Here are six high school games around the area to watch this Friday night.
Chandler (4-1) at Hamilton (3-2)
Could this be the year that the Wolves finally knock off the Huskies? Many think that could be the case as Chandler is off to a fantastic start and is an overtime loss to Mountain Pointe away from quite possibly being the number one team in the state right now. Darell Garretson has been outstanding and his favorite target, Patrick Baldenegro has been dominant. But it seems after the tough start to the year, Hamilton is starting to hit their stride having won three straight and out-scoring their opponents 130-24 in that span. Senior Cole Luke has stepped up for his team this season not only leading the defense and special teams, but also taking snaps on offense as well and has been a big threat in doing so.
Mountain Pointe (5-0) at Brophy (4-2)
Mountain Pointe cant seem to get a break. They have been incredible this season but for the fourth time in the first six weeks of this season, the Pride will have to have their A game playing a top 10 team in the power rankings. Mountain Pointe has risen to the occasion every time to this point led by Jalen Brown and Garette Craig’s incredible play with the football. Brophy’s schedule has been a doozy too playing three games in nine days to start the year and then the fourth game against a very tough Red Mountain team. But the Broncos might have been able to get their legs back with blow out wins the last two weeks to be ready for this great matchup that will consist of a ton of speed and a ton of next level talent.
Red Mountain (5-0) at Desert Ridge (4-1)
Red Mountain has done everything right so far this season. Mason Thorman and Drake Pierre have been one of the most electric quarterback-receiver tandems in the state. Thorman close to 1500 yards passing, Pierre close to 700 yards receiving and have connected 10 times in the end zone in just five weeks. But the Mountain Lions will be going up against a defense that has been very solid in all but one week this season. Anthony Hovorka, the Desert Ridge senior, leads his team in tackles averaging nine a game and also has an interception and a forced fumble on the year. And offensively as always, the Jaguars look to run the football and running back JJ Husar along with quarterback Tarek Morrison will be key in Desert Ridge’s attempt to dominate the line of scrimmage.
Saguaro (4-1) at Desert Vista (4-1)
A matchup of state champions from last season. These two met a year ago in what was a tale of two halfs. The Sabercats struck first and led at halftime 28-6. Only then to be shut out by the Thunder defense in the second half and fall 31-28. Saguaro quarterback Luke Rubenzer struggled in that game a year ago but now a year more mature. The Sabercats will rely on him to manage that offense for four quarters and get the ball to sophomore Christian Kirk who has been lights out since returning from injury in week three. The Thunder could easily be undefeated and since their two point loss to Mountain Pointe, have outscored opponents 89-13 the last two weeks. The big guys up front for Desert Vista, Zack Tamburo and Dylan Fischer, could prove to be a tough matchup for Saguaro and the Thunder will hope to exploit that.
Centennial (5-0) at Ironwood Ridge (5-0)
The only two undefeated teams left in division II face off in what expects to be a very exciting game in Oro Valley. Ironwood Ridge made their first and only trip up to the valley last week and knocked off a very talented Marcos de Niza team. Next is Centennial who has untouchable this season. The running attacks on both ends, Tyler Williams and Anthony Braunreiter for the Nighthawks and recent UCLA commit Jalen Ortiz behind a giant Coyotes offensive line, will cause problems for opposing defenses. Could be a preview of the state championship game for division II down the line.
Snowflake (3-2) at Winslow (4-1)
Snowflake is a tough loss to Show Low away from being a top five team in the division IV. Their duel threat quarterback Dallin Merrell has been tough to bring down this season and will be key in this matchup because they will need to put up some points. Other than one head scratching performance against Flagstaff, Winslow has put up more than 40 points in every game. Kelly Wood’s 726 rushing yards and ten touchdowns along with the play of receiver Henry Montiel make up this high scoring Bulldog attack offensively. This matchup could be important for both teams moving forward in terms of power rankings.