Prep Football Previews (Sept. 20)
Veritas Prep at Antelope
Kickoff: 7 p.m. Friday, Wellton
Last week: The Rams beat Paradise Honors 26-7; The Falcons lost to North Pointe Prep 20-6
Records: Rams 2-1; Falcons 1-2
Player to watch: Beto Casto used his arms and his legs under center for the Rams, helping them to their first two-game winning streak in almost three years.
The lowdown: The Falcons are 1-15 the two season prior to this one. This is their first 11-man season. ... The Rams can have their first three-game winning streak since Oct. 10-24, 2008.
Brawley (Calif.) at Cibola
Kickoff: 7 p.m. Friday, Raider Field
Last week: The Wildcats beat Coachella Valley 42-7 ; The Raiders beat Calexico 35-20
Records: Brawley 2-1; Cibola 1-2
Players to watch: Nico Aguirre rushed for 139 yards on nine carries for the Wildcats in their win last week. ... Cibola wide receiver Noah Thompson was a favorite target for Raider quarterback Lucky Arvizo Jr. Thompson hauled in five catches for 122 yards in the Raiders' win over Calexico.
Coach Lucky Arvizo Sr.'s comments: "Offensively, (the Wildcats) run the ball very well and they option the ball well. They've done a very good job in Brawley -- even in Pop Warner. They've mastered that offense. "
The lowdown: The Raiders are airing out this year, and quarterback Lucky Arvizo Jr. is seventh in the state with 307.7 passing yards per game. He has eight touchdowns and one interception. ... Brawley went two rounds into the CIF playoffs last year and beat Imperial and star running back Royce Freeman twice. ... The Wildcats won last year's matchup in the Imperial Valley 33-13 en route to a 6-0 home record.
Kofa at Tucson-Sahuaro
Kickoff: 7 p.m. Friday, Tucson
Last week: The Kings lost to Tucson-Desert View 44-0; The Cougars beat Vista Grande 42-6
Records: Kofa 0-3; Sahuaro 2-1
Players to watch: Blabe said he's using Zachary Castaneda all over the field, however he can help the Kings offense score their first points. ... Senior quarterback Laramie Brown went 11 for 21 with 221 yards and three touchdowns in the Cougars' win over Tucson High to start the season.
Coach John Blabe's comments: "It's tough not scoring in three games, but we're getting kids a lot of playing time who have no varsity experience."
The lowdown: On Sept. 9, Blabe was enducted into the Arizona Interscholastic Association of Athletic Administrators Hall of Fame for his work as the athletic director at Antelope and Gila Bend. "It's a great honor because not a lot of people get in," Blabe said. "The reason I got in was I got a school board and athletic department that thought athletics were a big part of the curriculum. They made sure athletics were very important." ... Things don't look to get any easier for the Kings as they face the Cougars, who made the playoffs last year but were expected to build off that in 2013. ... The Kings still haven't scored this year, although the trip to Tucson last year was good for a half, Blabe said. The Kings drove the ball and were within one score for most of the first half. ... Kofa plays just its second home game of the year next week against Blabe's former school, Antelope.
Gila Ridge at Mesa-Westwood
Kickoff: 7 p.m. Friday, Mesa
Last week: The Hawks lost to Perry 27-6; The Warriors lost to Mesa High 27-7
Records: Gila Ridge 0-3; Westwood 2-1
Players to watch: Junior Brandon Kehl, formally a quarterback, took most of the snaps as the running back against Perry -- rushing for 144 yards and a touchdown. ... In Westwood's 64-0 win over Maryvale, junior running back Dezmond Sueing rushed 11 times for 208 yards and two touchdowns.
Coach Tom Hurt's comments: "We have to score more than seven points. We have to score more points than them – and I don't mean that facetiously. We haven't been lighting up the scoreboard here lately. We're just going to get the offense going and hopefully the defense an keep them off the scoreboard."
The lowdown: Kehl's 8-yard rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter against Perry was the first of the year for the Hawk offense. Hurt said he still will be primarily the quarterback but may seem time at running back as well. ... This is the first time in school history Gila Ridge has started the season 0-3. ... After this week, the Hawks play four of their next five at home. ... Gila Ridge has been outscored 80-10 this year. The Warriors' wins are by a combined 98-0.
Parker vs. San Luis
Kickoff: 7 p.m. Friday, San Luis
Last week: The Broncs beat Payson 28-21; The Sidewinders lost to Phoenix-North 67-0
Records: Parker 2-1; San Luis 0-3
Players to watch: Junior CJ Markel rushed for 121 yards and two touchdowns in Parker's win over Payson. ... Hector Montijo provides the speed for the Sidewinders as a receiver, defensive back and kick returner. He has the Sidewinders' only touchdown this year.
Coach Doug Thompson's comments: "Even though they're a smaller school, they're pretty tough up front. We're going to try to win as many battles as we can and hopefully get some turnovers."
The lowdown: The Sidewinders are currently on a 49-game losing streak. ... The 67 points given up last week was the most San Luis surrendered since a 69-0 loss last year to Cibola. ... Parker has a 43-0 win and a 42-7 loss under its belt this year.
Yuma Catholic at River Valley
Kickoff: 7 p.m. Friday, River Valley
Last week: The Shamrocks beat Kingman Academy of Learning 59-7; The Dust Devils beat Lee Williams 54-0
Records: Yuma Catholic 2-1; River Valley 3-0
Players to watch: Junior linebacker Moisis Barcenas leads the Shamrocks with 36 tackles on the year -- 24 of which have been solo tackles; Brandon Long rushed 10 times for 182 yards for the Dust Devils in their win last week.
Coach Rhett Stallworth's comments: "I think this is, to date, the best team we've faced. They play tough, physical football and they have a good track record. They've played us the tougher than anybody other than Northwest Christian."
The lowdown: River Valley is ranked No. 3 at Division IV in the Arizona Championship Series poll, while Yuma Catholic is No. 5 at Division V. ... Last season, Yuma Catholic snuck away with a 21-14 home win over River Valley after winning 27-6 on the road the year before. ... The Dust Devils have outscored their opponents 108-7 this year, the lone touchdown surrendered at Bullhead City-Mohave in a 21-7 win.
Yuma High at Calipatria (Calif.)
Kickoff: 7 p.m. Friday, Calipatria
Last week: The Criminals lost to Tucson High 51-0; The Hornets beat San Diego-Rock Academy 43-7
Records: Yuma High 1-2; Calipatria 2-1
Players to watch: Arturo Vegas continues to be the main yard gainer for the Criminals at running back... Alvaro Baltierra had 272 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns against Rock Academy, including a 76-yard touchdown run.
Coach Curt Weber's comments: "Now they don't have an excuse anymore, that the other team is just superior athletically. So now that it's more even, that's on them."
The lowdown: Weber felt that after three tough games to start the year, the game against the Hornets is the first realistically winnable game. ... Calipatria's student enrollment is less than 350 students. ... The Hornets beat San Luis 47-0 last in going year 9-3 and making it two rounds deep in the playoffs. ... Counting the game against Higley, which the Knights ended up forfeiting to Yuma, the Criminals have given up 50 points twice this year. They didn't give up 50 points at all last year, but were tagged for that much three times in 2011.
San Pasqual at Gilbert Christian
Kickoff: 7 p.m. Friday, Gilbert
Last week: The Warriors did not play; The Knights beat Duncan 59-16
Records: San Pasqual 2-0; Gilbert Christian 4-0
Players to watch: San Pasqual quarterback Rigo Garcia rushed for 113 yards and three touchdowns in San Pasqual's 64-0 win over Tohono O'odham. ... Senior Andrew Sherman rushed 20 times for 275 yards and three touchdowns in the Knights' win over Superior in Week 2.
Coach Sal Pineda's comments: "It's tough keeping their focus, with them being young and never having to travel before."
The lowdown: Both of the Warriors' wins have come at home this year. ... The Knights have scored at least 40 points in every game this year, including 76 against Superior. ... The Knights lost in the first round of the AIA Division VI playoffs last year.