Centennial football pulls off shocking win | 0:55
Defense shuts down all lanes and stuns Florida champion St. Thomas Aquinas 12-0
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Casen Simonton talks about Casteel’s defensive performance | 1:54
Casen Simonton had a pick-six and the Queen Creek Casteel defense held Yuma Catholic in check, avenging its two losses last season with a 17-10 win over Yuma Catholic Friday in Queen Creek.
Nick Snow/Special for azcentral sports
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Scottsdale Christian’s Christian Pahnke after win over Bourgade | 0:42
Scottsdale Christian Christian Pahnke on his performance of 244-rushing yards and two TDS in 27-8 win over Bourgade Catholic.
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Desert Edge senior running back Elijah Bogensperger | 1:16
Desert Edge senior running back Elijah Bogensperger talks about the Scorpions’ win over Agua Fria.
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Westview’s Bobby White after rout of Tolleson | 1:09
Westview running back Bobby White talks about his 3 TD performance in Westview’s 41-7 rout of Tolleson.
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Demaria Norris on his six-touchdown performance | 0:44
Demaria Norris leads Cactus to 57-34 win over rival Peoria on Friday, Sept. 29, 2017.
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Jarin Davis after Northwest Christian’s win over Odyssey Institute | 1:01
Jarin Davis had an interception return touchdown to lead Northwest Christian past Odyssey Institute on Friday, Sept. 29, 2017.
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Millenium head coach Lamar Early after win over La Joya | 1:29
Millenium head coach Lamar Early talked about how his team put up over 600 total yards of offense in a win over La Joya. Video: Weston DeWitt/Special for azcentral sports
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Mountain Pointe overcomes mistakes to beat Desert Vista | 0:32
It was the sixth straight year Mountain Pointe beat its Ahwatukee rival in football
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Sunnyslope running back Xamoi Penn after win over Kellis | 0:53
Xamoi Penn, Sunnyslope running back, talks about the Vikings’ 21-18 win over Raymond S. Kellis
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Coronado running back Alexis Mendez on his team’s first win | 0:39
In a battle of winless teams, Coronado routed Cortez in Scottsdale.
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Tylen Coleman, Kemo Atkins lead Maricopa | 1:26
Tylen Coleman and Kemo Akins were standout performers in Maricopa’s win over Ironwood 26-15.
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Carry on is the Mesa High motto and name of a documentary being filmed | 1:56
Mesa alum Darren Lovin is documenting the 2017 Mesa football season and the school’s rich history
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Watch Cover 2: azcentral sports high school football show | 28:52
Richard Obert and Richard Morin hand out their mid-term report cards: Best player, best coach and more.
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Israel Loveall sets Arizona high school TD pass record | 0:19
Bagdad quarterback Israel Loveall set a new Arizona high school touchdown pass record on Friday, Sept. 22, 2017. He needed five to break the mark and had six in the first half.
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Cover 2 – High school football show for Week 5 | 21:39
Approaching halfway mark of season: Richard Obert and Richard Morin preview the Highland at Perry matchup as well as the Pinnacle at Mountain Pointe game. Plus, which players deserve scholarship offers but don’t have them yet?
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Centennial pulls out win over Pinnacle | 0:59
Xavier Rojas wins it with his third field goal with two seconds left
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Cover 2 – High school football show for Week 4 | 22:53
Richard Obert and Richard Morin preview Verrado-Liberty as well as Chaparral-Williams Field and take questions from Arizona high school football fans on Facebook and Twitter.
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Centennial football pulls off shocking win
Casen Simonton talks about Casteel’s defensive performance
Scottsdale Christian’s Christian Pahnke after win over Bourgade
Desert Edge senior running back Elijah Bogensperger
Westview’s Bobby White after rout of Tolleson
Demaria Norris on his six-touchdown performance
Jarin Davis after Northwest Christian’s win over Odyssey Institute
Millenium head coach Lamar Early after win over La Joya
Mountain Pointe overcomes mistakes to beat Desert Vista
Sunnyslope running back Xamoi Penn after win over Kellis
Coronado running back Alexis Mendez on his team’s first win
Tylen Coleman, Kemo Atkins lead Maricopa
Carry on is the Mesa High motto and name of a documentary being filmed
Watch Cover 2: azcentral sports high school football show
Israel Loveall sets Arizona high school TD pass record
Cover 2 – High school football show for Week 5
Centennial pulls out win over Pinnacle
Cover 2 – High school football show for Week 4
Arizona high school football Week 6 rewind: Name recognition
Peoria Centennial (6-0), the No. 1 team in Arizona, put itself in the national spotlight with its 12-0 shutout of defending Florida 7A champion St. Thomas Aquinas of Fort Lauderdale on Friday at Centennial. Senior running back Zidane Thomas’ 56-yard touchdown run out of a pack of defenders with less than two minutes left sealed it. He became the first player to score a touchdown against the No. 3 nationally ranked team this season. Before Friday, STA (3-1) had only give up three points, coming in a 9-3 overtime win at home to open the season against nationally ranked St. John Bosco out of Bellflower, Calif. With a talented, lock-down secondary, led by sophomore safety Jaydin Young, STA couldn’t get a short passing game going. Centennial held STA to 10 rushing yards in the second half, as coach Richard Taylor put his program on the national map, while giving Arizona a big boost on the national scene, after Chandler (Bradenton, Fla., IMG Academy), Phoenix Mountain Pointe (Chaminade in California) and Scottsdale Saguaro (Liberty, Nev.; Salt Lake City East, Utah) weren’t able to break through against top national opponents early this season.
WHAT WE LEARNED
A second national story, on the 8-man level, played out in Arizona on Friday night when Bagdad senior quarterback Israel Loveall broke the 8-man national record for career touchdown passes with eight, giving him 147 in three years, in a 76-40 win over Salome. The previous mark was 143. Seven of Loveall’s TD passes went to receiver Scotty Finnerty, who set not only a 1A record for most TD catches in a game but for the most by any receiver at any level in a game in Arizona preps history. The biggest question mark defending 1A champion Bagdad had coming into the season was who was going to replace Loveall’s favorite target from the last two years – his older brother Benjamin. Finnerty has answered that emphatically. He has 26 TD catches in seven games. The season 1A state record is 27, set in 1985 by Tucson Christian’s Paul Hatcher.
ON THE RISE
Mesa Red Mountain, Goodyear Desert Edge, Surprise Valley Vista and Marana have bounced back from rough starts. Since dropping games to Chandler and Chandler Hamilton to open the Mike Peterson head coaching era, Red Mountain has won four in row. Meanwhile, Desert Edge’s losses to Centennial and Scottsdale Notre Dame Prep (in overtime) don’t look so bad now. The Scorpions, under new coach Jose Lucero, have won their last four. Valley Vista lost to Mesa Mountain View and Mesa Skyline to open the season. Since then, it is 4-0. Marana, behind QB Trenton Bourguet, has won four in a row since starting with losses to Oro Valley Ironwood Ridge and Vail Cienega.
MAKING A MOVE
Mesa Desert Ridge is playing 12 sophomores, including at quarterback, but the Jaguars put up 68 points in a 6A win over Gilbert. It was the second week in a row they scored at least 60 points. They scored 63 points in a rout of Scottsdale Desert Mountain two weeks ago. Coach Jeremy Hathcock is being patient with his 5-1 team. Hathcock is alternating two quarterbacks. Matty Purnell, a sophomore, has bounced back from a rough start and playing much better. “Super young this year and a long way to go,” he said. “It will be one of the best (offenses) next year.”
UNDER THE RADAR
In the year of the running back in Arizona, Mesa Skyline junior Aaron Wood has been flying under the radar. But he’s made himself known the past two weeks. He had 301 rushing yards in a loss to Chandler Hamilton, then followed that up this week with 104 yards and three TDs, including the game winner to beat Mesa Mountain View 43-36. After gaining 188 yards in his first three games, Wood has racked up 653 yards and six TDs in the last four games.
AROUND THE STATE
– Glendale Cactus senior RB Damaria Norris ran for six second-half touchdowns to rally his team to a 57-34 win over rival Peoria in 4A. He ended up with 340 yards rushing.
– Phoenix Pinnacle set a school record for most points in a game with 77 on junior QB Spencer Rattler’s birthday in a 48-point 6A rout of Desert Mountain, which has now given up 140 points in two weeks. Rattler was 16 of 24 for 393 yards and five TDs.
– Mesa senior RB Kris Jackson has his second consecutive 300-yard rushing night, running for 324 yards and four TDs on 24 carries in a win over Mesa Westwood. At halftime, head coach Kapi Sikahema, feeling light-headed, didn’t come out of the locker room. An ambulance came for him, but he refused to go to the hospital and spoke to reporters after the game.
– Phoenix Camelback beat Phoenix South Mountain 18-14 but lost RB Abukar Abdi for the season with a broken leg, which he suffered after surpassing 100 yards in the game. That gave him more than 1,000 yards on the season.
– Scottsdale Notre Dame Prep put itself in position to capture the 5A Northeast Region championship with a 28-23 win over host Scottsdale Chaparral. Once again, it was the Cole Fisher and Jake Smith show for the Saints, as the running backs took turns burning the Firebirds with big plays. Fisher scored the winning TD on a 64-yard screen pass.
– Hamilton beat Brophy Prep 38-31, behind Tyler Shough’s 15-of-18 passing for 234 yards and three TDs.
– Tucson Sabino set up a big 3A meeting this week with Tucson Pusch Ridge after a 42-0 win over Tucson Catalina, behind QB Alex Bell’s 14 of 22 for 244 yards and four TDs.
– Phoenix Horizon QB Isaac Enriquez was 14 of 18 for 152 yards and two TDs in a 28-0 win over Glendale Mountain Ridge to move the Huskies to 5-1.
– Phoenix Mountain Pointe won its sixth consecutive game against Phoenix Desert Vista, as Jakim McKinney broke off a long scoring run that halted Desert Vista’s second-half momentum in a 21-16 win. Mountain Pointe is 11-10 lifetime against Desert Vista.
– Phoenix Sunnyslope handed Glendale Raymond S. Kellis its first loss, 21-18, behind Aaron Turrey’s two interceptions (one returned for a touchdown) and a fumble recovery.
– Top-ranked (3A) Queen Creek Casteel beat Yuma Catholic 17-10, giving the Colts their first-ever win over Yuma Catholic after losing twice in Yuma to the Shamrocks last year. Those were Casteel’s only two losses as a varsity program.
– Vail Cienega took advantage of 4A top-ranked Tucson Salpointe Catholic being without its top two running backs — sophomore Bijan Robinson and junior Mario Padilla — and won 30-20. Both backs were out with injuries and could be out another week or two.
To suggest human-interest story ideas and other news, reach Obert at [email protected] or 602-316-8827. Follow him at twitter.com/azc_obert. Watch the azcentral sports high school football show on the azcentral sports Facebook page, with a new episode live every Wednesday at 7 p.m.