Rain or Shine, These Teams Are Here to Stay

Many of this week’s high school football games across the valley were played in the rain. So much so, that many experienced weather delays, and some were postponed to Saturday due to lightning.

There will be lots of rough tape to watch with footballs bouncing all over the field, players losing footing, and so on. But there is still much to learn about many of the top programs in the state.

Perennial Open Division Teams Working Out Chinks

No rain involved in the Hamilton-Bishop Gorman game in Las Vegas, Nevada, but the Gaels rained down on the Huskies. Hamilton (1-1) lost 45-0, which is the largest margin of defeat for the program since 2017 against Perry (72-14).

This loss doesn’t necessarily set the Huskies back within state 48, but it does show that there is still work to be done. It is important to note that Bishop Gorman treated this as a revenge game, after Hamilton erased an 18 point deficit to beat them on national tv last season.

On the flip side, Saguaro (1-1) narrowly won its first game in 6A, beating Queen Creek (1-1) 13-8. It was a physical match from start to finish, with a 30 minute weather delay in the second quarter. The Bulldogs had the Sabercats on its heels late in the third quarter after a touchdown from quarterback Mitch Ratigan to wideout Juante Liles. The Saguaro defensive players were not happy after allowing that to happen on 3rd and long. 

Then, Devon Dampier decided he had enough. He kept the ball in his hands for just about every play the rest of the way, finding the endzone late in the fourth using his legs.

Jason Mohns let his team know that there is a ton to work on in order to defend their open title, but he did make sure to tell them a win is a win, especially now that they play a full 6A schedule. Mohns also voiced his frustrations with officials, who tossed four-star wideout Deric English in the third quarter while cussing at his teammates to pick it up. Any player who is ejected from a game has to sit out the following week as well.

Both Hamilton and Saguaro will be playing big games at the end of the year. But, both programs will have to correct a few chinks in the armor.

A Few More 6A, 5A Powerhouses

Staying in Queen Creek, the Bulldogs look like they are one of the most physical teams in the state. Coach Travis Schureman has his guys playing hard, and there’s a ton of talent on the roster. Porter Reynolds is one of the beefiest linebackers in the state. Luke Gonzales is a hard hitting safety with a knack for the ball. He picked off Dampier early in the Saguaro game just as the rain started to fall. Ratigan stayed poised all night despite constant pressure in the backfield from Saguaro’s front seven.

Schureman isn’t taking a “moral victory,” after a tight game against the reigning open division champs, but this program has to feel like they can go far in 6A and maybe even push for an open spot.

If you follow the high school football scene closely, you’ve probably heard all the hype surrounding Desert Mountain (2-0) in 5A. So far, it’s warranted following a 50-8 stomping over Camelback. Quarterback Brady McDonough is the real deal and Dylan Tapley is a legit wide receiver that makes this offense fire on all cylinders. 

More Scores of Note

Basha 63 (2-0), Desert Ridge 0 (0-2)

Casteel 14 (2-0), Upland (California) 9

Williams Field 49 (2-0), Chaparral 28 (1-1)

Chandler 50 (2-0), Corona del Sol 0 (1-1)

Trevor G. Browne 21 (2-0), North 20 (0-2)