Week 2 in prep football…it’s getting a little crazy out there

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                </div>  We’re just two weeks into a new high school football season and already it’s starting to get a little crazy. The No. 1 team in Division II, Centennial High […]<!-- AddThis Sharing Buttons below -->
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We’re just two weeks into a new high school football season and already it’s starting to get a little crazy.

The No. 1 team in Division II, Centennial High School, got beat for the second week in a row.

The No. 1 team in Division IV, Show Low High School, is now also winless through two games after getting beat by a Division V team in a 30-22 loss to Tempe Prep.  This comes on the heels of a 2013 season in which Show Low went 10-3.

And Chaparral High School, a perennial power in Division II, lost its first game to Division III Saguaro High after the Sabercats became the second team in a row (going back to last season) to hang 40 points on them.  Now, this week, Chaparral finally picked up a win – but it was thanks to a defense that collected four interceptions.

Add to that some off-field drama as the head coach at Gilbert High School returned to the sidelines for last night’s game following his reinstatement after being cleared of allegations of misappropriating money from a booster club. However… the team’s offensive coordinator had been removed from the program after his arrest on shoplifting and drug charges the day after the team’s season-opening 27-14 win against Mesquite High.

Hey, you can’t make this stuff up.

To no one’s surprise, a distracted Gilbert team that racked up 15 penalties on the night lost its first game of the season as Desert Ridge High School used big plays to gobble up yardage and overwhelm the Tigers’ defense for 429 yards on the ground and roll to a 45-14 victory.  Steven Gomez picked up 159 yards rushing and a couple of scores to lead the attack.

Gilbert worked at its ground game all night, but the Desert Ridge defense held the Tigers to just 53 yards rushing. The two Gilbert TDs came via the pass, as Rico Yanez scored on a 19-yard completion in the second quarter and Nick Nezami turned in a 71-yard pass play in the fourth quarter after the game was long past salvaging.

In Chaparral’s win over Marcos de Niza High, the Firebirds got their points, but it was the defense that took center stage.  Senior running back Gabe Lutz led the way, carrying the ball 24 times for 125 yards as Chaparral built a 21-0 halftime lead that was enough for the 21-7 victory.  The lone Marcos score came early in the third quarter when Avery Sanders pulled in a pass from quarterback Nazareth Greer that resulted in an 81-yard touchdown.

Those 81 yards were almost half of the total 190 passing yards the Firebirds would allow on the night.  They were even stingier on the ground, giving up just 21 rushing yards for the game.

The game that had drawn the most attention, however, had to be the 31-21 Basha High School victory over Centennial.  It can’t really be called an upset because, for the second week in a row, Centennial was taking on a team in the division above it.

After losing by just four points last week to the No. 1 team in Division I, Chandler High, Centennial this week took on the No. 6-ranked team in the top division and was overcome by a powerful Basha Bears’ offense that scored on two of its first three possessions and took a 21-7 lead into halftime.

That offense is being fueled by a quarterback that just completed his second varsity game. Ryan Kelley is a sophomore that is proving he belongs under center in the top division in the state.  Kelley led the way for the Bears again this week, throwing for 407 yards and four touchdowns.

But he had all kinds of targets to hit.  Jared Schmidt led a trio of receivers that each racked up 100 or more yards on the night.  Schmidt grabbed eight passes for 194 yards, while Doc O’Connor and Hunter Dean-Gibson each recorded 100 yards as Dean-Gibson added two touchdowns and O’Connor contributed one.

First downs were almost even between the two teams, with Basha picking up 21 and Centennial getting 20.  But Centennial was its own worst enemy in miscues, fumbling the ball away twice and racking up 90 yards in penalties.

And a tough Basha defense controlled the ground, limiting the Coyotes to just 41 yards rushing – an average of fewer than two yards a carry.