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 was at Desert Ridge, where defending champion Chandler had the offense rolling early in a 42-13 win. This Friday, I'll make what has now become an annual occurrence by checking out East Mesa rivals Skyline and Red Mountain. The games that I saw in each of the past two years have been defensive struggles with the winner ultimately taking the region. (2016: Skyline 17-14, 2017: Red Mountain 14-0). Skyline (2-4) enters this road game off of a win over Westwood to halt its 4-game slide. In the Homecoming victory for the Coyotes, Aaron Wood rushed for 2 TDs with one coming on a 59-yard jaunt. The other score for SHS came on special teams as Zach Kriens blocked a punt which Tommy Halvorsen took 15 yards into the end zone. It's mostly been a run-oriented offense as Skyline has opted to pass on just 30 percent of its plays from scrimmage. Red Mountain (4-2) had a two-game win streak halted by Basha last Friday (24-17). The Mountain Lions did a good job against the run, allowing just 54 yards on the ground in 20 carries (2.7 yards per attempt). Senior linebackers Anthony Giraldi and Isaac Thompson lead RMHS in tackles. Defensive lineman Jake Griffin has a team-high 6 sacks. On offense, Deonce Elliott had a strong debut with 136 rushing yards an a touchdown. Last Friday was the first time the former Desert Ridge player was eligible to play folllowing his transfer. The first AIA power points come out later today and it will be interesting to see where each team ranks. Region champs no longer get an automatic bid, but the winner will almost definitely be in the top 16. As for the loser of this one. . . they could find themselves on the bubble as the remaining East Valley Region schedules are not difficult ones the last three games (four weeks) of the season.