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GRIDIRON ARIZONA

Your Source for 6A & 5A High School Football Scores, Schedules, and Power Points

Schedule

GAME OF AUG. 17, 2017:

Nogales at Sunnyside
 

GAMES OF AUG. 18, 2017:

Corona del Sol at Highland
Perry at Desert Vista
Mountain Pointe at O'Connor
Hamilton at Boulder Creek
Chaparral at Desert Mountain
Horizon at Cibola
Mesquite at Mesa
Red Mountain at Chandler
Westwood at Skyline
Cesar Chavez at Queen Creek
South Mountain at Maryvale
Kofa at Trevor Browne
Basha at Westview
Pueblo at Rincon
Tucson at Buena
Desert Edge at Centennial
North Canyon at Goldwater
Verrado at Paradise Valley
Willow Canyon at Maricopa
Arcadia at Williams Field
Notre Dame at Shadow Ridge
Ironwood Ridge at Marana
Fairfax at Camelback
Alhambra at North
Cholla at Douglas
Campo Verde at Agua Fria

 

GAME OF AUG. 19, 2017:

Pinnacle vs. Brophy
(Game @ Coconino HS - Flagstaff)


GAME OF AUG. 24, 2017:

Mesa Mtn View at Valley Vista
 

GAMES OF AUG. 25, 2017:

La Joya at Corona del Sol
Desert Ridge at Brophy
Mesquite at Gilbert
Highland at Skyline
Boulder Creek at Liberty
Mesa at Desert Mountain
Horizon at Chaparral
Mountain Ridge at Tucson
Tolleson at O'Connor
Pinnacle at Basha
Dobson at Rincon
Westwood at Copper Canyon
Central at Fairfax
Camelback at North
Trevor Browne at South Mtn
Queen Creek at Hamilton
Perry at Millennium
Imperial (CA) at Cibola
Kofa at Central (CA)
Sunnyside at Pueblo
Agua Fria at Washington
Williams Field at Deer Valley
Desert Edge at Notre Dame
Goldwater at Poston Butte
Arcadia at Verrado
Centennial at Apollo
Ironwood at Campo Verde
Kellis at Shadow Ridge
Maricopa at Paradise Valley
McClintock at Vista Grande
Ironwood Ridge at Sunnyslope
Sierra Linda at North Canyon
Amphitheater at Cholla
Desert View at Palo Verde
Buena at Flowing Wells
Cienega at Marana
Salpointe at Marana Mtn View
Sabino at Sahuaro
Cortez at Glendale
Greenway at Independence
Carl Hayden at Alhambra


GAMES OF AUG. 26, 2017:

Lake Havasu vs. Willow Can.
(Game @ NAU in Flagstaff)

IMG Academy (FL) at Chandler

Mustangs ready to break through

North HS football succeeds in Central Phoenix

WEEKLY BLOG:  7/22/17

Continuing a tradition that dates back to his days at Mountain View before his current crop of players were born, North head coach Bernie Busken took his team to Mogollon HS in Heber this week for four days of football camp to prepare for the upcoming season.

"The kids really worked hard," Busken, who first took the Toros to the Mogollon Rim for camp in 1996, said.  "I was very, very impressed."

One of the things that helped the Mustangs was support from the parents, several of whom made the trip north to cook an evening meal at 9:30 following the night time practice.

This year's varsity roster is up from 35 to 48 and it has its share of veterans as the Mustangs have a total of 17 returning starters from a 5-5 team (3-2 6A Metro Region) last season.

Junior Anthony Badilla, who is not one of those returning starters, will start the season under center.

"He's really stepping up and listens well and follows directions," Busken said.  "We're really excited for him."

Badilla will be joined by the team's top two rushers from a year ago in seniors Dominic Fiorucci and Milon Harvey.  Fiorucci may be little (5-6, 155), but he is mighty and had three 100-yard games.  He improved throughout the season as four of his six touchdowns came in North's last four games.  Harvey (503 yards rushing) also plays corner and has been getting more aggressive on that side of the ball.

It was on the ground that NHS did most of its damage last season as the team ran the ball on more than 85 percent of its offensive snaps.  Busken doesn't expect this year's numbers to look as lopsided.

"It will be a lot more balanced," Busken said.  We have some excellent receivers and running backs."

As far as the Mustangs' aerial attack is concerned, senior athlete Jason Cortez will be a key element.  He will be a three-year starter playing wide receiver and cornerback (50 tackles) and has a great feel for the game.  Another receiver is Eriq Saucedo, who started last season and doubles as a free safety.

Along the line, North has some size for a Phoenix Union District school.  Isidoro Lagod (6-2, 270) has excellent footwork at the left tackle position.  Others expected to make blocks to keep the chains moving are senior Lorenzo Pacheco (6-3, 270) and sophomore Joey Cortez (6-1, 245).

Defensively, North plays a multiple 4-3 with a Cover 2 Zone in the secondary. 

X Enrique returns as a starter at cornerback.  Manning the middle linebacker spot is junior Julio Ortiz, who had 35 tackles, a pair of interceptions, a fumble recovery, and a blocked field goal last season.  Moving from the secondary to an outside linebacker spot is Andre Johnson.  Also seeing time at the LB position are seniors Angel Juarez and Izzy Araiza.  In the trenches, Maxamus Valdez was a First Team performer at defensive end as a sophomore.  He had eight sacks among his 45 tackles.  At defensive tackle, Gabriel Vega does the job.

This summer, North competed in 7-on-7 and big man competitions at Central HS, Scottsdale, and Prescott.  Busken said the Mustangs competed pretty well.  Unlike some schools that implement plays just for tournaments, North actually runs its offense (minus the runs).  The team also used the events for building depth and played a lot of kids.

Senior kicker Carlos Cruz was the difference in a 32-26 victory over Central last season.  He converted two field goals in the win and was 26-of-27 on extra points for the year.  North also took advantage of some teams not looking for onside kicks to get its offense back out on the field.

Busken was hired very late in the offseason (July) in 2014 and went 1-9 in his first year with the Mustangs.  He followed that up with 6-4 and 5-5 marks the past two seasons.  Busken also feels the team let a couple games get away each of those seasons and they could have been seven or eight-win years.  Last season, North fell behind Camelback 16-0 in the first half of its opener before falling 19-14.  A couple weeks later against Fairfax, the Mustangs led 14-10 after three quarters, but lost 23-14.  For the second year in a row, North will play all nine of the other PUHSD schools, plus a test against Horizon, a potential playoff team.

"We have pretty high expectations," Busken said.  "If our kids do what they're supposed to do and stay healthy, we should have a great year."

In his career at Mountain View, Basha, and North, Busken has a record of 125-43.  He teaches the team lessons and stresses accountability.  Busken wants his players to not just be good teammates, but good citizens.  Part of taking responsibility for themselves comes in the form of the weight room.  It takes a long time (and a lot of work) to add strength, but doing so helps with reducing injuries.

North is an inner-city school with players that often must take jobs to help supplement the family income.  Homes don't always have two parents in them.  While the enrollment figures (2,561 students) put NHS in the 6A Conference, the socioeconomics would suggest otherwise.

"Some of our kids come from some pretty tough situations," Busken said.  "But we're not going to use it as an excuse."

Jon Sheaffer is the defensive coordinator.  He has been around Busken since the age of 14 playing for him at Mountain View and later coaching on his staff at Western New Mexico.  Adan Mendoza is a North High grad and is in his third year as an assistant coaching the defensive line.  Rod Windsor played for Busken at WNMU and later was an Arizona Rattler.  He coaches the wide receivers for the Mustangs.  Dyshod Carter played five seasons with the Arizona Cardinals and is now working with the defensive backs at North.  Mike Kaddatz is the special teams coordinator and has coached at Chaparral.  Felipe Becerra was previously a softball coach at Desert Vista and is is directing the linebackers at North.

Busken is a leader for these kids and serves as part of their support system.  The gratitude has worked both ways.

"I've never really been anywhere that I was more appreciated than here," Busken said.

Many of the varsity players don't have long football backgrounds at NHS.  Despite a coaching career that has spanned 40 years, Busken continues to evolve.

"I do a better job of explaining why," Busken said.  "The kids nowadays want to know why we're doing something and how it benefits them."


PHOTO CAPTION:  The North High cheerleaders have a banner prepared for the Mustangs to burst through in a game from last year.  The Mustangs open this season with four straight home games starting with Alhambra on Aug. 18.  The campus near 12th Street & Thomas opened its doors in 1939. (Photo Courtesy of North Mustangs Football)

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GRIDIRON ARIZONA POWER POINTS - 2017

 
6A CONFERENCE
  School Section         Record Power Points First Game      
1. Alhambra Metro   0-0      0.0000 @ North (8/18)
1. Basha Premier   0-0      0.0000 @ Westview (8/18)
1. Boulder Creek Desert Valley   0-0      0.0000 vs. Hamilton (8/18)
1. Brophy Premier   0-0      0.0000 vs. Pinnacle (8/19)
1. Central Metro   0-0      0.0000 @ Fairfax (8/25)
1. Cesar Chavez Metro   0-0      0.0000 @ Queen Creek (8/18)
1. Chandler Premier   0-0      0.0000 vs. Red Mountain (8/18)
1. Cibola Southern   0-0      0.0000 vs. Horizon (8/18)
1. Copper Canyon Southwest   0-0      0.0000 vs. Westwood (8/25)
1. Corona del Sol Central   0-0      0.0000 @ Highland (8/18)
1. Desert Mountain Desert Valley   0-0      0.0000 vs. Chaparral (8/18)
1. Desert Ridge Central   0-0      0.0000 @ Brophy (8/25)
1. Desert Vista Central   0-0      0.0000 vs. Perry (8/18)
1. Dobson East Valley   0-0      0.0000 @ Rincon (8/25)
1. Gilbert Central   0-0      0.0000 vs. Mesquite (8/25)
1. Hamilton Premier   0-0      0.0000 @ Boulder Creek (8/18)
1. Highland Central   0-0      0.0000 vs. Corona del Sol (8/18)
1. Horizon Desert Valley   0-0      0.0000 @ Cibola (8/18)
1. Kofa Southern   0-0      0.0000 @ Trevor Browne (8/18)
1. La Joya Southwest   0-0      0.0000 @ Corona del Sol (8/25)
1. Maryvale Metro   0-0      0.0000 vs. South Mountain (8/18)
1. Mesa East Valley   0-0      0.0000 vs. Mesquite (8/18)
1. Millennium Southwest   0-0      0.0000 vs. Perry (8/25)
1. Mountain Pointe Central   0-0      0.0000 @ O'Connor (8/18)
1. Mountain Ridge Desert Valley   0-0      0.0000 @ Tucson (8/25)
1. Mesa Mountain View East Valley   0-0      0.0000 @ Valley Vista (8/24)
1. North Metro   0-0      0.0000 vs. Alhambra (8/18)
1. O'Connor Desert Valley   0-0      0.0000 vs. Mountain Pointe (8/18)
1. Perry Premier   0-0      0.0000 @ Desert Vista (8/18)
1. Pinnacle Desert Valley   0-0      0.0000 vs. Brophy (8/19)
1. Red Mountain East Valley   0-0      0.0000 @ Chandler (8/18)
1. Rincon Southern   0-0      0.0000 vs. Pueblo (8/18)
1. Skyline East Valley   0-0      0.0000 vs. Westwood (8/18)
1. Sunnyside Southern   0-0      0.0000 vs. Nogales (8/17)
1. Tolleson Southwest   0-0      0.0000 @ O'Connor (8/25)
1. Trevor Browne Metro   0-0      0.0000 vs. Kofa (8/18)
1. Tucson Southern   0-0      0.0000 @ Buena (8/18)
1. Valley Vista Southwest   0-0      0.0000 vs. Mesa Mountain View (8/24)
1. Westview Southwest   0-0      0.0000 vs. Basha (8/18)
1. Westwood East Valley   0-0      0.0000 @ Skyline (8/18)


The top team from each section based on section record is guaranteed one of the 16 playoff berths.  These 16 teams will be placed in a bracket according to the final power points.

The AIA works with Maxpreps in devising the power points formula. The first official update won't come until after Week 5.  For the first few weeks of the season, we'll bring back the old 2009 formula just to give people an idea of where the teams stand.

 

5A CONFERENCE
  School Section         Record Power Points First Game    
1. Agua Fria Desert West   0-0      0.0000 vs. Campo Verde (8/18)
1. Apollo Metro   0-0      0.0000 vs. Centennial (8/25)
1. Arcadia Northeast Valley   0-0      0.0000 @ Williams Field (8/18)
1. Buena Southern   0-0      0.0000 vs. Tucson (8/18)
1. Camelback Union   0-0      0.0000 vs. Fairfax (8/18)
1. Campo Verde San Tan   0-0      0.0000 @ Agua Fria (8/18)
1. Carl Hayden Union   0-0      0.0000 @ Alhambra (8/25)
1. Centennial Northwest   0-0      0.0000 vs. Desert Edge (8/18)
1. Chaparral Northeast Valley   0-0      0.0000 @ Desert Mountain (8/18)
1. Cholla Sonoran   0-0      0.0000 @ Douglas (8/18) 
1. Cienega Southern   0-0      0.0000 @ Marana (8/25)
1. Deer Valley Desert West   0-0      0.0000 vs. Williams Field (8/25)
1. Desert Edge Desert West   0-0      0.0000 @ Centennial (8/18)
1. Desert View Sonoran   0-0      0.0000 @ Palo Verde (8/25)
1. Fairfax Union   0-0      0.0000 @ Camelback (8/18)
1. Flowing Wells Sonoran   0-0      0.0000 vs. Buena (8/25)
1. Glendale Union   0-0      0.0000 vs. Cortez (8/25)
1. Goldwater Desert West   0-0      0.0000 vs. North Canyon (8/18)
1. Independence Union   0-0      0.0000 vs. Greenway (8/25)
1. Ironwood Metro   0-0      0.0000 @ Campo Verde (8/25)
1. Ironwood Ridge Southern   0-0      0.0000 @ Marana (8/18)
1. Kellis Metro   0-0      0.0000 @ Shadow Ridge (8/25)
1. Lake Havasu Desert West   0-0      0.0000 vs. Willow Canyon (8/26)
1. Liberty Northwest   0-0      0.0000 vs. Boulder Creek (8/25)
1. Marana Sonoran   0-0      0.0000 vs. Ironwood Ridge (8/18)
1. Maricopa Metro   0-0      0.0000 vs. Willow Canyon (8/18) 
1. McClintock Metro   0-0      0.0000 @ Vista Grande (8/25) 
1. Mesquite San Tan   0-0      0.0000 @ Mesa (8/18)
1. Marana Mountain View Southern   0-0      0.0000 vs. Salpointe (8/25)
1. North Canyon Northeast Valley   0-0      0.0000 @ Goldwater (8/18) 
1. Notre Dame Northeast Valley   0-0      0.0000 @ Shadow Ridge (8/18) 
1. Paradise Valley Northeast Valley   0-0      0.0000 vs. Verrado (8/18)
1. Poston Butte Sonoran   0-0      0.0000 vs. Goldwater (8/25)
1. Queen Creek San Tan   0-0      0.0000 vs. Cesar Chavez (8/18)
1. Sahuaro Southern   0-0      0.0000 vs. Sabino (8/25)
1. Shadow Ridge Northwest   0-0      0.0000 vs. Notre Dame (8/18)
1. Sierra Linda Northwest   0-0      0.0000 @ North Canyon (8/25)
1. South Mountain Union   0-0      0.0000 @ Maryvale (8/18)
1. Sunnyslope Metro   0-0      0.0000 vs. Ironwood Ridge (8/25)
1. Verrado Desert West   0-0      0.0000 @ Paradise Valley (8/18)
1. Vista Grande San Tan   0-0      0.0000 vs. McClintock (8/25)
1. Williams Field San Tan   0-0      0.0000 vs. Arcadia (8/18)
1. Willow Canyon Northwest   0-0      0.0000 @ Maricopa (8/18)

The top team from each section based on section record is guaranteed one of the 16 playoff berths.  These 16 teams will be placed in a bracket according to the final power points.

The AIA works with Maxpreps in devising the power points formula. The first official update won't come until after Week 5.  For the first few weeks of the season, we'll bring back the old 2009 formula just to give people an idea of where the teams stand.

 

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