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GameTime 2018: Arizona High School Football Preview

Arizona High School Football ScheduleYurView Arizona will again air live televised high school football games this season, and this year’s slate is filled with great matchups & top ranked recruits. It’s definitely a schedule that’s ready for prime time

A game will be televised every week during the regular season, as well as the first two weeks of the playoffs. Fans will get to see some of the top teams in the state, as well as some of the best recruits across Arizona.

Here is a deeper look at each game on the broadcast schedule. (All rankings mentioned for the 2019 class are from the 247sports composite rankings.)

Aug. 24: Liberty (Nev.) at Saguaro

Saguaro won all 12 of its games against Arizona opponents last season en route to winning the 4A Conference state championship. However, it lost both its games against out-of-state opponents, one of which was a 51-20 loss to Liberty on Aug. 26.

To avenge that loss, Saguaro will have to do a better job of stopping the offense of Liberty, which went 11-2 last season.

Saguaro’s defense features Nate Polk and Brandon Shivers, who are both among the top Arizona recruits in the Class of 2019. Polk, ranked No. 12, is a safety who holds offers from seven schools, including Arizona, Louisville and Oregon. Shivers, a cornerback who is committed to San Diego State, is ranked No. 15.

Aug. 31: Bishop Gorman (Nev.) at Centennial

Centennial shut down nationally ranked St. Thomas Aquinas and won the 5A Conference state championship last season  but this will be a challenging test early in the year. Bishop Gorman, which went 13-2 and won a state title last year, hasn’t played an Arizona school since 2015, when it opened its campaign with a win over Chandler. The Gaels come into the 2018 season ranked #11 by USA Today.

Expect to potentially see a new breakout player on offense for Centennial this season, as running back Zidane Thomas, who carried a bulk of the load last year, has graduated and moved on to San Diego State.

It could end up being 5’10”, 205 pound RB Tawee Walker, a transfer from North Las Vegas who ran for 1,554 yards and 18 touchdowns last season.

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Sept. 7: Apollo at Notre Dame Prep

Last year, Notre Dame Prep won 13 consecutive games before falling to Centennial in the 5A Conference state championship game. It should be poised for another strong year with wide receiver Jake Smith – a Texas commit who is ranked No. 2 among Arizona recruits in the 2019 class and No. 79 among all recruits in the class in the nation – leading the offense.

Apollo won eight games and made the 5A Conference playoffs last season.

Sept. 14: Chaparral at Saguaro

This is another matchup of two playoff teams from last season. While Saguaro won the 4A Conference state title, Chaparral won seven games before losing in the 5A Conference quarterfinals.

Saguaro has nine of the top 64 Arizona recruits in the 2019 class. A top recruit to watch from Chaparral is senior offensive tackle Craig McFarland (6-foot-6, 255 pounds), who is ranked No. 59 among Arizona recruits in the class and holds offers from Kent State and Northern Arizona.

In the 2020 class, Chaparral boasts a talented junior backfield duo of QB Jack Miller and RB Darvon Hubbard, both of whom have committed to Ohio State.

Sept. 21: Chandler at Desert Ridge

Chandler has seven of the top 48 Arizona recruits in the 2019 class, including tight end Brayden Liebrock (No. 3, Texas commit), defensive tackle Matthew Pola-Mao (No. 5, offers from 12 schools including Arizona State, Oregon and USC) and quarterback Jacob Conover (No. 6, BYU commit).

Last season, Chandler – which is ranked as the No. 11 team in the country by MaxPreps – won the 6A Conference state championship. Desert Ridge went 9-2 last year, but lost in the first round of the 6A playoffs.

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Sept. 28: Casteel at Higley

There are some top 2019 recruits on both rosters in this 5A Conference matchup.

Casteel’s offense is led by wide receiver Khyheem Waleed (No. 9 Arizona recruit in 2019 class, 14 offers including Iowa State, Michigan State and several Pac-12 schools) and quarterback Gunner Cruz (No. 13, Washington State commit). Defensive end Ty Robinson (No. 4, 22 offers including California, Nebraska and Oregon) leads Higley’s defense.

Last season, Casteel went 14-0 and won the 3A Conference state championship. Higley went 11-2, but lost in the semifinals in the 4A Conference playoffs.

Oct. 5: Desert Vista at Mountain Pointe

Although Desert Vista went 5-5 last season, it played a close game against Mountain Pointe in Week 6, losing, 21-16. Mountain Pointe went 10-3 a year ago, advancing to the semifinals of the 6A Conference playoffs.

Both teams have a standout 2019 recruit leading its defense – Mountain Pointe cornerback LaCarea Pleasant-Johnson (No. 14 Arizona recruit in class, 12 offers including Colorado, UCLA and Florida) and Desert Vista defensive tackle Brett Johnson (No. 20, Cal commit).

Oct. 12: Liberty at Pinnacle

The top player to watch in this matchup is Pinnacle senior quarterback Spencer Rattler. He is the No. 1 Arizona recruit in the 2019 class, the No. 1 pro-style quarterback and the No. 26 overall recruit in the country.

Rattler is committed to Oklahoma and led Pinnacle to a 9-4 record and 6A Conference playoff appearance last season. He is the only 5-star recruit from Arizona in the 2019 class, per 247sports.

This will be a challenging test, however, as Liberty went 11-2 and reached the 5A Conference semifinals last season. Its defense is led by defensive end Braxten Croteau, who is committed to Cal and ranked No. 10 among 2019 Arizona recruits.

Oct. 19: Perry at Hamilton

These teams faced off twice last season, and Perry won both meetings. However, one matchup was much closer than the other. Perry outlasted Hamilton, 65-63, on Oct. 20, then dominated in a 72-14 victory in the 6A Conference quarterfinals.

Two names to watch in this matchup that could have serious playoff implications: Hamilton cornerback Javin Wright (No. 19 among 2019 Arizona recruits, 12 offers including Nebraska, UCLA, Arizona State and Washington) and Perry offensive tackle Brayden Rohme (No. 20, 19 offers including Cal, Iowa State, Nebraska and Oregon).

Oct. 26: Sunrise Mountain at Centennial

Both of these teams made deep playoff runs in 2017 – Centennial won the 5A Conference state championship, while Sunrise Mountain advanced to the semifinals in the 5A Conference.

With both schools in the same 5A division, this Week 10 matchup could be huge in determining playoff seeding – or potentially who makes the playoffs and who doesn’t.

YurView will air over 65 games across markets in Arizona, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Nebraska. You can watch them on Cox YurView channels locally or stream them live on YurView.com.

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