Week 4 Extra Points

My Extra Points are various notes on players, angles and or story lines I find interesting from the week pertaining to high school football in Arizona. Here is what stood out to me from Week Four.

Mountain Pointe vs. Chandler: This game was really what I expected it to be. Mountain Pointe’s great rushing attack and Chandler’s passing attack going up against two good defenses but defenses that lost a lot of talent from last season. Despite the lost talent, they are still both extremely good but for both teams it’s about the offense. The difference in the game was what the Pride was able to do on the ground. According to Sports360AZ contributor Jason Skoda, Mountain Pointe rushed for 404 rushing yards in the first half, a school record 542 rush yards for the game and one of the three headed monster at running back, Paul Lucas, rushed for 286 yards in the game which is good for fifth all time in school history. As long as Mountain Pointe runs the ball like this, it makes them that much more difficult to beat.

Verrado: The Vipers have been one of the best stories in Arizona thus far in 2014 as they are off to a 4-0 start. They are doing it on both sides of the football but what they have accomplished, especially over the last three weeks, on the defensive side of the ball has been spectacular. Last week in a 60-14 win over Flagstaff, the defense and special teams had a combined two touchdowns and three safeties. They are outscoring their opponents 176 to 86 through four games. Senior middle linebacker Eric Cobello is leading the team in tackles and senior defensive end Darby Neal does damage with the pass rush. Overall they have great team speed and a lot of great athletes. They say defense wins championships, and with this Verrado defense, they could make a push to go deeper this season than they ever have.

Peoria: The Panthers are off to another great start this season after being a very pleasant surprise in 2013. What puts them over the top as a contender in division III is that they can beat you in all three phases of the game. Their special teams has become somewhat of a secret weapon. Their kicker, Kenny Castellanos. He is second on the team in points scored through the first three games and had 13 touchbacks in that span. Last week, he converted a school record 57 yard field goal. Peoria will rarely lose the field position battle and can almost guarantee points on their opponents side of the field with Castellanos on the field.

Miami vs Globe: The two schools meet for the 100th time in their history Friday which saw Globe win the game 34-8 in front of more than 5,000 people in attendance. The two schools are separated by less than five miles in eastern Arizona. The rivalry has some of the best tradition of any in the state. For Globe it was their first win of the season and got impressive play from their quarterback Joe Burk who scrambled for a 29 yard touchdown on the last play of the third quarter to make it a two score game and put it out of reach for Miami. It was very cool to hear of the two communities gathering by the masses for this exciting game in our state’s history.

Westwood: The Warriors continue to be another one of the best stories in high school football in this state as they have moved to 4-0 on the season after a convincing win over Gila Ridge. My colleague Jordan Hamm brought us the vibe around the program last week. There are many facets to why they have played so well but one of the biggest has been the play of running back Ethan Johnson. After friday, he now has 12 rushing touchdowns in the first four games. Not to mention an abundance of rushing yards. He has been next to unstoppable thus far and if Westwood can continue this relentless rushing attack, the goose egg in the loss column could very well remain the case for quite some time. Wracking up wins now is crucial as they close out their season with a tough stretch of games against Campo Verde, Marcos de Niza, Fairfax and Poston Butte.