Welcome to the heart of the high school football season, better known as week four here in Arizona.
Last Friday we saw a one-sided offensive explosion from the Marana Tigers and Canyon del Oro Dorados—who beat Catalina Foothills and Apache Junction, respectively. We also saw the Ironwood Ridge Nighthawks come down to earth, falling to Goodyear’s Millennium High School 30-27, after an impressive opening week win over Mountain View on Aug. 16, while Pusch Ridge Christian Academy was blanked by Walden Grove, 21-0.
We saw so many impressive outings that it’s going to be impossible to pick three that stand out, which is why I took the liberty to fudge this week’s entry by including a few “honorable mentions” to the list.
Without further ado, here are the players that excelled under the blinding lights of Friday night.
- Kareem Swailem, Catalina Foothills senior running back
- Stats: 13 carries, 91 yards, two rushing TDs
- Isaiah Roebuck, Marana sophomore wide receiver
- Stats: 8 catches, 116 yards, 1 receiving TD
- Jose Cruz, Canyon del Oro senior wide receiver
- Stats: 6 catches, 148 receiving yards, 2 receiving TDs
- Trenton Bourguet, Marana senior quarterback
- Stats: 23/30, 264 passing yards, 2 pass TDs, 1 interception/6 carries, 31 rush yards, 1 rush TD
No. 3: Nathan Grijalva, Ironwood Ridge senior running back
Stats: 23 carries, 147 rushing yards, 1 rushing TD
Grijalva showed off his ability as an every-down running back in the Nighthawks’ three-point loss to the Millennium Tigers on Friday. The senior picked up his second-straight 100-plus rushing yard performance, carrying the ball 23 times for 147 yards in the loss. Grijalva was able to pound the ball up the middle, while also showing enough speed and finesse to break free outside the tackle box as well against the Tigers. Grijalva has gotten off to a blistering start, averaging 134.5 rushing yards per game in the team’s first two games, with a strong chance of doing more of the same for the Nighthawks this Friday, when they’ll head to Gilbert to face Campo Verde High School. Don’t be surprised if Grijalva’s name is on this list next week.
No. 2: Zach Eidenschink, Canyon del Oro senior quarterback
Stats: 10/14, 258 passing yards, 4 TDs, 0 interceptions/9 carries, 61 rush yards, 1 rush TD
Eidenschink dominated an overmatched Apache Junction squad last Friday on the road, torching the Prospectors’ defense all night long, finding steadfast targets Jose Cruz, Dustin Sheeley and Stevie Rocker for touchdowns. The senior showed off the type of explosiveness that makes him lethal last week, forcing Apache Junction to respect both his cannon of an arm and sneaky speed, putting up what might be the best performance of his three-year varsity tenure. It’ll be interesting to see how Eidenschink fares this week against a Pusch Ridge Christian Academy defense that forced two interceptions against Walden Grove last week.
No. 1: Stevie Rocker, Canyon del Oro sophomore running back
Stats: 16 carries, 225 rushing yards, 3 rushing TDs/1 catch, 67 receiving yards, 1 receiving TD
What else can a guy say about the soon-to-be household name that is CDO sophomore running back Stevie Rocker? The kid delivered what might be the performance of the year in Southern Arizona on Friday, which perhaps surprisingly doesn’t seem like much of a surprise in these parts. The sophomore absolutely torched Apache Junction on Friday night, putting up more than 250 offensive yards and four touchdowns, giving him 398 rushing yards and 6 touchdowns on the ground in two games. The 15-year-old has a gift in the backfield and should be the next Dorado to take his talents to a Division I school near you in the near-distant future. His latest gridiron explosion is yet another reminder to make your way to Oro Valley this fall, catching a glimpse of an ebbing on-field supernova before the rest of Arizona gets wind of what’s happening.