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Top returning Southern Arizona high school quarterbacks in 2022


Ten Southern Arizona high school quarterbacks who passed for at least 1,000 yards in 2021 are slated to return this fall.

Those who passed for more than 1,000 yards who exhausted their eligibility from last year: Trenton Bourguet of Salpointe, Tyler Haynie of Ironwood Ridge, Oscar Barraza of Desert View, Miles Kinney of Empire, Jason Stevens of Walden Grove, Connor Smith of Catalina Foothills and Ryan Fontaine of Pusch Ridge.

Sabino’s Cameron Hackworth is one of the best dual-threat QBs in the state (Hackworth photo)

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Marana senior Elijah Joplin is the top returning passer with 2,658 yards last season while completing 194 of 279 pass attempts (.695 percentage) with 30 touchdowns and seven interceptions. His ability to play this season is in question because of an eye injury suffered during the summer while playing 7-on-7 football.

St. David senior Ryan Gooding (playing in 1A eight-man football) and Sabino junior Cameron Hackworth (one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in the state) are the other returners who passed for more than 2,000 yards last season. Gooding had 2,468 passing yards and Hackworth 2,174.

Those who came close to 2,000 yards included CDO senior Caden Dawes (1,807) and Cienega senior Brayden Cherry (1,785). Dawes and Cherry emerged in a big way after not being the regular starting varsity quarterback in 2020.

In terms of emerging, keep an eye on Mica Mountain’s Jayden Thoreson and Tombstone’s Aliaz Dyson — both of whom were freshmen last season who experienced success, each passing for almost 600 yards.

2022 Week 5 Southern Arizona Passing Leaders

Stats compiled from MaxPreps provided by coaches and schools. *Denotes Class 1A (8-man football) player.
PlayerSchoolYrYdsCmpAttPctTDIntGP
Bubba MustainPusch RidgeJr.1,27474107.6921615
Ryan GoodingSt. David*Sr9925075.6672415
Cameron HackworthSabinoJr9685174.6891404
Gabriel SmithWalden GroveJr. 6675284.619513
Dalton CrockettBensonJr.6574487.509955
DJ EliasTombstoneJr6443052.5771034
Jason WoodMarana Jr5283144.705312
Ralphie ValenciaSan Manuel*Sr5172468.353525
Fredo SoteloSalpointeSr4203460.567433
Diego RamirezPuebloSr3822132.656712
Jayden ThoresonMica MountainSo3213766.561323
Kohan EvansValley Union*Jr2732055.364135
Elijah JoplinMaranaSr2531420.700302
Marana senior Elijah Joplin (Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)
St. David’s Ryan Gooding (Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)
CDO’s Caden Dawes
Cienega’s Brayden Cherry (Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)
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