It was not long ago that many around the state had brushed the Chaparral Firebirds aside. They lost their senior quarterback Sean Paul Brophy to injury and they lost two of their final three games to Brophy and Paradise Valley scoring just 12 points total in the two games.
But something has clicked with the Firebirds as the are back in a familiar place, the state semi-finals after a dominating 45-0 win over Tucson Sunnyside on Friday night.
They say defense wins championships and in this case, defense has been without a doubt been what has the Firebirds on yet another playoff run. In the first two rounds, the Birds have outscored first Westwood and now Sunnyside 75-0. Yes, they have not allowed a single point in two games.
Couldn’t be happier with how the squad played tonight!! MUCHLUV CHAPTOWN On to the next!! #semis
— ROB Kleifield (@robbss22) November 15, 2014
The defense for the Firebirds has turned into offense. They had two fumble recoveries in the first half which left to 10 points and also had a 98 yard interception returned for a touchdown by Nick Mendoza.
As mentioned, the Firebirds are doing this offensively with their starting quarterback. It has been the year of the back-up in Arizona in what we have seen out of Drew Stanton for the Cardinals and Mike Bercovici for ASU. Sophomore quarterback Grayson Berry got off to a slow start under center against Paradise Valley three weeks ago but has settled in and now has two playoff wins under his belt. He found receiver Gianni Tomasi not once, not twice, but three times in the games for touchdowns.
S/O to @graysonbarry tonight good things to come in the future for this team
— Keaton Pate (@keaton_pate) November 15, 2014
Chaparral moves on and faces a team they are very familiar with this time of year in division II, the Centennial Coyotes in a game that will be played at North Canyon High School next week.