There are a few BIG games left before playoffs

     By the time the high school football season in Arizona gets down to
Week 11, much has been decided… but there are always a few question
marks about who makes the playoffs, how they are seeded, and a few
final games that will decide region champions.
    Perhaps the most anticipated is the match-up that puts hi-octane Mountain Pointe HS, ranked third in 5A-I, against explosive Marcos de Niza HS,
No. 2 in 5A-II.  There should be lots of scoring; both teams didn’t go
undefeated this year without putting points on the board.  This will be
the final game of the season for both members of the East Valley Region.
   
Mountain Pointe, which went 2-8 last season, brings an offense to the
party this year that is averaging over 300 yards per game, powered by a
pair of senior running backs that have each eclipsed 1,000 yards this
season.  Davon Jones, who has
25 TDs to his credit, rushed for four last week against Perry HS and
had another receiving; he finished with 123 yards on eight carries.  De’Andre Currie, who has racked up 1,301 yards this season, had 102 yards against Perry and scored a touchdown.
   
The Padres will try to contain Jones and Currie with a defense that has
been very stingy this year, giving up just over 100 yards a game.  They
shut out their last two region opponents, beating Perry HS, 42-0, and
Skyline HS, 35-0. On offense, they count on the strong arm of QB Zach Schira, who has thrown for 18 TDs.  Schira will be throwing to his 6’3″ senior wide receiver Justin Rodriquez, who has been the target of 35 successful passes, and wideout Tevin Newell, who pulled in two Schira passes for scores last week.
    Over in the 5A-I Central Region, Mountain View HS will host Basha HS
in a battle for the region crown.  Mountain View is 6-3 and ranked No.
5 in division I, but the record is deceiving; their three losses were
to Chaparral HS, Sunnyside HS, and Chandler HS. Chaparral and Sunnyside
are 9-0 and Chandler sits above the Toros at No. 4.
    Last week,
Mountain View scored 45 points in a losing effort to Chandler, that got
three passing touchdowns and two running touchdowns from its
all-everything QB Brett Hundley,
who had 263 yards of offense.  But the Toros come at you from all
angles, scoring against Chandler with four different players getting
TDs in that game. 
    Senior running back Jacom Brimhall
is having a back-to-back 1,000-yard season for the Toros; last week he
scored with 48 seconds to play to very nearly pull out a win. And QB Brad Heap
has one of the best arms in the state, with a 62 per cent completion
rate and 16 touchdowns in the air; he’s thrown for almost 1,500 yards.
   
Basha is an outstanding defensive team that will hold its own against
Heap & Co.  It beat Mesquite HS (5-4) last week with a strong
defensive effort, as the game ended with a 7-3 baseball-style score.
   
But the offense will pose some interesting problems for Mountain View
as the Toros try to contain the Bears’ senior QB, Mike Benjamin.  The
experience playing against Chandler’s Hundley will come in handy
because Benjamin, too, is a dual threat.  He is passing for 179 yard a
game, but also has 877 yards rushing this season.
    And, finally, there is the explosion that is about to happen in Scottsdale, more specifically the Arcadia HS football field, where unbeaten Williams Field HS travels down from the East Valley to play for the 4A-II East Sky Region crown and a high playoff seed.
   
Arcadia set a school scoring record by scoring 63 points against Seton
Catholic HS – and then broke it the next week with 65 points against
Tempe HS.  And the Titans are coming off those two wins with a full
head of steam to meet Williams Field. 
    And while we’re on the topic of records, Arcadia’s wide receiver Joey Artigue
is looking for the chance this week to break yet another school record,
this one for touchdown receptions; he’s one short of the record of
nine. He also returns kicks, and holds the school record at that; two
of his returns this season won’t even get in the books, as one for 99
yards and another for 93 yards were cancelled out by penalties.
    QB Colby Kirkegaard
runs the offense and is a prolific passer, as well as a talented
runner.  Last week against Tempe HS he logged 102 yards on the ground. 
Pat Schrimsher carried the heavy load, accounting for four touchdowns. 
   
But Williams Field, a new school which put its first class of seniors
on the field this year and is 9-0, had just 98 yards in last week’s win
over Coronado HS, but it was understandable when you consider that
running back Alex Howard and receiver Aaron Hill
were sidelined with injuries.  Howard is a sophomore running back that
averages 8 yards a carry and Hill is a senior wide reciever who is
averaging 36 yards a catch.
    The Black Hawks will need Hill and
Howard on the field this week, to complement a defense that will try to
hold down the record-setting Titan offense.  Even that may not be
enough.