My Extra Points are various notes on players, angles and or story lines I find interesting from the week pertaining to high school football in Arizona. Here is what stood out to me from Week Six.
Accessing the elite in Division I: Mountain Pointe runs past Chandler, Hamilton blows out Mountain Pointe, Chandler blows out Hamilton. Parity sure makes this a lot of fun. I have seen all three teams play this season and all three bring something different to the table. At this point in the season if I had to pick one whom I think is the best, I would go with Chandler. Mountain Pointe came out and shocked Chandler early in the first quarter with their strength in the trenches and the Wolves didn’t know what hit them. But Chandler regrouped and outscored the Pride 14-3 in the second half to almost come from behind and win. Pair that second half with the performance they had thursday against Hamilton, and I think they are the most complete of the three. But make sure you don’t sleep on Pinnacle whom I believe has proven they deserve to be in the conversation. Their 28 unanswered points on Hamilton to almost come from behind and win and what their dominance of every other team they have faced, proves to me that could have what it takes to make a push in the playoffs.
Moon Valley: Earlier this week I went check out a Moon Valley practice as the Rockets who are now 6-0 on the season after beating Phoenix Christian on Thursday night. I am very impressed with their senior quarterback Shannon Burton who after Thursday’s game against PC, has 24 total touchdowns (passing and rushing combined) through the six games and nine in the last two. He is one of the many under the radar athletes on this Rocket team. Also standing out to me at practice is 6-1, 230 pound defensive tackle Malik Clark. He looks like an impressive athlete just looking at him and then you find out that he is only a freshman! What makes him even more impressive, is that he is already a member of the Moon Valley 1,000 pound club (bench press, squat and power clean). There are not many freshman out there that can accomplish that. Pair him with senior Davion Grey on the defensive line, who was a 2013 state champion wrestler for the 215 pound division, and you have quite the defensive front.
Tempe: Emmanuel Gant is doing it once again. It seems like he has been among the best quarterbacks in the state for quite some time but now as a senior, he has separated himself an elite signal caller. Through the first half of the season, he has a remarkable 138.5 quarterback rating with 95 completions, 1,577 yards and18 touchdowns to just two interceptions ranking among the top for all starting quarterbacks in all divisions so far this season. That all doesn’t include his over 200 yards and four touchdowns rushing. Tempe is now 6-0 on the season and Gant has done a great job spreading the ball around to athletes all over the field. The Buffaloes are eying an undefeated season but will have to go through a surprisingly tough Phoenix Christian team, then the aforementioned undefeated Moon Valley and currently undefeated Alhambra the last two weeks of the season.
Valley Christian: It just seems like yesterday that I watched Fred Gammage tear up the competition at wide receiver for the Brophy Broncos. Now, he just earned himself a scholarship with the Arizona State football team and is playing an important role for the depth at wide out for the Devils. There is another Gammage who is starting to turn some heads in town. Fred’s younger brother, Alijah Gammage through the first five games leads the state (all-divisions) in receiving yards and receptions among freshman. Junior quarterback Chris Williams has done a nice job leading this offense since transferring from Basha over the offseason and he has found quite the weapon off the bat in the freshman Gammage.
Estrella Foothills: Before the season, I try to go through as many schools as I can and make note of players who are on my radar. For Estrella Foothills, senior Branden Leon was one of those players as he is one of the more underrated athletes in the valley. He may no longer be underrated now as he picked up his first college offer from Arizona Christian last week. Through the first five games, Leon does a little bit of everything for the Wolves. He leads the team in receptions corralling three receiving scores and then is second on the team in carries behind a talented junior running back Joe Logan. Leon is averaging over 11 yards per carry and has three more touchdowns rushing. Not to mention, Leon plays on the defensive side of the ball as well and handles the kick return duties. ACU has done a nice job recruiting AZ since the program initiated and getting after athletes like Leon early, could help them land some very good talent going forward.