Welcome to the fifth week of the high school football regular season, with playoff hopes hanging in the balance.
We saw several noteworthy performances on the gridirons of Arizona last Friday, giving credence to players from across the region.
It was a difficult team for most of the six teams from northwest Tucson, with Canyon del Oro blanking Pusch Ridge Christian Academy, while Catalina Foothills, Ironwood Ridge, Marana and Mountain View all lost their games.
Of those six programs, CDO is the lone one with an unblemished record, sitting at 4-0. Catalina Foothills finds itself at 1-3, while IRHS and Pusch Ridge are 1-2, Mountain View is 0-3 and Marana is 0-4 this season.
There’s still plenty of time for each to turn their seasons around, or to continue unabated in CDO’s case.
Without further ado, here are the individual performances that stood out the most last Friday’s action:
3. Derrick Williams, Catalina Foothills junior wide receiver
Stats: 4 catches, 84 receiving yards, 1 receiving touchdown
Williams was the Falcons’ leading receiver in an otherwise forgettable 20-14 loss at home to longtime rival, Sabino on Friday night. The junior wideout snagged a 42-yard touchdown to give the Falcons a shot in the arm on Friday night, but alas, it was for naught, as the home side couldn’t capitalize and knock off the Sabercats in front of their home fans. The team hits the road this week, facing a 3-0 Pueblo team on the southside of town on Friday night. It’ll be interesting to see how the junior fares against the Warriors and whether he can recreate what he accomplished against Sabino a week ago.
2. Montana Neustadter, Canyon del Oro junior quarterback/cornerback
Stats: 11 carries, 101 rushing yards, 1 rushing touchdown/1 interception
Neustadter was dynamic on the ground for the Dorados in their 21-0 rout of crossroad rival, Pusch Ridge Christian Academy on Friday. The tall junior gunslinger only completed 1 of 6 passes for zero yards, but used his legs wisely, giving the team all the firepower they needed to thwart the Lions. Neustadter’s magnum opus was a 52-yard run off a read option play that gave the Dorados their first score of the night. That play gave the team the shot in the arm that it needed, stymying the Lions ground-and-pound attack in a one-sided affair.
1. Gavin Davis, Canyon del Oro senior running back
Stats: 20 carries, 128 rushing yards, 1 rushing touchdown
Davis finds himself atop this list for a third time in four weeks, mainly because of his relentless push and backfield dexterity. The senior shined once again on Friday, this time thwarting his former team, breaking the 100-yard plateau for the third time this season, while scoring his sixth touchdown of the year in the process. Davis and his teammates will look to move to 5-0 for the year on Friday night, against a 3-1 Amphitheater team that has surrendered 59 points this season. The Dorados are off to their best start as a team in nine years, with a shot at cementing their place in the playoff chase with a solid outing against the Panthers this week. Expect Davis to play a large role in that effort, providing needed drive on the ground for coach Dustin Peace and company.