The fifth week of high school football in Arizona went basically as expected as far as wins and losses go. However, the fashion in which some highly ranked teams won opened a lot of eyes and may have separated them from the rest of the pack. Here’s a recap of the best games from last week in each of the top divisions.
Brophy vs. North Canyon
These two teams from Phoenix were looking to make a statement as contenders for the Division I crown, and afterwards, one team had done just that. knotmove.com’s fifth ranked Brophy was on the road at #9 North Canyon, but they were able to silence the home crowd early and often. Devon Allen returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown and the Broncos controlled the game from there on. Brophy quarterback Tyler Bruggman tossed three touchdown passes (2 to Allen) and the defense didn’t allow a point until the game was well in hand. They finished off North Canyon 45-7, letting the rest of the state know how dangerous a team they can be. Brophy is 5-0, having now beaten North Canyon and Red Mountain, two top 10 teams, and on the road no less. With top ranked Hamilton still the favorites, don’t sleep on Brophy, Chandler Basha, or Desert Vista as potential spoilers.
Ironwood Ridge vs. Marcos de Niza
In Division II, #5 Tempe Marcos de Niza traveled south to #3 Ironwood Ridge. The home team opened strong, leading 27-0 in the first half behind Mitch Fischer and a grueling running attack. Marcos de Niza fired back, capitalizing on an Ironwood fumble by scoring on the ensuing drive just before halftime. They carried that momentum into the second half, scoring two more times to cut the lead to 27-20. Ironwood Ridge went back to Fischer and the running game, grinding out a 15-play, nine minute drive capped by quarterback Tyler Williams’ 4-yard touchdown run late in the game. Ironwood Ridge hung on for the 34-20 victory, with Fischer finishing with 208 yards rushing and two scores.
Saguaro vs. Cactus
This Division III game between top ranked Saguaro and #4 Cactus looked like a great matchup on paper. The Cactus defense had not allowed a single point entering the contest, while Saguaro boasted the most explosive offense in the division, having already hung 70 on last years 4A-II champion, Thunderbird. Cactus held Saguaro’s most dangerous weapon, D.J. Foster to short gains early, but it was only a matter of time before he was running rampant. Foster left the game in the third quarter with 248 yards and four touchdowns, and Saguaro put up staggering numbers again, winning 62-24. It’s obvious they are the team to beat and they may not be tested within this division, but Saguaro faces two very tough challenges with previously mentioned Division I Desert Vista next week and top ranked Chaparral in Division II in late October. Foster meanwhile has been spectacular this season and looks like the Arizona player of the year to this point.