Zone Read: Capturing The Moment

The season is moving and some teams appear to be hitting their mid-season stride as we welcome fall football and the weather which accompanies it with open arms.

Without further ado, here are some musing from my keyboard and this week’s “Zone Read.”

Larry Legend…By now, Kyle Allen’s return to the Valley last weekend has been well-documented. The former Desert Mountain High star, whose unconventional path to the NFL is one fit for a Hollywood script, made the Cardinals’ overmatched secondary look foolish Sunday at State Farm Stadium.

Everyone saw what happened on the field but few realized what materialized off of it, moments after the Carolina Panthers 38-20 win over the Cards.

The Allen family sent me this photo Monday morning, so I reached out to Kyle this week to ask him what this moment meant to him.

“It was crazy to look up and be playing in the same game as him,” he explained to the “Zone Read.” “I remember watching him growing up, playing with Kurt Warner and Carson Palmer torching defenses. One of the best to ever do it. Cool moment.”

Sometimes the road less traveled has a happy ending. So far for Allen, said story is certainly following script. 

Getting Close…Almost lost in Tucson Salpointe’s undefeated start in southern Arizona is the job Canyon del Oro head coach Dustin Peace has done leading the Dorados to a 5-0 start without the services of star running back Stevie Rocker who has been sidelined with a high ankle sprain dating back to pre-season camp.

To this point the biggest key for CDO has been their defense, which has surrendered just 22 points through the first five contests, including a trio of shutouts. 

Now, it sounds like Rocker is expected to return to game action after CDO’s bye this week. They next face Catalina Foothills on October 4th.

“He’s looked really good the last two days at practice,” Peace said to the “Zone Read” earlier this week. “We are really excited about our team’s early season success and then to add him to the mix next week is going to propel us even further.”

— The Rock Show 🎥 (@Srocker22) September 4, 2019

Peace said expect to see an even improved product that the sophomore who rushed for 1163 yards (nearly nine yards per carry) and 12 touchdowns last fall.

“I personally want to see him carry the ball, just to see the growth that we have witnessed physically finally play out on the field.”

Scary.

Taking Shape…I saw first hand last week the improvement Higley has shown since starting the season 0-2. The Knights, who made the cross Valley trek from Gilbert to Goodyear, dismantled a then-unbeaten Millennium squad and seemed to put to rest any whispers of this being a “rebuilding year” for Eddy Zubey’s team.

Nine transfers are now eligible and one from 2018, running back Isaiah Eastman, ripped through the Tigers defense as Higley won their third-straight to improve to 3-2.

A University of Colorado assistant I spoke with on the sideline was raving about the skill set of junior quarterback Kai Millner, who has a chance to blow up this off-season. the 6-foot-2, 180-pounder has only thrown four interceptions in 120 pass attempts.

After a trip to Maricopa Friday, the back half of the section schedule is pretty stout with matchups against Casteel, Campo Verde, Gilbert and Williams Field.

#SagU Crew…Pretty cool experience Tuesday morning at Saguaro High School where former stars, now Arizona Cardinals, D.J. Foster, Christian Kirk and Byron Murphy surprised the student body at their fall pep rally, speaking to and taking questions from all in attendance inside the packed gym.

Some professional athletes give back because they’re asked/required to, these three give back because they want to.

Their different personalities (Foster-outgoing, Kirk-cordial, Murphy-quiet) blend perfectly together and the trio were engaging, personable and, most importantly, honest when taking questions from the crowd. 

Don’t Forget…When you’re out and about Friday night and every game moving forward, please use our #FridayNight360AZ hashtag on all your social media platforms so we can better spread scores and breaking news each and every week.