Week 7 Arizona high school football roundup: Chandler, Cesar Chavez, Marcos notch wins
Chandler stays unbeaten in win over Red Mountain
By Lucas Gordon
Chandler's hot start continues over Red Mountain
After the offense came alive in the second half against Saguaro last week, Chandler carried the momentum into Friday night, crusing past Mesa Red Mountain Friday night by a score of 59-27.
Chandler held the lead for the entire game. It started at the opening kickoff when senior Tyreeq-styles Obichere returned it to the house to put the Wolves up 7-0.
Obichere's night wasn't finished after that. He would return another kickoff for a touchdown in the first half and was on the receiving end of a 70-yard touchdown in the second half.
Obichere's offensive night was assisted by junior quarterback Dylan Raiola who threw for more than 200 yards and four touchdowns.
Raiola's favorite target for the night was junior running back Ca'lil Valentine, who continued his strong start to the season. Valentine caught eight passes from Raiola for 91 yards and three touchdowns. He would also rush for 134 yards and a touchdown.
With Chandler holding a 32 point lead heading into the fourth quarter, the offensive starters did not play a down for the rest of the game.
The defense for Chandler was dominate too despite giving up 27 points.
The team accounted for four sacks including two by senior defensive end Yasier Marshall. .
Senior wide receiver Ja'kobi Lane stood out for Red Mountain. The USC commit brought in two highlight-reel touchdown catches in the back of the end zone. Lane finsihed the game with nine catches for 114 yards.
One the final two touchdown plays, Raiola was involved in, he threw his arms up in the air with a touchdown signal the second the ball left his hands. This gesture showed how excited he was that the designed plays worked the way they were planned.
"It shows the work we put in during the week... I knew (those two plays) was the look we wanted. Without a doubt we made it work."
Raiola also continued his praise for Valentine after the running back was the recipient for the majority of the passing touchdowns.
"That kid is special. I don't know how else to put it. There's got to be coaches calling his phone. I threw a check down to him from the 15-yard line and he found the end zone. Not a lot of players can do that."
Chandler (5-0) will look to remain undefeated against Casteel (5-0). Red Mountain (3-2) will look to get back to its winning ways against Salpointe Catholic (2-2).
Canyon del Oro rolls over St. Mary's
By Howard Schlossberg
Canyon del Oro's football team can do a lot of everything and if they keep doing it like they did Friday night in a 24-8 win over St. Mary's, they'll be tough to beat in 4A.
The Dorados (3-1) rolled up 358 yards in total offense and set the tone early. Visiting from Oro Valley outside of Tucson, they scored on a 5-minute possession, the game's first, and then got a big defensive play from Manuel Zamorano on a 4th-and-goal to keep the Knights (2-2) from tying it up.
From there, they imposed their will, just enough, that is.
Every play in the game's opening possession, a 77-yard TD drive, was big, including the surprise TD play, a halfback-option toss from Chase Laux to the team's Mr. Versatility, Caden Goldtooth.
The ensuing St. Mary's possession couldn't have set the tone for the rest of the game any more. The Knights, under David Galindo's guts and direction, had a 6:40 possession of their own, driving 55 yards to the Dorados' 5. From there, on 4th down, disdaining the field goal, they had Zamorano dive in front of the intended receiver and tip away a would-be touchdown pass.
Do you have to ask what happened next? A 12-play, 95-yard Dorados drive, capped by Alex Zillman's 22-yard field goal, the one St. Mary's didn't settle for at the other end.
Tristen McClelland added picture-perfect TD passes of 69 yards to Daylon Beck and 39 to Goldtooth to cap CDO's scoring.
McClelland was nearly flawless in directing Canyon del Oro's offense, going 9 of 12 for 183, no turnovers and the 2 TDs. Kendrick Astacio picked up the slack for him on the ground, gaining 90 yards on 17 carries behind CDO's mammoth line, in which you can't miss 6-3, 315-pound tackle Aaron Jacobsen.
Defensively, Ethan Krominga had two picks when he wasn't lugging the ball on offense.
Galindo was a warrior for St. Mary's, gaining 99 yards on 21 carries, playing fearlessly and scoring all of the Knights points, directing an 8:35, 19-play drive, all on the ground.
Canyon del Oro coach Dustin Peace, in his 14th year, had heaps of praise for his team, but especially for undersized guard Sawyer Webb, forced into service on the offensive line due to injuries.
And as to McClelland, "That was his second varsity game ever. He made better decisions."
But the key, he noted, "The maturity of our players. We've got to stay focused."
St. Mary's coach Jose Lucero said "...we felt we could punch it in," on the 4th-and-goal turnaway in the first quarter that turned the momentum. Still, the 8:40 scoring drive from the third into the fourth quarter "showed some signs of what we can do when we do what we're supposed to do. We can play with anybody."
For Peace though, "The bus ride home from Phoenix with a win doesn't get any better than that."
Canyon del Oro (3-1) hosts Catalina Foothills next Friday, while St. Mary's (2-2) hosts Poston Butte at Phoenix College.
Marcos takes down Flagstaff
By Damian Adams
Marcos De Niza came out strong against Flagstaff and never let the Eagles get off the ground. Marcos ran right down the field on their first drive and ended it with a three yard touchdown run by Lorenzo Alexander.
Marcos then followed up that drive with another well balanced drive that featured a great mix of runs and passes. This drive was also ended by a rushing touchdown by the quarterback Braesen Leon. Marcos led 14-0 , midway through the first quarter.
Flagstaff was able to answer back with a drive that was very pass heavy and it was ended by a 15-yard touchdown pass. The point after try was missed.
Marcos came right back to start the second quarter with a long touchdown pass. They got the ball right back and scored again. Marcos led 28-6 and didn't look back from there.
This game was very sloppy as there seemed to be as many flags as they were completed passes. Both defenses were able to force turnovers but Marcos was able to take advantage of them unlike Flagstaff. Marcos De Niza is now (5-0) and Flagstaff fell to (1-3).
Player of the Game
There was not one stand out player but the defense for Marcos was able to hold Flagstaff to 12 points while forcing multiple turnovers.
Marcos De Niza will be back next Friday at home as they host Arcadia. Flagstaff will be at home as well as they host Washington.
Cesar Chavez uses big second quarter to top Buckeye
By Anthony Perez
Buckeye (4-1) started Friday night on fire, looking crisp and carrying momentum through the first quarter, but the last 36 minutes of the game were a completely different story as the script flipped and Phoenix Cesar Chavez (3-2) went on to cruise past their 4A Conference counterparts, 47-7, Friday night in Phoenix.
Senior Micah Boozer was the catalyst for Caesar Chavez on Friday night as he scored three touchdowns for his team. His first one came on a running play from midfield to give the Champions a 9-7 lead, their first of the night, with 8:14 left in the second quarter. His second came later that quarter on a 64-yard catch and run from senior quarterback Jorge Beltran. His third of the contest came with 6:21 left in the third quarter and it gave the host team a comfortable 37-7 advantage.
Buckeye’s lone scorer was senior running back Viliami Tongotea, who opened the scoring for both teams when he took a short dash into the end zone with :54 seconds left in the opening quarter.
With Buckeye up 7-0 and trying to retain momentum, a bobbled ball ended up in their endzone, where they downed it, resulting in a safety. On the ensuing possession, Caesar Chavez drove down the field and Boozer picked up his first touchdown of the night to give his team its first lead of the game. Those nine points would be the first of 30 that Caesar Chavez would score in the second quarter as it went on to dominate the rest of the contest.
“That’s a 4-0 football team. That’s a proud group of kids. They’ve got athletes all over the place, a great coaching staff. We knew they were going to bring it. They wanted to prove themselves playing against a 6A team, that’s a 4A team there. So, we were expecting that from them,” - Caesar Chavez head coach William Chipley on how his team adjusted after Buckeye’s fast start.
Buckeye will play the second of three consecutive road games when they travel to Goodyear Estrella Foothills, while Caesar Chavez hosts Mesa Desert Ridge next Friday.
Centennial defense halts late rally
By Alex Suarez
Centennial held off a late Williams Field comeback, killing a 2-point conversion attempt that would have tied the game and held on for a 24-22 win.
The Coyotes opened up an early 17-0 lead, but it would be a fight to preserve it.
After closing out halftime with a field goal and down by two touchdowns, Williams Field nabbed a 50-yard scoring connection from QB Travis Ebner to Austin Vincent to pull within seven points with minutes to go in the third quarter.
After forcing Centennial to turn it over on downs early in the fourth, Williams Field responded with a drive that would end with a 3-yard Dylan Lee touchdown.
But a missed point after would prove costly.
Centennial returned serve, this time with a drive ending with a 10-yard Kavaughn Clark score with seven minutes left. The PAT was good, giving the Coyotes a commanding 8-point lead.
Travis Ebner found more big play energy, this time with a 46-yard pass to Austin Vincent, setting up a 1-yard Lee score with less than a minute to go.
The resulting 2-point conversion would fail, and Centennial held on for the win.
Kenneth Worthy iii recovered a fumble at the 15-yard line and was able to return it for the touchdown to put the Coyotes up 17 early on in the second quarter.
Travis Ebner was able to get Williams Field their first touchdown of the game following a 50-yard touchdown pass to Austin Vincent.
Ebner would connect with Briton Stanton for a 46-yard pass setting them up at the 1-yard line. Dylan Lee would punch it in for the touchdown to get within two.
Kenneth Worthy iii would finish the game with two interceptions and a fumble recovery for a touchdown.
Dylan Lee had two rushing touchdowns for Williams Field.
Kavaughn Clark would finish with two touchdowns and the game winning touchdown late in the fourth quarter.
"I thought our kids did well," said Richard Taylor, head coach of Centennial High School. "We just shot ourselves in the foot on more than one occasion. It could have been easier but credit to Williams Field, they played really hard and made it tough on us."
Centennial and Williams Field will both have byes next week before resuming play on Oct. 14th.
Hamilton survives Highland
By Ben Stapley
The Hamilton Huskies are still alive and kicking.
Figuratively since August, and literally Friday night against defending 6A champion Highland.
Senior kicker Matthew Krneta drilled a 31 yard field goal with 2:33 left that lifted visiting Hamilton to a 10-8 victory over Highland in a 6A showdown Friday night.
Both defenses controlled the game, putting a premium on field position and eventually their place kickers.
The winning kick was redemption for Krneta, who had missed a field goal attempt early in the game that hit off the right upright, leaving the entire goalpost shaking.
Krneta’s first attempt was set up by a Taye Brown interception that gave Hamilton good field position.
Highland kicker Crew Crockett had another busy night, as the Highland offense never advanced past Hamilton’s 15 yard line.
Crockett connected on two of three attempts, one from 31 yards and the other from 47 yards. The 47 yarder was originally called no good by one referee, but was overturned.
The only touchdown of the game came in the third quarter when Hamilton quarterback Beckham Pellant hit Wideout Milan Smith from 15 yards for a 7-3 lead.
Highlight of the Game
Midway through the fourth quarter, Hamilton was backed up near its own goal line while clinging to a 7-6 lead. On a third down play from the two yard line, Highland defensive end Cooper Scott broke through the backfield and took down Hamilton’s Dylan Lord in the end zone for a safety and an 8-7 lead.
Quote of the Game
“These kids are just fighters and never give up no matter the circumstances.”-Hamilton Coach Michael Zdebski on his team’s win over Highland.
It was Hamilton’s fourth consecutive win after an opening week blowout loss in Nevada.
Highland dropped to 3-2. Both teams are off next week for Fall break.