Chandler struggled with a pesky Highland Hawk team, turning the ball over four times in a 21-14 victory to finish 8-2, and wrap up a #2 seed in the Division I playoffs. The Wolves got an unexpected boost from junior Terrell Flanigan, who scored two rushing touchdowns, and had an interception in the end zone on Highland’s final drive, preserving the Wolves’ win. Chandler will host Mesa Skyline next week, playing the winner of the Basha/Horizon matchup.
Speaking of Basha, the Bears got back on track with a 40-14 win over Gilbert, finishing the season 5-5. While a .500 record isn’t ideal for the Bears, the 5 losses came to teams with a combined record of 41-9, and the 10th seed in the playoffs was the reward for their difficult schedule. Rajhan Meriwether closed out the regular season the same way he opened it- with a 4 TD performance. Zach Werlinger threw two touchdown passes to Doc O’Connor to bring his career total to 54, tying him with Kyle Duran for the school’s all-time lead. Basha travels to play high-scoring Horizon next week.
With Sam Sasso recovering from a concussion, and sophomore Jake Lewis ineligible due to playing in both a Varsity and JV game last week, Hamilton started 6’7″ junior James Sosinkski at QB against Perry. RB David DeSilva had his carries increase due to the absence of Tyrell Smith, and made the most of his opportunity by scoring 3 times in the 31-0 win over the Pumas. Hamilton finishes the season 8-2, and will host Millennium next week in the first round of the playoffs. Perry’s season ends at 2-8, and they’ll graduate several impact players, such as linemen Chandon Herring, Austin Pauley and TE/LB Lane Veach (who did not play vs Hamilton). The Pumas hope to get a healthy Austin Nightingale back next season so they can be more competitive at the DI level.
Seton Catholic scored a season-high 68 points against Rio Rico, closing out the year at 9-1, and drawing a #2 seed in the Division IV playoffs. Kyle Johnson’s unexpected success at QB continued, adding 6 TD passes to his season total of 32. In the last 6 games alone, Johnson has nearly as many TD passes (28) as incompletions (35). The Sentinels are no longer under the radar as they were last year, and can expect a challenge from any team they face on the road to state. They’ll start on Friday by hosting Combs, a team they’ve previously defeated by a score of 56-21.
Valley Christian ended their first season under the tutelage of Jeff Rutledge at 5-5, losing their finale to Scottsdale Christian Academy, 28-7. Valley Christian showed all year that they were dominant against lesser competition, with their 5 wins coming by an average score of 59-4, but went 0-4 in the games they played against teams who qualified for the Division V playoffs.