No. 8 Marana (10-1) at No. 1 Scottsdale Notre Dame Prep (10-1)
Kickoff: 7 p.m.
Marana coach: Phillip Steward (17-4, second year and overall with the Tigers).
Notre Dame Prep coach: George Prelock (60-12, sixth year and overall with the Saints).
When Marana has the ball:
Run percentage: 47.4 percent (261 rushes)
Pass percentage: 52.6 percent (290 passes)
Marana, which achieved its first playoff victory since 2017 with the triumph over Phoenix Sunnyslope last week, is led by QB Elijah Joplin (184 of 237 — 77.6 percent — for 2,656 yards with 28 touchdowns and four interceptions). The Tigers will attempt to win a second game in the playoffs for the first time since 1968, when they beat Page and Round Valley en route to the 2A state title (postseason had only two rounds back then). … Joplin is also a productive runner with 321 yards on 67 carries with seven touchdowns. … RB Matthew Jensen is the Tigers’ top running back with 761 yards on 99 rushes with 20 touchdowns, including three last week in the 26-17 win over Sunnyslope. … Sophomore WR Dezmen Roebuck, who has a scholarship offer from Arizona, has eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark with 1,107 yards receiving on 80 receptions with 13 touchdowns. WR Sam Brown and WR Jason Wood are also leading targets with Brown tallying 729 yards receiving on 36 catches and Wood at 490 yards on 28 receptions. … Junior LB Deacon Shea is one of the top tacklers in the state with 105 tackles, 10.5 for loss. FS Andrew Romano and DE Ben Roberts each had 13 tackles for loss. Roberts has a team-leading 5.5 sacks. Notre Dame Prep’s aggressive defense has 26.5 sacks and 78 tackles for loss. … CB Trevor Auerbach and CB JJ Francis each have five interceptions. The Saints have 18 interceptions overall.
When Notre Dame Prep has the ball:
Run percentage: 52.1 percent (310 rushes)
Pass percentage: 47.9 percent (286 passes)
Notre Dame Prep, behind junior QB prospect Noah Trigueros, has entered at least the quarterfinal round in George Prelock’s six-year tenure including losses in the 2017 and 2018 state championship games against Centennial. They lost in the quarterfinals last year at Salpointe. … Trigueros has completed 184 of 282 for 2,449 yards with 25 touchdowns and five interceptions. In the 42-19 win over Paradise Valley last week in the first round, Trigueros passed for 209 yards (17 of 25 pass attempts) and rushed for 60 yards on six carries. … He is the Saints’ top rusher tallying 446 yards on 72 carries with eight touchdowns. … RB Brady Meyer, who gained 100 yards on 13 carries last week, has gained 428 yards on 85 carries with seven touchdowns. … Trigueros’ top target is sophomore WR Cooper Perry, who has 1,018 yards on 69 receptions with 19 touchdowns. … Jensen, at linebacker, is the Tigers’ top tackler with 94 including six for loss. Fellow LB Lee-Vi Nez has 69 tackles with a team-best seven for loss. … Brown, who also plays cornerback, has five interceptions and fellow CB Jaelen Collins has four. Collins had a team-best 12 tackles in last week’s win over Sunnyslope.
Phoenix Sunnyslope — Notre Dame Prep beat the Vikings 44-23 at home Oct. 21 and Marana beat them 26-17 at home last week in the first round of the state playoffs.
First meeting between the schools.
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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. He became an educator five years ago and is presently a special education teacher at Gallego Fine Arts Intermediate in the Sunnyside Unified School District