Wk 1: Key games show where power lies in AZ prep football

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                </div>That loud hissing noise coming from the north end of the Valley Friday night was the sound of air being let out of the high hopes of a couple of […]<!-- AddThis Sharing Buttons below -->
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That loud hissing noise coming from the north end of the Valley Friday night was the sound of air being let out of the high hopes of a couple of Scottsdale high school football teams.

And it was just the first week of competition in the 2013 season.

Chaparral High School deflated the high expectations for cross-town nemesis Saguaro High with a 52-27 shellacking in front of a huge crowd at Chaparral that had showed up for this annual rivalry game between the two Scottsdale powers.

At the same time, fellow Scottsdale school Desert Mountain High was being upset by Phoenix Brophy Prep in a game in which the Wolves couldn’t get their offense, led by one of the best pass-catch combinations in the country, on track and failed to get into the end zone until the final seconds of the game to give the Broncos the surprising 13-6 victory.

This one barely qualified as an upset since Brophy was ranked No. 6 by The Arizona Republic going into the contest.  But the Broncos were starting the season without most of their starters from last season, while No. 2 Desert Mountain held high expectations for a title run since its scoring tandem of quarterback Kyle Allen and his primary target, Mark Andrews, are back.  Until committing, they were two of the most sought-after college recruits in the nation.

Allen, who has committed to play at Texas A&M, was the No. 1-rated QB in the Class of 2014 by both Scout.com and Rivals.com.  Andrews, an Oklahoma commit and last year’s Big Schools Player of the Year, is considered the No. 1 prospect in the state by azcentral sports; he accounted for 21 touchdowns last year.

Allen threw for 256 yards on 26-of-40 passing in the opener and Andrews had eight catches for 101 yards.  But the Broncos wouldn’t give them the end zone until Allen put the lone score on the board when he squeezed across from the one-yard line with just 10 seconds left in the game to avoid the shut-out.

Brophy’s defense came up big on the night, contributing a blocked punt, two blocked field goals, and a pass interception by Brian Woodward in the end zone to stifle an offense that will surely put up a lot of points this year.  This time out, they also accounted for the only score when Dylan Taylor blocked a fourth-quarter punt and Walker Adams chased it down and covered the ball in the end zone.

Meanwhile, over at Chaparral an overflow crowd showed up to help their Firebirds win the season-opener.  As it turned out, Chaparral didn’t need much help as it romped to a lopsided beat-down of the top-ranked team in Division III.

Saguaro threw everything at their cross-town rivals, the No. 1-ranked team in Division II, including a couple of scores off halfback-option plays that resulted in Christian Kirk throwing touchdown passes of 24 yards to Cameron Koutsalas and 52 yards to J.T. Nettleton.

But they couldn’t keep Chaparral’s senior tailback Elijah Castro from lighting up the scoreboard, as he scored four times on the night, including one run that covered 48 yards.  The 5’8″ speedster was a gift this year.  He transferred in from Sunrise Mountain High School in Peoria for his senior year; he finished with 177 yards rushing.

In order to pull out a win against a high-powered team like Saguaro, which has two of the top recruits in the state in QB Luke Rubenzer and wide receiver Kirk, there must be an aggressive defensive effort.  And that’s just what the Firebirds got as their defensive backs intercepted Rubenzer three times and forced a couple of fumbles to stall any kind of momentum by the Sabercats.

Rubenzer passed for more than 2,000 yards last season, and ran for another 1,000.  He rolled up 247 yards Friday night on 16-for-37 passing, while Brophy’s QB Sean Paul Brophy, who also returns from last year’s squad, went 15-for-24 for 230 yards.

Chaparral, which has put a balanced offense that is deep at most positions on the field this season, jumped to a 17-0 lead and never looked back, racking up more than 500 yards of total offense.

How deep, you ask?  They just put 52 points up on a very good Saguaro team – and they are without their leading rusher from last year, Emerson Carrethers, who will likely sit the season with a torn ACL.

If this game is any indication, Chaparral has a good chance of re-capturing that state title it won in 2011.