Canyon Del Oro took a 42-0 halftime lead over Tempe McClintock Friday night, and many of its starters didn't play after the second quarter.
"It's to our advantage,' said Coach Dustin Peace after his Dorados, now 11-0, beat the visitors 47-26 in 4A-1 quarterfinal football action. CDO hosts Glendale Apollo in a 7 p.m. Friday quarterfinal.
Ka'Deem Carey scored four touchdowns, on runs of 56, 61, 6 and 3 yards, and finished with 188 yards on but 10 carries. "Anytime you've got Ka'Deem, and he can strike at any point, it's an advantage for us," Peace said.
CDO mapped out the first three plays of the game, then scored on its fourth play.
"We weren't expecting to be in that situation," Peace said. "We believe McClintock is a very good program, they are a good program, but we came out pretty hot, and kept the ball rolling."
Along with rest in a playoff bid, the margin allowed CDO to give younger players "an opportunity to play, to show us what they've got," Peace said. "We were definitely excited by both opportunities.
"We were a little sloppy, we had a couple botched punts, we never got in a good flow with those kids," said Peace. "They don't get all the reps the other ones do. But we have a couple good kids we can look into giving some help."
McClintock was "a very big, very physical team," Peace said. "We were confident, but the physicality of the game was a concern." When CDO took the big lead, "teams that aren't as explosive as us have a tough time getting back into the game."
Apollo, 10-1, is "very good, very athletic. They are very similar scheme-wise to what we saw last week. We feel we match up well, but we're going to have to come out and play a good game. We'll put our athletes to the test this week."
CDO expects the return of previously injured Colby Tigges, a top lineman, and Bobby Henkel, a starting linebacker and fullback. "They make a big impact on what we do," Peace said.
Running back and safety Eddie Smith is trying to come back from a concussion.
With a win, CDO would stay in Tucson for a semi-final game.
"We talk about focusing on every game, every play, every play at practice," said Peace. "We focus on what we do, and not necessarily what other teams do. We feel pretty confident about the kids we have. They're a good group of kids, they play hard, they work hard. They understand what it takes to win, how much hard work it is. They're a good model for our program in the future."