2020 Friday Night Rewind: Week Seven

One more week of the regular season.

The ride isn’t over quite yet so let’s still enjoy it while we have it. 

Kavaughn…Gone

Death. 

Taxes.

Centennial running the football.

On a chilly Friday night in Peoria I was introduced to Coyote sophomore running back Kavaughn Clark and he certainly didn’t disappoint shredding Chaparral’s defense in Centennial’s 42-28 win which kept their Open Division hopes alive.

The four touchdowns doubled his season output through the first six games as he’s spelled junior James Scott who has been sidelined due to illness.

“I would say that is a pretty normal night for him if you give him the ball that many times,” head coach Richard Taylor said after the win. “He’s electrifying. He’s exciting.”

We mentioned he’s a sophomore, right?

“I was just kind of picking them apart,” Clark said almost matter-of-factly after the victory which improved Centennial to 5-2. “The offensive line did phenomenal. I couldn’t be more grateful for them. They were getting double-teams up front and everything in the middle [of the field] was just one-on-one. I try to be as patient as possible and let the game come to me.”

Clark, who already holds an offer from Nevada, reminds Taylor of the last truly great back he coached at Centennial – Zidane Thomas who now plays at San Diego State.

“He’s real thick,” he noted of Clark. “He’s very much like Zidane, except he talks a little more than Zidane.”

Don’t ever change Coach Taylor.

Big Game Ahead

Moments after Centennial’s win one assistant coach referenced, “that school up north” and CHS almost immediately focused in on Week Eight.

That school is 5-2 Liberty who trounced Brophy 62-19 and happens to sit atop the 6A Desert Valley region standings with the ‘Yotes.

The Peoria neighbors, who are separated by a handful of miles and the Loop 101, will battle it out next week at Liberty.

I’ve seen both teams in back-to-back weeks and in many ways, they’re mirror images of one another. Both are very well-coached and play extremely hard with passion. Each also has features plenty of playmakers on defense.

The winner is a virtual lock for The Open Eight.

Rollercoaster Ride

It’s been a tough year for the 2-2 Firebirds who are stocked with talent but missed the first three games of the season due to COVID and have been inconsistent since, handling Brophy and Casteel but suffering a lopsided loss to Liberty and having to play catch up most of Friday against the Coyotes.

One person close to the program said this season has impacted the players’ psyche, especially after missing marquee early season games against rival Saguaro and Hamilton in Week Three.

Chap closes out their regular season next week at home against Pinnacle.

Three and Out

Three scores which caught my attention from Week Seven.

1. Basha knocks Mountain View from the ranks of the unbeaten.

Yes he can.

You have to feel good for McDonald who seems to get the short end of the talent stick surrounded by Chandler, Hamilton and Perry but always fields teams which play extremely hard, regardless of what the scoreboard says.

The 5-2 Bears are now 3-0 in the 6A Central and feature a rising star in freshman quarterback Demond Williams, Jr. as well as stud senior running back Caleb Jones.

2. Pinnacle runs over Perry 52-20.

The 0-5 Pumas have had a difficult time getting teams off the field in 2020. Perry has allowed an average of 49.6 points this season.

They close out their season next week against before mentioned Basha.

3. Red Mountain knocks off Williams Field 21-18.

This is quality road victory for the 3-3 Mountain Lions after Steve Campbell’s squad entered the contest on a three-game win streak and seemingly playing their best football heading into the playoffs as they always do.

RM will finish their regular season against Casteel who snapped their three-game losing streak taking out free-falling Desert Ridge 24-17.

One thing we’ve learned from several of these scores this fall: expect the unexpected as many teams have struggled to find consistency – understandably so considering the difficult and uncertain circumstances.