Whew! Wild Week 4 in football as No. 1 Chandler is upset

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                </div>  The one best word to describe Week 4 in Arizona high school football might be… “Whew!” And that expression of relief was being applied to the outcome of last-minute […]<!-- AddThis Sharing Buttons below -->
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The one best word to describe Week 4 in Arizona high school football might be… “Whew!”

And that expression of relief was being applied to the outcome of last-minute finishes and come-from-behind wins all around the state, except perhaps Globe where the annual Copper Kettle rivalry game between Globe High School and Miami High turned into a lopsided victory for Globe.

The fans from both communities, located just five miles apart, packed the bleachers hoping for a real barn-burner to help celebrate the 100th anniversary of the rivalry.  But that lasted only until halftime, when Globe held a slim 13-8 lead before pulling away for its first win of the season, a 34-8 Homecoming victory.

There were other games that perhaps had less significance – but definitely provided more of the “Whew!” factor.

Brophy Prep won an important Division I game over Mesa’s Red Mountain High when its field-goal holder became the hero of the night in the second overtime period.  Brophy had to block a Red Mountain field-goal attempt to get into the second OT and then used a fake field-goal attempt of its own to secure the 40-34 win.  The holder on the fake try, Sean Robertson, took the snap and instead passed to running back Jack Hadden who had sneaked into the end zone.

Over in Scottsdale, Horizon High School pulled out another stunner in a big-school contest after being down 10 points late in the fourth quarter of its game with Paradise Valley High.  But a major comeback got underway with a touchdown catch by Julian Carter and an onside kick that returned the ball to Horizon and resulted in a second quick score when quarterback Dalton Sneed connected with Maj Williams.  And an interception by Kyle Sprenger with the clock running out sealed the 49-45 win for the Huskies.

And if you check out Division III, there was the game between Verrado High and Buckeye High that wasn’t decided until the final 38 seconds of the game when Verrado cornerback Logan Daoust intercepted a pass just as Buckeye was threatening to score from the three-yard line.  Buckeye had come from three touchdowns down in this intra-city rivalry to fall just three yards short as Verrado remains unbeaten with the 31-24 win.

But the game that really took your breath away was the one that had the biggest expectations on the night – and lived up to every bit of the hype. Chandler High, the top-ranked team in Division I, and No. 2 Mountain Pointe High combined for 87 points in a game that was a blow-out by halftime, but turned into a nail-biter down the stretch.

The 45-42 upset upset by Mountain Pointe pushes their record to 5-0 and will undoubtedly move them into the No. 1 spot going into next week.

Mountain Pointe jumped all over the Chandler Wolves right out of the chute, taking full advantage of its raucous home-field environment.  The Pride’s defense set the tone by creating turnovers on their opponent’s first two possessions and then watching as the offense ran up over 400 yards before halftime to take a staggering 42-28 lead going into the locker room.

The offense finished the night with 542 yards to break a school record that has stood for almost 20 years.

But the Chandler defense dug in after halftime and held the Pride to just a field goal in the second half, and the offense rallied to pull the game to within three points with 6 1/2 minutes left to play – despite the loss of its top running back, Chase Lucas, who had to sit out the final half with stomach cramps.  Lucas provided a spark for the Wolves in the first half, running back a kickoff for 99 yards and picking up another 95 yards on eight carries.

And Chandler quarterback Bryce Perkins had a banner night in the loss, passing for 194 yards and running for another 83.

With Lucas out in the second half, Chandler went to the air, getting their two scores on passes to Micah Reed-Campos and N’Keal Harry and the Wolves finished with 394 yards of total offense.

However, it was the other Lucas, the one on the opposite side of the field, that helped take apart the Chandler defense.  Paul Lucas ran for 286 yards and his running mate in the Pride backfield, Brandyn Leonard, added another 239 yards in a workhorse performance that had him carrying the ball 31 times on the night.

And it will likely take big performances by both Lucas and Leonard next week when Mountain Pointe will try to stay on top of the heap when the Pride travels to Chandler to take on No. 3 Hamilton High.

It will be another test of unbeatens as the top-ranked teams in the state’s top division continue to shake up the standings.