Yellow Jackets ready to face Seton for state title; NW Christian v Morenci slated for Division V

What is shaping up to be a classic showdown between two vastly different teams looms on the horizon for the Arizona high school Division IV football. The  game spotlights Blue Ridge of Pinetop/Lakeside vs. Seton Catholic of Chandler.

The defending champion Blue Ridge Yellow Jackets crushed Snowflake 44-0 Saturday in Phoenix and are a team that focuses on all facets of the game.

Fundamental football on both sides of the ball leads to execution and domination for the Yellow Jackets. The “Jackets” have not given up more than two touchdowns in any contest this season while tallying an average of 43.4 points.

The only game that head coach Paul Moro’s team even had a legitimate scare was against Mingus of Cottonwood. In that game Blue Ridge narrowly won 16-13.  Otherwise, the Yellow Jackets have won by an average margin of victory of 41.2 points where they have been so stingy they have only given up an average of 4.3 points per contest.  A description of the Blue Ridge methodology would be that they drop the blade and take care of business.  No nonsense, just smash mouth football.

Seton Catholic on the other hand is a fast paced “west coast” style of football. Led by one of Arizona’s most prolific passing tandems in the form of Ryan Bresnahan and David Gesicki, the Sentinels get it done through the air.

Meanwhile, the #3 ranked Sentinels have been winning the war in the trenches by manhandling their opponents. The Sentinels made easy work of #2 ranked Show Low this last Saturday 42-14. Some might say the early exit of Cougar running back Brice Rova had a huge impact on the outcome of the game.  Others might say even Rova would not have been enough to tilt the contest back in Show Low’s favor.

When Rova left the game in the 2nd quarter, he had rushed 2 times for a total of 37 yards. That is a pretty good average yards per carry. Rova’s partner in the backfield has been Dallin Crandall this year. Crandall, who had tallied over 1,000 yards rushing going in to the contest was limited to 55 yards on 10 carries. Seton’s game plan was executed and the Sentinels came away with the win.

This is a grudge match for Seton Catholic having lost to Blue Ridge in the semi-finals last year.  Even the casual high school football fan should be prepared to see a good contest when these 2 teams collide at the Walkup Sky Dome on the NAU campus in Flagstaff.  The game kicks off at 7:07 p.m. Friday, November 23.

The Division V championship game features a classic David vs. Goliath matchup. Northwest Christian of Phoenix is a perennial powerhouse in Division V/2A football having won 2 crowns and finishing as a runner-up once in the last 5 years. Conversely, Morenci High School has not been to a championship game since 1982. The game starts at 3:07 p.m. Friday, November 23 at the Walkup Sky Dome on the Northern Arizona University campus in Flagstaff.