Where in the Valley is Gridiron going? - Week 3

Discussion in 'The Gridiron Arizona Forum' started by Gridiron Arizona, Sep 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 involving 6A or 5A teams.

    Last week, I got a look at Red Mountain's new high-powered offense, which scored 8 times (seven of them touchdowns) in a 59-27 win over Cesar Chavez.

    This week, I head to North Central Phoenix for a 5A matchup between the Sunnyslope Vikings and the Cienega Bobcats.

    Last year was the first meeting between the teams and Cienega prevailed 35-7 down in Vail. In that one, Luis Morales threw TD passes to 3 different receivers, including Terrell Hayward, in the victory. All 4 of those Bobcats were seniors.

    For Cienega (1-0), this is its only regular season appearance in the Valley. The Bobcats opened with a tune-up game against Cholla, scoring 20 in the first quarter and topping the Chargers, 48-7. It's one of the more interesting box scores I've seen as Cienega had 18 rushing attempts in the game (for 243 yards) and 13 different players carried the ball! Most had success as 10 players finished averaging more than 10 yards per carry. 4 different players had rushing TDs, including leading rusher Gabe Levy. 3 different Bobcats played QB as well, although Cienega attempted just 8 total passes.

    Sunnyslope (0-1) began last week with a 41-14 home loss to Notre Dame Prep. However, it should be noted that the Vikings held a 14-13 lead in the third quarter. I saw the Vikings last year (at Ironwood) and the Haen twins, Niko and David, were big in the win that got Slope into the playoffs. Against NDP, the pass game struggled (112 yards), although I heard WR David was a little banged up. QB Niko was the Vikings' leading rusher with 75 yards. On defense, the run game allowed 201 yards to the Saints' Dominick Mastro. Will one of Cienega's players go off like that, or will the constant flow of fresh backs be able to have similar success?

    By the looks of it, Sunnyslope has perhaps the most difficult schedule in all of 5A with games to follow against Horizon, Centennial, and Sunrise Mountain. The SOS is there, the Vikings just need to put together some wins. Cienega needs to make sure it doesn't get caught looking ahead to next week, when the Boys in Vail host Centennial.

    Can the Vikings bounce back? Will the Bobcats get out to another quick start? Check back on Saturday morning to see how this one goes.

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