2023 High School Football

6A Quarterfinals: Williams Field vs. Salpointe Catholic

No. 7 Williams Field (6-5) at No. 2 Salpointe Catholic (9-2)

Date: Friday

Kickoff: 7 p.m.

Stream: NFHS Network (ONLY online streaming)

Williams Field coach: Steve Campbell (175-63, 20th year overall, 151-53, 16th year at Williams Field)

Salpointe coach: Eric Rogers (34-11, fourth year overall and at Salpointe).

When Williams Field has the ball:

Run percentage: 56.8 percent (320 rushes)

Pass percentage: 43.2 percent (243 passes)

Williams Field employs a two-quarterback system with juniors Kody Guy and Xavier Buckles. Guy has thrown for more yards (1,252) than Buckles (726). Both have similar completion percentages — Buckles at .596 (56 of 94) and Guy at .594 (85 of 143). … Iowa State commit Dylan Lee is one of the top running backs in the state, gaining 1,684 yards on 193 carries with 22 touchdowns. He also is a threat catching the ball out of the backfield with 23 receptions for 223 yards. … WR Cameron Cooke is the Blackhawks’ top receiver — 38 catches for 668 yards and five touchdowns. …

Salpointe’s defense has tallied 82.5 tackles for loss with 43.5 sacks, led by LB Thomas Regina (62 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks. … The defensive bookends of Elijah Rushing and Keona Wilhite have combined for 94 tackles, 34 for loss and 20 sacks. … Rushing, committed to Oregon, has 17 tackles for loss and 13 sacks. Wilhite, bound for Washington, has 45 tackles, including 17 for loss with seven sacks. … The Lancers’ junior linebacker Nate Spivey is one of the state’s leaders with six interceptions with 57 tackles (four for loss) and two sacks. … Opponents are averaging 19.3 points a game.

Salpointe’s top rusher Jaxson Banhie (Gilbert Alcaraz/Special to AllSportsTucson.com)

When Salpointe Catholic has the ball:

Run percentage: 65.6 percent (353 rushes)

Pass percentage: 34.4 percent (185 passes)

Salpointe has gone mostly with senior Taylor Nagore at quarterback but freshman Matthew Avelar has earned more opportunities in the last two weeks. Nagore has thrown for 917 yards while competing 79 of 132 pass attempts with 10 touchdowns and four interception. He has rushed 52 times for 408 yards with nine touchdowns. … Avelar, younger brother of former Sunnyside standout wrestler Mike Avelar and Walden Grove linebacker Rick Avelar III, completed 9 of 15 pass attempts for 169 yards in his first extensive varsity experience last week in the 41-0 over visiting Corona del Sol in the first round of the playoffs. … Two senior running backs are leading the Lancers on the ground — Jaxson Banhie (637 yards on 103 carries) and Jaylin Wills-Dennard (522 yards on 104 rushes). … Spivey also leads Salpointe in receiving (40 receptions for 407 yards with four touchdowns). .

Williams Field’s defensive coordinator is former Arizona cornerback Kelvin Hunter, who was part of the Wildcats’ 12-1 team in 1998. He’s been on the staff the last nine years with Campbell, a former Arizona State quarterback. … The Blackhawks on defense haves two players with at least 90 tackles — LB Adrian Dahlene (94 tackles) and FS Jayden Forrest (92). … Forrest also leads Williams Field with three interceptions. .. The Blackhawks have 38.5 tackles for loss and 18 sacks. … They are led in sacks by LB Dylan Forsgren with 4.5. He also has 10 quarterback hurries. … The Blackhawks’ defense is allowing 27.5 points a game.

Common opponents

Phoenix Brophy Prep — Williams Field opened the season with a 35-34 win in the game played at Phoenix Central High School. Salpointe lost at Brophy Prep 14-12 on Nov. 3 in the game that decided the 6A Central title.

Desert Vista — Williams Field won at Desert Vista 35-0 on Sept. 1 and Salpointe defeated Desert Vista 34-24 at home on Sept. 29.

Series record

Salpointe leads 2-0 with both victories taking place in the 2021 season, including a 36-33 win for the Lancers in the first round of the 5A state playoffs.


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

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