Are you ready for some football? I know we are! The Yurview Arizona high school football season kicks off next Friday, August 24th.
This year’s schedule is loaded with some of the top players and teams in the country. Yurview Arizona will broadcast 10 regular season and 2 playoff games every Friday night at 7:00 pm through November 9th (see full schedule below).
The season starts with two marquee match-ups featuring powerhouse programs from Arizona and Nevada that have been nationally ranked in the last 2 years. The opener has the Arizona record-setting 5 time defending state champion Saguaro Sabercats hosting the Liberty Patriots from Henderson, Nevada.
Saguaro has 19 players who have already received Division 1 offers, including all 11 projected starters on defense. Liberty’s made 3 trips to the state championship game and 5 appearances in the semifinals in the past 8 years. This is a rematch of a game played last season at Liberty, with the Patriots pulling away with a 51-20 victory.
On August 31st there’s a heavyweight tilt between Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, NV), #11 in the country in USA Today’s pre-season rankings, heading south to take on Centennial. Bishop Gorman’s been one of the top programs in the country over the last few years.
The Gaels have won 9 straight state championships and ripped off 3 consecutive national titles from 2014-16. Centennial has won 3 state titles in the last 4 years, including last season. The Coyotes have won 6 gold balls and made 4 semifinal appearances in the last 13 seasons. Centennial is a program that is willing to play anybody, anywhere. Last year, the Coyotes defeated St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, FL), who at the time was ranked #3 in the country. No doubt all eyes will be on this Labor Day weekend match-up.
Notre Dame, who fell to Centennial in the 5A state championship game last season, hosts Apollo on September 7th.
The Saints feature athlete Jake Smith (6’0″ 185 lbs), who surpassed 1,000 yards rushing and receiving while scoring 28 total TD’s last season. Smith, a senior, has committed to play his college ball at Texas. The Hawks have a game breaking running back of their own in senior Ali Mohamed (5’10” 170 lbs). Mohamed ran for 1,530 yards and 22 TD’s last season, including a 280 yard effort against Mesquite.
September 14th is a reboot of a chippy Scottsdale rivalry between Saguaro and Chaparral. The two schools, located just 5 miles apart, began playing each other back in 1973, but haven’t met on the field since 2014.
Saguaro’s vaunted defense is led by junior Kelee Ringo. Ringo (6’3″ 195 lbs) has offers from Alabama, Clemson, Oklahoma, and Ohio State amongst others, and is ranked by 24-7 as the #1 cornerback in the country for the class of 2020.
Ringo and the Sabercats will have their hands full trying to slow down the Firebirds offense, led by first year head coach Brent Barnes. Barnes comes to Chaparral from Norman North High School in Oklahoma where his teams led the state in passing yards the past 6 seasons.
Big armed junior QB Jack Miller (6’4″ 210 lbs) will be at the controls of Barnes’ passing attack. Miller, who is rated as one of the top signal callers in the nation for the class of 2020, has already committed to Ohio State. Joining Miller with a commitment to the Buckeyes is Chaparral teammate, junior RB Darvon Hubbard (6’0″ 200 lbs), also a recent commit for the Buckeyes.
THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY
#GoBucks 🌰 pic.twitter.com/gf8DmECv2a
— Jack Miller (@jackjamesmiller) July 1, 2018
The Chandler Wolves, who check in at #8 in the USA Today Super 25, host the Desert Ridge Jaguars on September 21st.
Chandler has been an absolute juggernaut in recent years, winning the 6A state championship 3 of the last 4 years, including the last two.
Offensively, the Wolves are led by BYU commit QB Jacob Conover (6’1″ 195 lbs), who threw for 3,077 yards and 32 touchdowns last season. His primary target will be TE / WR Brayden Liebrock (6’5″ 200 lbs) who is committed to Texas. RB DeCarlos Brooks (6’0″ 195 lbs) who ran for 1,352 yards and 13 td’s last year, while splitting time in the backfield with the departed Drake Anderson, will lead the ground game. Brooks has committed to play his college ball at California.
❕Senior Campaign coming soon ❕ #BlueReign pic.twitter.com/OFhAjr8Uvv
— Jacob Conover (@jacob_conover17) July 29, 2018
Defensively, Chandler is anchored by Hawaii commit LB Zach Bowers (6’1″ 215 lbs). Also, expect a big year from DL Matthew Pola-Mao. Pola-Mao (6’2″ 295 lbs), who transferred in from Mountain Pointe, missed last year due to a shoulder injury. The big interior defensive lineman, who started as a freshman, has been a big time college recruit since his sophomore season.
A huge 5A East Valley match-up takes place on September 28th between two teams moving up in classifications, the Casteel Colts and Higley Knights.
Last year Casteel won the 3A state title, finishing the season with a 14-0 record.
The Colts are led by QB Gunner Cruz (6’5″ 225 lbs), who is committed to Washington State. Cruz, who threw for 3,175 yards and 40 td’s last year, is part of the school’s first senior class.
Committed #JoinTheHunt #GoCougs 🔴⚪️🐾 pic.twitter.com/Jgrclf9cny
— Gunner Cruz (@GunnerCruz) May 31, 2018
Higley went 11-2 last year, and had their season end with a heartbreaking 37-31 overtime loss to Saguaro in the 4A state semifinals.
Offensively, the Knights are led by QB Spencer Brasch (6’4″ 185 lbs). The dual threat signal caller, who had 1,942 passing yards and 898 rushing yards last season, has committed to California.
I received my official offer today and very excited for my future!!🐻 #Berkeleyboyzzz pic.twitter.com/GO5nqfLJkw
— Spencer Brasch (@spencer_brasch) August 1, 2018
Defensively, Higley’s DL Ty Robinson (6’5″ 280 lbs) will lead the charge. The athletic Robinson had 13 sacks and 30 tackles for loss last season. The senior has big time offers from schools such as Alabama, Georgia, Florida, USC, Notre Dame, and Washington.
The much anticipated Ahwatukee Bowl takes place on October 5th when the Desert Vista Thunder travel 4 miles north to take on the Mountain Pointe Pride.
Mountain Pointe has won the neighborhood rivalry game the last 6 years, and 8 of the past 10. New Mountain Pointe head coach Rich Wellbrock will try to keep that momentum going for the Pride. Wellbrock comes over after spending last year at Basha, and 7 seasons at Desert Edge prior to that. While at Desert Edge, he won a state title in 2015. Wellbrock is replacing the highly successful Norris Vaughan. Vaughan retired after leading the Pride to 8 appearances in the semifinals or finals during his 9 years at the helm, including one state championship in 2013.
On October 12th the spotlight will be bright on Pinnacle QB Spencer Rattler, when his Pioneers host the Liberty Lions.
Rattler (6’2″ 185 lbs) is regarded by many as the top senior quarterback in the country. He threw for 3,946 yards and 45 td’s last season and has already set 6A career state records with 9,220 yards and 93 td’s. Rattler, who has started since his freshman season, has verbally committed to Oklahoma. Earlier this summer, the athletic senior was rated as the #1 QB at Elite 11 and named MVP of the prestigious Nike Football The Opening.
Liberty’s defense, led by Ryan Puskas and Braxten Croteau, a pair of California commits, will try to slow down Rattler. The Lions are hoping to follow up last year’s run to the state semifinals, with another deep run into the postseason this season as they move up from 5A to 6A.
A budding rivalry between the Perry Pumas and Hamilton Huskies continues on October 19th.
Hamilton won the first 4 meetings, while Perry has won the last 4. The Pumas 4 victories have come in the last 2 years, with victories in the regular season and knocking the Huskies out of the postseason.
Last year Perry went on to make the school’s first appearance in the state championship game before falling to Chandler. The Pumas return plenty of skill position players as well as highly sought after college recruit, offensive lineman Brayden Rhome (6’7″ 275 lbs).
The Huskies will be led by first year head coach Mike Zdebski. Zdebski comes to Hamilton from Michigan where he coached Walled Lake Western the past 20 seasons, winning one state title in 1999. Zdebski was inducted into the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame last year. Zdebski defensively will lean on cornerback Javin Wright (6’3″ 190 lbs), who is entertaining offers from Washington, UCLA, and Nebraska amongst others.
The final regular season game will be a west side story when Centennial hosts the Sunrise Mountain Mustangs.
Defending 5A state champion Centennial, making their second appearance on Yurview, will receive a stern test from the upstart Mustangs.
Sunrise Mountain, which is making the move up from 4A to 5A, is led by senior QB Keegan Freid, who threw for 2,941 yards and 39 td’s last season. Freid, who has committed to Air Force, helped guide Sunrise Mountain to the state semifinals last year, the best finish in school history.
COMMITTED!!!🔵⚪️🏈 @azc_obert @gridironarizona @SMHSFootballFam @AZHSFB @stevedecker982 @CoachStubbs @CoachAlexMeans @Keith12_XOS pic.twitter.com/vMMS33rHb9
— KeeganFreid (@KeeganFreid) July 9, 2018
The road between these two schools is five miles apart, but this match-up will put one of the teams on the path to a possible state championship.
2018 YurView Arizona High School Football Schedule
August 24th – Liberty (Nevada) at Saguaro
August 31st – Bishop Gorman (Nevada) at Centennial
September 7th – Apollo at Notre Dame
September 14th – Chaparral at Saguaro
September 21st – Chandler at Desert Ridge
September 28th – Casteel at Higley
October 5th – Desert Vista at Mountain Pointe
October 12th – Liberty at Pinnacle
October 19th – Perry at Hamilton
October 26th – Sunrise Mountain at Centennial
November 2nd – 1st Round Playoffs
November 9th – State Quarterfinals
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