Saguaro has been the overwhelming favorite in 4A all season long with their incredible talent and depth. If there was a team that could be well equipped to shock the AZ high school football landscape, it might be Catalina Foothills.
First, the Falcons have seen Saguaro in person already as they squared off back in September. While it did not go in favor by any means for Catalina Foothills, there is no substitute for experience and having played them already, they have a much better knowledge base of what they are facing. Second, there is a group Falcons here that are seniors who many have been on varsity together since they were freshman. You can add to this list who have all played together since they were sophomores. These players know each other like the back of their hands which is huge for a football team.
What I love about this Saguaro team is they want to be great and they want to be dominant. This team feeds off of one another and seeing them in person, you get the sense they want to one-up each other especially on the defensive side of the ball. I have said it so much this season, it is one thing to be loaded with talent, it’s another to have a buy-in and to have this great collection of talent play at this level as a cohesive unit.
Key matchup: Saguaro WR/DB Donovan Dalton vs Catalina Foothills WR/DB Bryan Beckon.
These two will be going at it all night on both sides of the ball. Both have division I talent, are athletic, fast and pretty physical as well. It will be a lot of fun to watch two fantastic athletes to go head to head like this. Beckon had an interception the first time these two teams met and conversely, Dalton made Beckon a non-factor when the script was flipped.
If Saguaro wins, it will be because…They owned the line of scrimmage. To be blunt, Catalina Foothills does not have the size that Saguaro has on the offensive and defensive lines. Saguaro will look to impose they will physically right from the first play of scrimmage whether on offense or defense and will look to get into their opponents heads early. If they succeed, Catalina Foothills will really struggle to get anything going on either side of the ball.
If Catalina Foothills wins, it will be because…It all came together and played the perfect game. Offense, defense and special teams. They will have forced turnovers to create extra possessions. Finally, they will have had phenomenal play from their quarterback and leader Rhett Rodriguez. He will need to be a playmaker and take care of the football and allow the Falcons to own the time of possession. It is a tough task but you know this well-coached team with great experience playing together will give everything they have.
Kickoff is at 10am Saturday between Saguaro and Catalina Foothills from University of Phoenix Stadium