Prep Football Game Previews: Prescott High to battle No. 7 Deer Valley on the road
Originally Published: August 31, 2011 10:49 p.m.
PRESCOTT - Coming off a spirited 39-21 victory over rival Bradshaw Mountain in its season opener last week, the Prescott High football team hopes to carry the momentum it generated into a difficult contest 8 p.m. Friday at Phoenix Deer Valley.The Division II, Section I Hawks (1-0 overall), rated No. 7 in the division's power rankings, may pose a challenge for the Badgers (1-0) and their defense."This is going to be a great test for us," said PHS coach Steve Moran, whose squad is rated 20th in the D-II power points. "It's going to be great that our kids are going to see a team with the speed and size they have up front. However, I feel comfortable with the fact that we can play with them up front."On offense, Deer Valley prefers to go off tackle with a power rushing game led by talented senior tailback Trae Armstrong (5-foot-9, 185 pounds). Moran said Deer Valley likes to maneuver outside and catch defenses napping on the pitch sweep.Armstrong, the two time defending Class 5A 100-meter dash champion, is lightning fast. That means the Badgers' defense can ill-afford to miss tackling him at or near the line of scrimmage and it must avoid getting in downfield foot races it likely won't win."We won't see anybody else any quicker this year than this guy," Moran said of Armstrong. Moran said he's made some minor adjustments to his defense this week to focus on stopping the run. However, to keep opponents' honest, the Hawks have shown they're not afraid to throw the deep ball. Last week, DVHS quarterback Auston Hillman completed 15-of-25 passes for 322 yards and an interception in a 28-21 win over Surprise Willow Canyon."We're probably just going to go ahead and man-up on the edge there and try to stop the pass that way and get some pressure on the quarterback before he has a chance to throw it," Moran said.As for the Badgers, Moran said five starters missed practice Tuesday, including star running back/free safety Brady Mengarelli, because of illness. But he thinks those players will return by Friday.Injured starting senior linebacker Drew Hicks, who missed last week's opener, should be back in the lineup in a few weeks.In a side note for fans that can't travel to Phoenix Friday, the game will be broadcast live on the Internet at www.aia365.com.To watch, click on the "Prescott @ Deer Valley" icon in the middle of the homepage.Chino Valley (0-1) at Williams (1-0)Friday, at 7 p.m.Only one game into the season, it might sound silly to label the Cougars' contest at Williams a "must win."But if Chino Valley falls into a 0-2 hole Friday, it could be a tough uphill climb for the club. Over the next three weeks, CVHS travels to traditional power Cottonwood Mingus (Sept. 9) and hosts up-and-comer Camp Verde High (Sept. 16) before visiting Bradshaw Mountain (Sept. 23).Last Friday at home, the Cougars showed early-season rust in a 19-12 campaign-opening loss to Payson High. This week in practice, Chino focused on fundamentals, such as executing proper footwork on the line."It was an ugly game for both teams," Cougars coach Bob David said of the opener. "We have plenty of things to fix."David said his CVHS squad can't afford to look past Williams, which has a Wing-T offense and incorporates some trickery with QB Jeff Brownlee (6-3, 175) and elusive halfback Adrian Solano (5-8, 134), both juniors, running the show. Last week, the Vikings came from behind for a 16-12 win at Needles (Calif.).Joy Christian (1-0) at Mayer (1-0)Friday at 7 p.m.The Wildcats, who rolled past Rancho Solano Prep, 58-20, in their opener last week despite missing some key players, should be at full strength Friday against Glendale Joy Christian.Mayer coach Rick Lashley said starting center/defensive end Justin Allen and DE/tight end Leo Basurto, both juniors, are back for his eight-man squad after missing the first game. They will bolster the Wildcats' efficiency and productivity on both sides of the ball.Tight end/safety Lucas Coldsmith, who had been suffering from a hip injury, managed to put together a standout performance last week despite Lashley limiting his playing time. Coldsmith scored two touchdowns, including a 40-yard interception return and a 65-yard reception from QB Grant Samsill."Right now he's at 95 percent," Lashley said of Coldsmith. "He was probably 90 percent last week, but it was plenty enough for our team."Lashley said scouting reports indicate that Joy Christian, which runs a spread offense, is more competitive than Rancho Solano. But he added that it was hard to tell based on film of Joy Christian lambasting San Pasqual Valley (Calif.), a traditionally poor team, in a 96-0 laugher last week.Mayer tailback David Atkerson, who ran for 200 yards and three TDs last week, should have another monster game Friday, Lashley said."They have some better athletes, but they're not going to be able to play smash-mouth football with us," Lashley said of Joy Christian. "They're not very big."Bagdad (1-0) at Rancho Solano Prep (0-1)Friday at 7 p.m.Bagdad had no trouble disposing of Fredonia 63-0 in its opener last week. On Friday, the Sultans should have little difficulty notching a similar outcome at Rancho Solano Prep.Versus Fredonia, Bagdad's defense shined, creating five turnovers in a dominating performance.Offensively, wideout/defensive back James Loveall had two touchdowns receiving and hauled in a pair of interceptions. QB Kody Lowe scored three TDs, including two rushing and another on a punt return. Tailback Justin Pacheco also ran in two TDs.Barring any injuries, Sultans fans should expect to see more of the same from their team Friday in Glendale.Salome (1-0) at Orme (0-1)Friday, 7 p.m.Coming into the 2011 season with a mostly green, inexperienced squad, Orme couldn't have played a much tougher opponent in its season opener last week at home.Class 1A defending state runner-up Mogollon shut out the Warriors 58-0.But Orme would be wise to put the loss as far behind them as possible and focus on Salome. Last Friday, the Frogs beat Phoenix Veritas Prep 34-12.The road may be just as bumpy for the Warriors this week.-Check Friday's Courier for the prep football game of the week preview: Bradshaw Mountain vs. Cottonwood Mingus