My brother Andy Morales and I went into detail about the state playoffs involving local football teams that remain in tonight’s action during last night’s High School Sports Preview Show at Wings Over Broadway at Camino Seco and Broadway.
We also discussed our coverage of the local college signings of top high school athletes on Wednesday, including star Tucson High School first baseman Carlie Scupin signing with Arizona’s softball program.
In the first Open Division in state history, No. 4 Salpointe Catholic (9-0) hosts No. 5 Phoenix Pinnacle (10-1) at 7 p.m. Expect an overflow crowd at Salpointe. We discussed seniors such as RB Bijan Robinson, S Lathan Ransom, LB Trent Strong, DE Luke Regina, and CB Charlie Raetzman.and the fact that the senior-laden Lancers are playing in the last games with 19-year coach Dennis Bene leading their team.
In the 5A tournament, we talked about No. 7 Cienega (9-2) and its thrilling comeback win over Sunnyslope last week down 10 points with less than 6 minutes remaining to win 27-24. The Bobcats have won eight straight games behind a defense led by DE Damaggio Strevay, DT Hunter Schlagel, S Sebastian Felix, LB Dillon Silva and DE J.T. Craig. Unfortunately for Cienega, RB Gabe Levy (982 yards on 145 carries this season) suffered a high-ankle sprain against Sunnyslope and is doubtful for tonight’s game. LB Isaiah Webb is also out with a foot injury. The Bobcats will have to rally around their stout defense and hope players such as Silva, David Clark and David Wilkinson pick up the slack at running back. They have combined for 499 yards on 42 carries with six TDs.
In the 4A state playoffs, we discussed No. 1 Sahuaro (9-2) with its three-headed running back monster of Izaiah Davis, Jamir Gasaway and Trevion Watkins threatening to become the first trio in Southern Arizona to each gain 1,000 yards in a season. Davis is at 1,083 yards on 129 carries with 12 touchdowns, Gasaway has 942 yards on only 49 carries with 11 touchdowns and Watkins has produced 743 yards on 124 rushes with 11 touchdowns. Combined, they have 2,768 yards on 302 carries with 35 touchdowns. We also discussed how important QB Devyn Roberts is to the execution by playing mistake-free at his position.
In the 3A playoffs, No. 10 Sabino (8-3) travels to play No. 2 American Leadership Academy-Queen Creek (10-1). We talked about Sabino junior QB A.J. Skaggs and his 2,263 yards passing while competing 175 of 268 passes with 22 touchdowns and 10 interceptions and his top target, senior WR Diego Armijo, who has 52 catches for 685 yards. ALA-QC has a 2,000-yard QB Rand Jensen, 1,000-yard RB Aziya Jamison and near-1,000-yard WR Ethen Cluff.
And in the 2A playoffs, two teams in our coverage area remain — No. 9 Benson (8-3) at No. 1 Round Valley (8-2) and No. 4 Santa Cruz Valley (9-2) hosting No. 5 Parker (10-1). We discussed the fact that Benson has a Dynamic Duo running back tandem of nearly 1,000 yards for each — Carson Barney (1,334 yards on 108 carries with 18 TDs) and Dondre Villalobos (902 yards on 87 rushes with 12 TDs). We also talked about Santa Cruz Valley with junior RB/LB Hunter Ogle (1,580 yards rushing on 202 carries with 18 TDs) as a leader. Round Valley is coached by Arizona linebacker legend Marcus Bell.
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.