Beyond the scoreboard…prep football’s hidden stories

<!-- AddThis Sharing Buttons above -->
                <div>
                    <a class="addthis_button" href="//addthis.com/bookmark.php?v=300" addthis:url='http://phxfan.com/2013/09/beyond-the-scoreboard-prep-football-has-hidden-stories/' addthis:title='Beyond the scoreboard…prep football’s hidden stories'>
                        <img src="//cache.addthis.com/cachefly/static/btn/v2/lg-share-en.gif" width="125" height="16" alt="Bookmark and Share" style="border:0"/>
                    </a>
                </div>Each week, scoreboards at high school football fields across the state light up the numbers to let the fans know who won and who lost.  But often, there are stories […]<!-- AddThis Sharing Buttons below -->
                <div>
                    <a class="addthis_button" href="//addthis.com/bookmark.php?v=300" addthis:url='http://phxfan.com/2013/09/beyond-the-scoreboard-prep-football-has-hidden-stories/' addthis:title='Beyond the scoreboard…prep football’s hidden stories'>
                        <img src="//cache.addthis.com/cachefly/static/btn/v2/lg-share-en.gif" width="125" height="16" alt="Bookmark and Share" style="border:0"/>
                    </a>
                </div>

Each week, scoreboards at high school football fields across the state light up the numbers to let the fans know who won and who lost.  But often, there are stories behind the scores that the fans in the stands know nothing about.

Last week the dazzling come-from-behind victory by Chaparral High on national television was the story of the week.  After the Desert Mountain Wolves  jumped to a 28-0 lead on the visiting Firebirds, Chaparral mounted an incredible comeback in the second half by scoring 35 unanswered points and ramping up the defense to hold Desert Mountain to just 59 total yards in the half.

Meanwhile, Chaparral’s junior quarterback Sean Paul Brophy engineered an offensive attack in the second half that piled up 289 total yards, and 491 for the game.  Brophy finished with 313 yards passing and two touchdowns.

Senior running back Elijah Castro ran for 115 yards and senior tight end Trevor Wood added 107 yards on five catches, one of which went for a score.

Great stuff for TV, but…

There were other games that didn’t warrant coverage by ESPNU, as did the Chaparral win, but created some great story lines nonetheless.

Out in Goodyear, for example, a first-year starting quarterback tied a record that was set back in 1926.  Anthony Hernandez threw seven touchdowns in the first half as his Desert Edge High School team cruised to a 63-28 victory over Shadow Ridge High from Surprise.

After adding his name to the 4A Conference record books in the first half, Hernandez went on to become just the fifth player in Arizona prep history to complete eight touchdown passes in a single game.  He finished the night with 434 yards on 24-of-36 passing.

Hernandez also enabled his wide receiver, Elijah Marks, to have a career night.  Marks caught five of Hernandez’s TD passes and closed out the game with 11 pass receptions for 252 yards.

More records…

Out on the north end of the Valley, the Horizon High Huskies proved to be ungracious guests by running up a 73-28 thumping of host, Paradise Valley High School.  In the process, Horizon’s senior running back Luke Quinn set a school record by rushing for six touchdowns and the team set another school mark with its 73 points.

Quinn, not the biggest of backs at 5’9″ and 180 pounds, finished the night with almost 300 combined yards.  He picked up 153 yards on 14 carries and added 133 more with six catches.  And the guy throwing the passes, Dalton Sneed, stacked up 409 yards on 19 completions.

It was not a pretty game.  PV had six turnovers and Horizon was penalized for 190 yards.  But it’s still one for the record books.

Behind the fast start…

Two teams stretched their season records to 4-0, but there was more significance to the achievements than was readily apparent Friday night.

When Higley High School squeezed out a 27-24 victory over Cactus Shadows High on a 22-yard field goal with 15 seconds left on the game clock, the team became just the second in school history to begin a season with four straight wins.  Running back Ricky Marshall played a key role in the accomplishment, scoring a pair of second-half touchdowns and rushing for 144 yards.  And his QB, Tyler Bloom, passed the 300-yard mark in total offense, throwing for 273 yards and rushing for 98 more.

And the 4-0 record also has special significance for Skyline High School out in Mesa, where the Coyotes were able to remain unbeaten by rolling to a 28-7 victory over Gilbert High.  Skyline hasn’t had a start like this in five years.

Unfortunately, the Coyotes have the toughest part of their schedule still ahead, playing some of the top teams in Division I.  Their four opponents so far have won just two games among them.

And finally…

Junior running back Weston Barlow continued tearing up the turf, carrying the ball 16 times in Queen Creek High‘s 42-18 win over Tempe’s McClintock High School.  He finished with 289 yards and five touchdowns.  Last week he rushed 26 times for 231 yards and four touchdowns against Show Low High School.

The back story on this is that Barlow isn’t the starting back.  He’s been filling in for the team’s injured starter and rushing leader, Matt Guida.