Where in the Valley is Gridiron going? - Championship Weekend

Discussion in 'The Gridiron Arizona Forum' started by Gridiron Arizona, Dec 4, 2019.

  1. Gridiron Arizona

    Gridiron Arizona Moderator
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    Aug 19, 2015
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    Each week, I make the trek out to a school in the Metro Phoenix area to watch, tweet, take photos, and report on a game.

    We finish this season off with a trio of games and it starts on Friday night with the 4A title game out in Surprise between Mesquite (10-3) and Desert Edge (10-3).

    Mesquite is making its first appearance in a championship game, getting there by stopping Cactus on a 2-point try in the final minute last week for a 1-point win. The Wildcats are led by QB Ty Thompson (3,688 yards, 42 TD passes), a junior who has offers from 11 Power 5 schools, including LSU (where he visited last week).

    Desert Edge is a young team led by QB Adryan Lara (3,703 yards, 39 TD passes), a sophomore with offers from Arizona and Iowa State. The Scorpions won the Division III title in 2015.

    On Saturday, I'll be out at Sun Devil Stadium for the doubleheader starting with the 5A championship game between Campo Verde (10-3) and Williams Field (11-2) followed by the much-anticipated Open State Championship game between Saguaro (11-1) and Chandler (12-0).

    Campo Verde has defied the skeptics this season and won playoff battles against Higley and Notre Dame Prep. The Coyote defense held those 2 high-powered offenses to 22 and 17 points, respectively. It's been a team effort on that side of the ball as 6 players had double-digit tackles against the Saints. This is the first championship game appearance for CV.

    Williams Field brings an offense that will certainly test that Campo defense. The Black Hawks have won 11 in a row and scored 56, 71, and 52 points in their 3 playoff games. I saw the last of those against Casteel and Mason Bugg passed for 363 yards and 4 touchdowns. WFHS is looking for its 2nd state title as the team won the 5A championship in 2016.

    Saguaro rallied in the second half to knock Hamilton out in the semifinals. I saw the Sabercats the week prior in a 49-3 demolition of Horizon. The defense limited Horizon to 124 yards of total offense. Senior Braxen Tessler had a strong game with an interception (returned for a TD), a blocked punt, and 7 tackles. SHS has taken home a gold ball in each of the past 6 years (five at the Division III or 4A level and one at Division II).

    Chandler has won 4 of the past 5 big-school championships, but has never had a perfect season. I saw the Wolves in the semis against Salpointe and Chandler trailed in third quarter before taking over defensively in a 24-16 win. CHS forced 5 turnovers in the win and sacked the QB six times, most in the second half. Safety Gunner Maldonado, a Northwestern commit, has intercepted a pair of passes in each of the last two games.

    So, it's time to hand out the hardware. These six schools will be trying to bring an unbelievably happy end to a long season. Also taking place this week are the 2A and 6A championship games (both on Friday night).

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