This Friday night’s game on Yurview Arizona is the biggest match-up of the regular season in the 6A ranks. The top ranked Perry Pumas (6-0) visit the Chandler Wolves (5-2), the defending state champions who have brought home the gold ball two of the last three years. These two teams met twice last year with Chandler winning both match-ups, including a 62-20 drubbing in the state semifinals.
This game will feature two of the top quarterbacks in the state, who are also getting noticed on the national level.
Perry senior QB Brock Purdy leads an offense that is putting up video game type numbers. The Pumas are averaging 59 points per game, and have scored 55 or more points in every game except for one (49 vs. Desert Vista). They scored a school record 70 points against Corona Del Sol.
“Brock Purdy is one in a million.”
Last season Purdy, a dual threat quarterback, was selected All Arizona 1st team after passing for 3,333 yards and 42 td’s, while completing 64% of his throws in 10 games. He also ran for 842 yards and 6 td’s. This year, Purdy has put up impressive stats despite being pulled out early in blowout victories.
Through 6 games he has 1,698 yards and 24 td’s while averaging 283 yards passing per game, while rushing for 415 yards and 3 touchdowns. Perry head coach Preston Jones says, “Brock Purdy is one in a million. I don’t know if I will ever coach a kid like him again. He has that “it” value. He has those intangibles you just don’t come across very often. He takes teams and brings them up to another level.”
Purdy, a 4 year varsity player that carries a 3.8 GPA in the classroom, has offers from UNLV, New Mexico State, and Northern Arizona, and drawn interest from others including Arizona and Syracuse. Purdy (6’1” 197 lbs) is being patient and wants to play for a power 5 program, but some of the those schools are concerned about his size. Purdy possesses qualities that can’t be measured, and has skills that pass the eye ball test. “I can spin the ball. I can run with my feet. I know wherever I land, the college is going to be really interested in me and trusting in me. So it will be a good situation.” Jones adds, “He is a fierce competitor. His vision is incredible. His accuracy, his ball placement, just his athletic ability in extending plays are things I don’t think you can coach.”
Friday night marks the much anticipated return of Chandler quarterback Jacob Conover. Conover suffered a strained joint in his right (throwing) shoulder late in the 2nd quarter in the second game of the season, against the #2 ranked team in the country IMG Academy. The junior has missed the last 5 games and is excited to get back out onto the field.
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“I can’t even explain it. It’s so hard to watch the team go, even though I am supporting everything that is happening. I had to be there for my team. It’s so great to be back.” Conover said. Chandler head coach Shaun Aguano adds,”It’s fantastic. He’s the leader. Billy Bolger did a tremendous job coming in and backing up Jacob, but having him back now we get the full fledged offense. He might be a little rusty, but I think we’re going to have a good run into the playoffs.”
Last season Conover (6’1” 195 lbs) threw for 3,708 yards, 32 td’s, and averaged 248 yards per game while completing 70% of his passes. Coming into the year, Conover was named to the Max Preps pre-season All American Junior class 2nd team. The quarterback has college offers from amongst others Arizona, Oregon State, BYU, and Alabama. “Coach Saban pulled me into his office and said hey, we are going to offer you. He just said it nonchalantly and just kept talking, and I was like what just happened. I was like whoa, all right, this is real. It was pretty surreal. Nick Saban is a really cool dude. He’s down to earth, great guy, and the hype around Alabama is real. Everything there is top notch. It was a cool experience.”
Conover has a big time target to throw to in senior wide receiver Gunner Romney. Romney (6’1” 200 lbs), who has committed to BYU, participated at Nike’s The Opening and Elite 11 camp this past summer. While at the Opening, Romney learned lessons from Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerry Rice and Odell Beckham Jr. of the New York Giants. Last season Romney caught 70 passes for 1,309 yards, and 9 touchdowns. The senior is a tremendous athlete who has cleared 6’4” in the high jump.
Friday night the lights will shine bright on some of the top talent in the state, and the game could very well be a preview of the state championship game come December. Make sure you tune in. It will be a fun one.