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GRIDIRON ARIZONA

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

Schedule

 

GAME OF AUG. 16, 2018:

Ironwood Ridge at Marana Mtn View
 

GAMES OF AUG. 17, 2018:

Corona del Sol at Mesa Mtn View
Desert Ridge at Red Mountain
Palm Springs (CA) at Desert Vista
Highland at Alhambra
Westwood at Queen Creek
Chaparral at Hamilton
Brophy at Liberty
Skyline at Mountain Ridge
O'Connor at Mesa
Perry at Pinnacle
Dobson at Shadow Ridge
Cesar Chavez at East (AK)
Tucson at Maryvale
Basha at North
Kofa at Trevor Browne
Chandler at Centennial (CA)
Cibola at Imperial (CA)
South Mountain at Verrado
Camelback at Willow Canyon
Carl Hayden at Cactus Shadows
Apollo at Desert Mountain
Marana at Horizon
McClintock at Maricopa
North Canyon at Shadow Mountain
Notre Dame at Fairfax
Centennial at Casteel
Central at Sunrise Mountain
Campo Verde at Sunnyside
Gilbert at Mesquite
Paraclete (CA) at Higley
Williams Field at Norco (CA)
Cholla at Nogales
Canyon del Oro at Flowing Wells
Rincon at Sierra Linda
Catalina Foothills at Buena


GAMES OF AUG. 24, 2018:

Mountain Ridge at Corona del Sol
Desert Ridge at Westview
Desert Vista at Carlsbad (CA)
Hamilton at Highland
Mountain Pointe at Pinnacle
Queen Creek at Chandler
Skyline at Boulder Creek
Desert Mountain at Chaparral
Liberty at Copper Canyon
O'Connor at Basha
Salpointe at Dobson
Alhambra at Mesa
Mesa Mountain View at Perry
Red Mountain at Cesar Chavez
Valley Vista at Westwood
Maryvale at La Joya
North at Camelback
Carl Hayden at Trevor Browne
Pueblo at Tucson
Shadow Ridge at Brophy
Agua Fria at Tolleson
Kellis at Goldwater
Independence at Ironwood
Maricopa at Millennium
Willow Canyon at Dysart
Cactus Shadows at Gilbert
Marcos de Niza at McClintock
South Mountain at North Canyon
Sunnyslope at Notre Dame
Paradise Valley at Central
Casteel at Apollo
Sunrise Mountain at Williams Field
Mesquite at Campo Verde
Cienega at Cholla
Desert View at Sunnyside
Rio Rico at Empire
Walden Grove at Flowing Wells
Buena at Sahuaro
Fairfax at Marana
Washington at Sierra Linda

Cibola vs. Lake Havasu
(Game at NAU in Flagstaff)


GAME OF AUG. 25, 2018:

Horizon vs. Higley
(Game at NAU in Flagstaff)

O'Connor pushing for playoff return

Defensive end Trice leads charge for improved defense

WEEKLY BLOG:  5/18/18

With three weeks of spring football completed, Sandra Day O'Connor head coach Steve Casey reminded his team of the one important item left to accomplish this school year - doing well on final exams next Wednesday and Thursday.

On Friday night in North Phoenix, the Eagles conducted their Spring Game with a 40-yard field on one side of the stadium hosting a 7-on-7 game between O'Connor's skill players, divided up into two teams by the coaches.  Simultaneously, in the south end zone, a big man challenge was held, where coaches split the linemen into three different groups.

"We've had a great spring," head coach Steve Casey said.  "The big thing (for tonight) was getting competition and letting them have some fun."

The teams were drafted by the coaching staff and were distributed very evenly.  The big man event was tied after an array of competitions (40-yard dash, tire flip, sled pull, sled push, farmer's carry, obstacle course, and suicide runs) between two of the three teams.  They settled it in a final tug of war battle.  The 7-on-7 event was played with two 25-minute halves and the Blue team holding a 21-14 lead at the break.  The White squad rallied to take the contest 36-31 by intercepting a pass on the final play of the game.

It was a spirited battle and Casey let the players know that while they may have been on opposite sides on this night, from here on out, they will compete as one unit that needs to do everything it can to get ready for a road trip to Mesa High on August 17 (less than three months away).

"We're excited about the progress we've had in the offseason," Casey said.  "Now, let's see if it turns to fruition on Friday nights."

The Eagles (3-7 last season) return quarterback Ethan Moller, who passed for 2,031 yards and 19 touchdowns in his first year as a starter.  That total ranks second in SDOHS history behind Bailin Markridge's 2,327-yard season in 2014.  Moller will operate a spread offense (both 2x2 and 3x1) that is not a hurry-up, but a no-huddle with players getting the signals from the sidelines.

"He's a great leader," Casey said.  "He commands respect from his teammates."

Last season, Moller was forced to throw 30 times per game because the rushing game (77 yards per game) was practically non-existent.  No Eagle player rushed for over 350 yards last season.  Casey said they abandoned the run last year because the offensive line struggled to block people.

That inexperience throughout the team showed last season as 10 sophomores started games.  The good news is they are now juniors that have a year under their belts.

A couple of targets return for Moller (who is 6-3, and 205 pounds) this year.  Tyler Bergstrom, who will be a senior, combined with junior-to-be Damian Ortiz to catch eight touchdowns.  Bergstrom also plays free safety on defense and returns kickoffs (30-yard average).

While it's difficult to evaluate the running game during spring ball (no pads), the coaching staff has used this time to set the tone for how they want practices to be run.  Casey also said the coaches do have an idea of where the pecking order is for the depth chart.

It's on the defensive side that O'Connor will have to improve the most to have a successful year in 2018.  The Eagles lost by just three points to Desert Mountain last season.  However, that was the only close loss as its other six defeats all came by more than four touchdowns.  The D gave up 38.5 points per game.

Most of the attention from the carousel of college coaches that made their way up I-17 to Happy Valley Road was to personally take in defensive end Bralen Trice.  The defensive end, who looks every bit of his 6-4 and 225-pound measurements, had a breakthrough season last year with 75 tackles, 14.5 sacks, and five fumble recoveries.  He was named the 6A Desert Valley Region Defensive Player of the Year.

In watching him during the lineman competition, he showed leadership by encouraging his teammates on the Black-shirted squad and following right along behind them as they carried their weights.

"It was fun getting together as a team and going through the drills," Trice said.  "Great teamwork and leadership from everybody."

Within his own game, Trice said he has improved with the mental part and the ability to read more of the play about to develop.  He has offers from nine of the schools in the Pac-12 Conference and also TCU, Illinois, Notre Dame, and Alabama.  Trice has taken several unofficial visits to some Pac-12 colleges and will be deciding this week where he will be taking his five official visits.

Joining Trice on the D-line are Zachery Cardenas and his twin brother Andrew.  Zach plays nose guard and has bumped his weight up to 240.  He recently bench pressed 405 pounds.  Andrew (6-4, 210) will play the other defensive end position.  There is more depth here than in the past.

At linebacker, Dominic Alvarado, who will be a senior this season, led the Eagles in tackles with 78 and also had four sacks.

The secondary includes Noah Suddock, who intercepted three passes in his four games last season and Ethan Ososkie.  Casey raved about the on-field intelligence of Ososkie.

"He's very smart with his football IQ," Casey said.  "His dad is a coach.  He makes sure everyone lines up correctly."

O'Connor will be competing in 7-on-7 tournaments in June at Arizona State (6/6) and at Northern Arizona (6/16).  Moller sees those events as a chance to let others know this isn't the Eagle team that has gone 4-16 over the past two seasons.

"I look forward to showing people what our team is," Moller said.  "It's a new team.  I think we'll surprise a lot of teams."

The signal caller said the keys are having better leadership throughout the team and leading by their play, not their talk.

The Desert Valley Region lost Desert Mountain and Horizon for this block, but it doesn't get easier as Liberty and Chaparral have joined.  For O'Connor to make the playoffs, it will likely take a 6-4 record (5-5 will put the Eagles on the bubble).  In navigating a path for that, the first two games are critical.  Both are on the road in the East Valley, but they come against Mesa (4-7) and Basha (2-8).  Mesa is still trying to find it's path (like SDO) as the last playoff season for both teams was in 2015 (Mesa defeated the Eagles in a first-round game).  Basha is rebuilding with a new coaching staff.  The first home game is a unique one as it comes against James Campbell HS in Hawaii.  The Sabers will arrive on Wednesday of that week and the players and their families will have a team dinner with their visitors from the Islands on Thursday.  The first half concludes with Perry and Boulder Creek.  Getting off to a good start in those first three games could swing momentum.  The bye comes exactly after five games and there is one non-region game in the second half as Tucson travels to O'Connor.  The Week 10 game is the traditional rivalry with Mountain Ridge, which the Eagles have won in three of the past four years (and by a final of 61-22 last October).

"We want to start off and beat Mesa," Casey said.  "When region comes, hopefully we'll be jelling and we'll do a lot better than we did last year."

When the night was over, O'Connor's players accomplished something they weren't able to do in 2017.  They beat their dads in a final tug of war.
 


PHOTO CAPTION:  (TOP) O'Connor defensive end Bralen Trice takes his turn on the push sled during Friday's Spring Game.  Trice's black-shirted squad won the decisive tug of war to take the three-way competition.  Trice has offers from nine Pac-12 schools and also from TCU, Illinois, Notre Dame, and Alabama. (BOTTOM) O'Connor defensive back DeAndre Fountain intercepts a pass on the last play of the game as his teammates on the White team erupt.  The pick in the end zone preserved a 36-31 victory for the White team over the Blue.  It was one of five interceptions for the White team.


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GRIDIRON ARIZONA POWER POINTS - 2018

 
6A CONFERENCE
 SchoolRegion         RecordPower PointsFirst Game   
1.AlhambraMetro    0-0       0.0000vs. Highland (8/17)
1.BashaPremier    0-0       0.0000@ North (8/17)
1.Boulder CreekDesert Valley    0-0       0.0000vs. Skyline (8/24)
1.BrophyPremier    0-0       0.0000@ Liberty (8/17)
1.Cesar ChavezMetro    0-0       0.0000@ East (AK) (8/17)
1.ChandlerPremier    0-0       0.0000@ Centennial (CA) (8/17)
1.ChaparralDesert Valley    0-0       0.0000@ Hamilton (8/17)
1.CibolaSouthern    0-0       0.0000@ Imperial (CA) (8/17)
1.Copper CanyonSouthwest    0-0       0.0000vs. Liberty (8/24)
1.Corona del SolCentral    0-0       0.0000@ Mesa Mountain View (8/17)
1.Desert RidgeCentral    0-0       0.0000@ Red Mountain (8/17)
1.Desert VistaCentral    0-0       0.0000vs. Palm Springs (CA) (8/17)
1.DobsonEast Valley    0-0       0.0000@ Shadow Ridge (8/17)
1.HamiltonPremier    0-0       0.0000vs. Chaparral (8/17)
1.HighlandCentral    0-0       0.0000@ Alhambra (8/17)
1.KofaSouthern    0-0       0.0000@ Trevor Browne (8/17)
1.La JoyaSouthwest    0-0       0.0000vs. Maryvale (8/24)
1.LibertyDesert Valley    0-0       0.0000vs. Brophy (8/17)
1.MaryvaleMetro    0-0       0.0000vs. Tucson (8/17)
1.MesaEast Valley    0-0       0.0000vs. O'Connor (8/17)
1.Mountain PointeCentral    0-0       0.0000@ Pinnacle (8/24)
1.Mountain RidgeDesert Valley    0-0        0.0000vs. Skyline (8/17)
1.Mesa Mountain ViewEast Valley    0-0       0.0000vs. Corona del Sol (8/17)
1.NorthMetro    0-0       0.0000vs. Basha (8/17)
1.O'ConnorDesert Valley    0-0       0.0000@ Mesa (8/17)
1.PerryPremier    0-0       0.0000@ Pinnacle (8/17)
1.PinnacleDesert Valley    0-0       0.0000vs. Perry (8/17)
1.Queen CreekCentral    0-0       0.0000vs. Westwood (8/17)
1.Red MountainEast Valley    0-0       0.0000vs. Desert Ridge (8/17)
1.Shadow RidgeSouthwest    0-0

       0.0000

vs. Dobson (8/17)
1.SkylineEast Valley    0-0       0.0000@ Mountain Ridge (8/17)
1.TollesonSouthwest    0-0       0.0000vs. Agua Fria (8/24)
1.Trevor BrowneMetro    0-0       0.0000vs. Kofa (8/17)
1.TucsonMetro    0-0       0.0000@ Maryvale (8/17)
1.Valley VistaSouthwest    0-0       0.0000@ Westwood (8/24)
1.WestviewSouthwest    0-0       0.0000vs. Desert Ridge (8/24)
1.WestwoodEast Valley    0-0       0.0000@ Queen Creek (8/17)


The top 16 teams will be placed in a bracket according to the final power points.  Region winners are not guaranteed postseason spots in 6A.

 

5A CONFERENCE
 School Region         RecordPower PointsFirst Game  
1.Agua FriaDesert West    0-0      0.0000@ Tolleson (8/24)
1.ApolloNorthwest    0-0      0.0000@ Desert Mountain (8/17)
1.BuenaSouthern    0-0      0.0000vs. Catalina Foothills (8/17)
1.Cactus ShadowsNortheast Valley    0-0      0.0000vs. Carl Hayden (8/17)
1.CamelbackUnion    0-0      0.0000@ Willow Canyon (8/17)
1.Campo VerdeSan Tan    0-0      0.0000@ Sunnyside (8/17)
1.Carl HaydenUnion    0-0      0.0000@ Cactus Shadows (8/17)
1.CasteelSan Tan    0-0      0.0000vs. Centennial (8/17)
1.CentennialNorthwest    0-0      0.0000@ Casteel (8/17)
1.CentralUnion    0-0      0.0000@ Sunrise Mountain (8/17)
1.ChollaSonoran    0-0      0.0000@ Nogales (8/17)
1.CienegaSouthern    0-0      0.0000@ Cholla (8/24)
1.Desert MountainNortheast Valley    0-0      0.0000vs. Apollo (8/17)
1.Desert ViewSonoran    0-0      0.0000@ Sunnyside (8/24)
1.EmpireSonoran    0-0      0.0000vs. Rio Rico (8/24)
1.FairfaxUnion    0-0      0.0000vs. Notre Dame (8/17)
1.Flowing WellsSonoran    0-0      0.0000vs. Canyon del Oro (8/17)
1.GilbertSan Tan    0-0      0.0000@ Mesquite (8/17)
1.GoldwaterDesert West    0-0      0.0000vs. Kellis (8/24)
1.HigleySan Tan    0-0      0.0000vs. Paraclete (CA) (8/17)
1.HorizonNortheast Valley    0-0      0.0000vs. Marana (8/17)
1.IndependenceDesert West    0-0      0.0000@ Ironwood (8/24)
1.IronwoodNorthwest    0-0      0.0000vs. Independence (8/24)
1.Ironwood RidgeSouthern    0-0      0.0000@ Marana Mountain View (8/16)
1.KellisNorthwest    0-0      0.0000@ Goldwater (8/24)
1.MaranaSouthern    0-0      0.0000 @ Horizon (8/17)
1.MaricopaSan Tan    0-0      0.0000 vs. McClintock (8/17)
1.McClintockNortheast Valley    0-0       0.0000@ Maricopa (8/17)
1.MillenniumDesert West    0-0       0.0000vs. Maricopa (8/24)
1.Marana Mountain ViewSonoran    0-0      0.0000vs. Ironwood Ridge (8/16)
1.NogalesSouthern    0-0      0.0000 vs. Cholla (8/17)
1.North CanyonNortheast Valley    0-0      0.0000@ Shadow Mountain (8/17)
1.Notre DameNortheast Valley    0-0      0.0000@ Fairfax (8/17)
1.Paradise ValleyNortheast Valley    0-0      0.0000@ Central (8/24)
1.RinconSonoran    0-0      0.0000@ Sierra Linda (8/17)
1.Sierra LindaUnion    0-0      0.0000vs. Rincon (8/17)
1.South MountainUnion    0-0       0.0000@ Verrado (8/17)
1.SunnysideSouthern    0-0      0.0000vs. Campo Verde (8/17)
1.SunnyslopeNorthwest    0-0      0.0000@ Notre Dame (8/24)
1.Sunrise MountainNorthwest    0-0      0.0000vs. Central (8/17)
1.VerradoDesert West    0-0      0.0000vs. South Mountain (8/17)
1.Williams FieldSan Tan    0-0      0.0000@ Norco (CA) (8/17)
1.Willow CanyonDesert West    0-0      0.0000vs. Camelback (8/17)

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.

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