Sande Sez- Postcard from under the Friday Night Lights

Greetings from Peoria! Stop number one is to see two powerhouses go head to head. Of course, I am referring to Chandler and Centennial.

First, shout out to both head coaches on a job well done.  Secondly, to the fans, and to be honest, I am feeling a little down after the game due to it. Dear parents, fans, friends, and family, please let’s remember this is a fun game. These are kids playing a game that they love and that we all love. I understand that we as outsiders might not agree with a play, a decision, or even a call, but let’s be respectful,  hold ourselves with the highest of class and be good examples for these kids.

Ok, to the game. Centennial’s defense did a great job of slowing down the dynamic offense that is the Chandler Wolves. Centennial’s special teams showed up big with a blocked PAT and a recovered onside kick. There were so many flashes of greatness for the Coyotes team. My guy on offense to keep an eye out for on Centennial is runningback James Scott. For Chandler’s offense, the chemistry between quarterback Mikey Keene and Kyion Grayes is something special… Wolves offense did take a hit with running back Eli Sanders who hurt his shoulder, and teammate Nicolas Nesbitt stepped in. Wishing Sanders a healthy and speedy recovery. Nesbitt had three touchdowns in the win over Centennial. The Coyotes will bounce back after this 31-7 loss to the Wolves. Chandler’s win streak continues to 31 now. One thing that did stand out that I have yet to see from teams is that both teams met at the center of the field for a socially distanced handshake at the end of the game, and it was really nice to see. 

Next stop! Pinnacle High School as the Pioneers host the Brophy Broncos. Both teams have some really talented players, but Pinnacle as a whole was just a bit quicker, stronger, and executed more consistently. Watching Devon Dampier to Duce Robinson for the next few seasons is going to be a lot of fun. Duce is, as the kids say, “a problem.”

If your program is not in the Top 3 in the state, then your Open Championship aspirations still look murky, and you better string together some impressive wins… well, Queen Creek took that sentiment to heart, putting together an impressive 24-14 victory over Highland. The Reynolds Brother, Hunter Barth, Krew Jackson, and the gang holding Max Davis and the Highland offense to just 7? Now that’s a statement!

How about Ironwood bouncing back after their first loss last week with a strong win of their own over Sunrise Mountain, 20-11? Well done, Will Haskell and the Eagles!

After seeing just how talented Mesquite looks this year, I would have predicted a comfortable margin for them over Gilbert. Well, I was wrong. Gilbert gave Mesquite all it could handle, even leading the Wildcats by 18 at a point. It certainly pays to have talents like Thompson, Lira, and Morris on your side, though. 47-46, Mesquite victory.