points. If this offense reaches the capacity to score 20 points every time out they will be a tough out come November.
RED MOUNTAIN MOUNTAIN LIONS @ HAMILTON HUSKIES
Mountain Lion Offense versus Husky Defense
After a shaky season-opening effort against Corona del Sol Red Mountain's offense has come to life, putting up 24 points against North Canyon and erupting for 43 in a wild shootout win over Desert Ridge. RB Derek Molina was a workhorse against Desert Ridge, putting up 228-yards on 35 carries (along with two scores). QB Derek Mendoza also punched in two scores on the ground last week, while also throwing for 150-yards and a score.
Still smarting from giving up 35-points in a loss to Centennial, Hamilton's defense tightened up in a 49-12 win over Dobson, registering five sacks and recovering two fumbles in the rout. Junior DB Devon Carrington continues to have a standout season, recording eight tackles, recovering a fumble, and blocking a field goal in the win. DL Ruben Rubio is Hamilton's leader in sacks, having dumped the opposition's quarterback five times this season.
Hamilton Offense versus Mountain Lion Defense
Hamilton exhibited a balanced scoring attack against Dobson, with five players scoring the team's seven touchdowns while rolling up 500-yards of total offense. Travis Dean and Zac Hambsch shared duty at quarterback against the Mustangs, combining for 201-yards of passing and four scores. WR Allante Wright continues to have a strong senior season, scoring twice against Dobson and averaging over 20-yards a reception. Four different players rushed for at least 50-yards against Dobson, with three of those scoring.
Red Mountain's secondary does not want a repeat of last week, when Desert Ridge QB Kevin Pantastico put up a state-record shattering 595-yards in the loss. Kris Moksvold did return an interception for a score in the win, and Brett Cerqua leads the team in interceptions through three games.
Two weeks ago Hamilton was undone by a dynamic all-purpose back in Centennial's John Hughes, and will face another one this week in Molina. In addition to his titanic effort versus Desert Ridge Molina returned to kicks for scores against Corona del Sol. His special teams abilities could prove to be an X-factor in this game.
Even in a convincing win Hamilton showed some room for continued improvement, as two of their passes were picked off by the Dobson defense. The Huskies can not afford to lose the turnover battle (as they did against Dobson) against elite Fiesta Region foes.