Opportunistic Desert Ridge Eliminates Chaparral

Two teams who are tough, gritty and pride themselves on defense met in the second round of the division I playoffs. It was the fourth seeded Desert Ridge Jaguars hosting the fifth seed Chaparral Firebirds.

The Jags were active and hard hitting on defense in the first half as they would force three fumbles in the first half which lead to 17 points. They led 20-7 at the half and would go on to win it 33-21 to advance to their fifth final four in the last six years.

“Everybody at Centennial and everybody at Chaparral just penciled them in and nobody said anything about us,” stated Coach Jeremy Hathcock after the game. “We’ve won 10 games or more six years in a row. Our kids play hard for each other and play hard for anybody whose ever played here and that’s what this program is built on.”

Though state championships are always on their minds, Chaparral’s first season at the division I was impressive and there is a lot to be proud of over at Chap Town. The program will return impressive junior duo of quarterback Grayson Barry and reviver Gianni Tomasi. The team does graduate three of the best the state has to offer in the 2016 class in safety/running back Kurt Shughart, tight end/defensive end Christian Skeptaris and defensive end Brandon Jamison who are all of to play football on Saturday’s next season.

Desert Ridge faced Chandler earlier in the season on the road which saw them fall 60-39 in the game.Desert Ridge hung tough in the game but in the end, just could not slow the Wolves rushing attack which will be key in this rematch next week.

The two teams will face off at Hamilton High School next friday with a trip to the state championship on the line.

A born and bred Arizonan, Jared has had great passion for the hometown teams all his life. He now channel's that passion into covering the pro, college and high school teams around the state as a Multimedia Reporter for Sports360AZ.