The Chaparral Firebirds (3-2) take on the Queen Creek Bulldogs (6-2) in the quarterfinal round of the 2020 AIA State Football Championships (Conference 6A) – Friday, November 27 at 7:00 pm MT/8:00 pm CT.
Friday night will mark the first time the two teams have met.
Due to COVID the Firebirds had three games cancelled at the beginning of the season. They were able to get in the five regular season games required to qualify for the playoffs.
“We didn’t play very well against Liberty, but after that Liberty game we played really good football,” Chaparral head coach Brent Barnes said. “We played by far our best game last Friday against Pinnacle.
“We’re trending in the right direction and playing good football. This is the time of year to do that. We’re excited about where we’re at.”
Last season Chaparral lost in the first round of the Open Division playoffs to Chandler.
Chaparral has six State Titles. Their last gold ball was captured in 2011.
On the other side, the Bulldogs are on a four-game win streak.
Queen Creek has made 18 straight playoff appearances dating back to 2003 when they were a 3A school.
The Bulldogs won their first and only State Title in 2012 under Germaine.
They’ll be looking to make a strong push in the playoffs this year after losing to Red Mountain in the semis in 2019.
Check out the Players to Watch ahead of Chaparral vs. Queen Creek – Friday, Nov. 27th at 7:00 pm MT/8:00 pm CT.
Jr. DL Anthony Lucas, 6’5” 270 – Chaparral
Lucas is rated as the No. 1 player in Arizona and No. 95 nationally in the 2022 class by 247Sports.
The 6’5, 270-pound defensive tackle has 20 Division I offers including Oregon, UCLA, Michigan, Texas, ASU, Arizona, Notre Dame, Auburn and Oklahoma.
— Scott Schrader (@Scott_Schrader) November 14, 2020
“You don’t have guys at his size with his athleticism very often,” Barnes said. “He’s a special kid.”
The Firebirds are also utilizing Lucas on offense as a tight end a bit this season.
In five games, Lucas leads the team in tackles with 29 and has 10.5 tackles for loss.
Sr. LB Trey Reynolds – Queen Creek
Reynolds is rated as the No. 22 inside linebacker in the nation and the No. 7 overall athlete in Arizona.
The 6’2” 235 pound linebacker has been starting for the Bulldogs since his sophomore season even setting up under center for Queen Creek as a sophomore and junior.
Reynolds leads the state in tackles with 144 total through eight games.
“Trey is probably our best athlete on the team,” Queen Creek head coach Joe Germaine said. “He’s 6’2” 235, but one of the fastest, most explosive guys on our team. Just that I think, is a great combination when you’re talking about an inside linebacker.”
Excited to announce that I am committed to the University of Utah! Thank you to everyone who has helped me through the process and the incredible Utah staff! @SafetyPride @Colton_Swan @Utah_Football pic.twitter.com/QDstaQKKqk
— Trey Reynolds (@TreyReynoldsQC) May 22, 2020
Reynolds had over 21 offers from Division I schools including Arizona, Colorado, UCLA, Oregon, Oklahoma State, Washington, Wisconsin and Yale.
In May, Reynolds announced his commitment to Utah.
Sr. WR Max Minor, 6’4” 195 – Chaparral
This season Minor has been a top target for junior quarterback Brayten Silbor. Minor has 637 yards and six touchdowns in five games.
Minor stepped up big for the Firebirds in 2019 when former Firebird wide receiver, and current Cal Golden Bear, Tommy Christakos was out with injury.
Impressive catch by Chaparral WR Max Minor to get the Firebirds down to the 5. That play set up RB Grady Hickey’s first rushing TD of the game with 7:32 left in Q3. PAT good.
— Dana Scott (@iam_DanaScott) October 24, 2020
“I’ve seen extreme growth from (Max),” Barnes said. “He’s taken the lead in understanding that he wants to be the guy that we want to try to get the ball to. Instead of taking a back seat and just having his role, he wants to take the lead.”
Minor also plays baseball. Last summer, he participated in the 2019 MLB and USA Baseball BreakThrough Series at the MLB Compton Youth Academy in Compton, CA.
Sr. S Hunter Barth, 6’2” 200 – Queen Creek
Barth is rated as the No. 11 athlete in Arizona and the No. 61 safety in the nation by 247Sports.
The 6’2” 200-pound safety is committed to play at Cal next season. He had offers from UCLA, Pitt, Duke, USC, Utah, Yale, Washington State, Oregon and Arizona among others.
— Hunter Barth (@hunter_barth_) August 2, 2020
“(Hunter) is one of the most competitive guys I’ve seen,” Queen Creek head coach Joe Germaine said. “I love that piece about him. He probably could also play every snap of receiver for us, he’s that good of an athlete.”
This season Barth has notched 40 total tackles and two interceptions.
Sr. RB Jared Williams, 5’11” 210 – Chaparral
Williams leads the Firebirds’ run game.
The 5’11, 210-pound rusher has 500 yards, eight touchdowns on the year.
— Cody Cameron (@CodyTCameron) November 14, 2020
“Whether he’s being asked to block for somebody else in the run game or pass protection, whatever it is, he does it to the best of his ability,” Barnes said. “He’s one of the better backs I’ve had at doing that at pass protection and being out on the edge. He’s an unselfish guy that can do so many things.”
Williams has offers from NAU and Minot State.
Sr. S Krew Jackson, 6’5” 200 – Queen Creek
Jackson is rated as the No. 12 athlete in Arizona and the No. 64 safety in the nation by 247Sports.
Jackson had offers from over 15 Division I schools including ASU, Arizona, BYU, Yale, and Virginia.
In August, Jackson committed to play his college ball at Kansas State.
— Krew Jackson (@krewjack) October 26, 2020
While he has played free safety for the Bulldogs the last couple of years, Kansas State recruited Jackson as more of an outside linebacker who can play in space with his length, Germaine said.
“He’s multi-dimensional but the big thing about Krew is his physicality,” Germaine said. “The way that he comes up and engages and tackles people, it jumps off on film.”
Jackson has 57 tackles on the year.