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High School Football Preview: The Quarterbacks

AJ Skaggs (Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

THE QUARTERBACKS

18 of the top quarterbacks from Southern Arizona graduated. Though Southern Arizona is known more for the running game, the signal caller is still seen as a leader on the field. Here are top returning QBs from the Tucson area:

AJ SKAGGS, SABINO

AJ Skaggs (Sr. 6-1, 200) threw for 2,495 yards and 25 touchdowns last year for a career total of 4,119 total yards. Skaggs is 881 yards away from reaching 5,000 career passing yards, a mark that only 11 QBs from Southern Arizona have done and 1,881 yards from 6,000. He lost his top three receivers to graduation and his top five out of six are no longer on campus.

“We had lots of talented receivers who I could count on to make plays when we needed it. This year I have been working with my guys since December, building that chemistry that we need so when the game is on the line I can trust them to go make a play. Some of the names to look out for are Gabe Garcia, Dawson Szarek, Beau Chaney and many more. I’m very confident in this year’s receiving corps and think they have a shot to be even greater than last years.”

SOUTHERN ARIZONA CAREER PASSING LEADERS

1 Rhett Rodriguez, Catalina Foothills 8,694 (2013-16)
2 Trenton Bourguet, Marana: 7,612 (2015-18)
3 Andrew Cota, Sunnyside/Salpointe, 7,554 (2010-13)
4 Reggie Robertson, Sahuaro 7,106 (1996-99)
5 Brian Chason, Tucson Christian: 6,408 (1982-85)
6 Tyler D’Amore, Ironwood Ridge: 5,915 (2008-10)
7 Adriell Alvarado, Cienega: 5,910 (2012-15)
8 Adam Rodriguez, Desert View: 5,774 (1985-89)
9 Jovoni Borbon, Buena: 5,666 (2016-19)
10 Justice Summerset, Mountain View: 5,264 (2013-15)
11 Alex Lopez, Walden Grove: 5,062 (2017-19)

THE NEXT FIVE

Deion Conde, Sunnyside So. (1,562 total yards/10 games)
Pedro Rodriguez, Nogales Sr. (1,265/10)
Ayden Ortiz, Tucson (1,025/10)
Treyson Bourguet, Salpointe Jr. (815/7)
Giovanni Ciaccio, Mountain View (780/4)

STATE RECORDS FROM SOUTHERN ARIZONA

Former Tucson High QB Ted Bland still holds the 5A record for TDs in a game with 7 against Bisbee in 1931. He scored 42 points in that game, also a state record.

The fact that Bland still holds two state records after 89 years is impressive enough but he went on to be Arizona’s first All-American. Even more impressive, Bland died a war hero and was killed in World War II in 1944 at the age of 29.

Ted Bland (Arizona Special Collections)

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Andy Morales was recognized by the AIA as the top high school reporter in 2014, he was awarded the Ray McNally Award in 2017, a 2019 AZ Education News award winner and he has been a youth, high school and college coach for over 30 years. He was the first in Arizona to write about high school beach volleyball and high school girls wrestling. His own children have won multiple state high school championships and were named to all-state teams. Competing in hockey, basketball, baseball and track & field in high school, his unique perspective can only be found here and on AZPreps365.com. Andy is the Southern Arizona voting member of the Ed Doherty Award, recognizing the top football player in Arizona, and he was named a Local Hero by the Tucson Weekly for 2016. Andy was named an Honorary Flowing Wells Caballero in 2019 and he is a member of the Amphi COVID-19 Blue Ribbon Committee. Contact Andy Morales at amoralesmytucson@yahoo.com

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