Another great week of Arizona high school football is in the books. There were three top ten match-ups in Division I, a huge upset in Division II, and not many surprises in Division III. Let’s look back at a few of the best games from week 7.
Deer Valley vs. Centennial
Centennial’s road didn’t get any easier after beating undefeated Ironwood Ridge last week. knotmove.com’s second ranked team in Division II took on another unbeaten in tenth ranked Deer Valley. It was a defensive battle, with both offenses struggling to move the ball. Deer Valley’s Trae Armstrong tied the game at 7 with a short touchdown run late in the first half. Armstrong scored again late in the third quarter to take a 14-7 lead, and the Deer Valley defense was able to prevent Centennial from scoring for the remainder of the game. In fact, linebacker John Reed led an inspired group, holding Centennial to just three first downs the entire second half. It was a huge victory for Deer Valley, as even though Centennial was missing some starters on both sides of the ball, they had looked like championship contenders in this division up to this point.
Hamilton vs. Desert Vista
The biggest game in Division I featured top ranked Hamilton against #3 Desert Vista, with neither team having a loss entering the game. Host Desert Vista definitely had the home field advantage, with a raucous crowd on hand to try and snap Hamilton’s winning streak (46 games). However, defending state champion Hamilton showed why they are clearly the best team in this division right now. Quarterback Blake Kemp played possibly his best game of the season, staying calm under pressure and protecting the football. Wide receiver Kendyl Taylor did his part to help his quarterback, catching two of Kemp’s three touchdown passes. Not to be outdone, the defense intercepted four Desert Vista throws and dominated while on the field. Hamilton won easily, 35-10, solidifying their position as the best team in the biggest division in the state.
Desert Ridge vs. Basha
Just when it looked like Desert Ridge might have lost their mojo, they face unbeaten and second ranked Basha and control the game from start to finish. Basha had been very impressive thus far, and they took on Desert Ridge after Red Mountain had dismantled them defensively the week before. Quarterback Parker Rasmussen was unable to play in that loss, and his return to the lineup certainly appeared to add another dimension to the Desert Ridge offense. Rasmussen, along with running back Joey Counts and receiver Jordan Becerra accounted for eight touchdowns and 433 yards on the ground as Desert Ridge stomped Chandler Basha, 63-24. It appeared that Basha was not nearly as good as advertised, but the more likely conclusion to be drawn from this game is that they caught Desert Ridge on a night where everything clicked and they may very well have beaten any team in the division with that kind of effort.