Preview: Phoenix (Az.) Thunderbird @ Scottsdale Saguaro
Notes: Featured game on Cox Channel 7 in Arizona. Both teams won state titles last year, Saguaro at the 4A1 level, Thunderbird at 4A2 level. This is the first year of a new system in AZ and both are in Division-Three.
Last week: Thunderbird beat Goodyear Desert Edge 28-10. Saguaro beat Phoenix Paradise Valley 63-20.
Players to Watch: Thunderbird- RB Connor Hustead, junior RB Kani Benoit, QB Vinnie Marin, junior OL Jacob Molina.
Saguaro- 4-star RB D.J. Foster, LB Ryan Merrill, sophomore BQ Luke Rubenzer, RB/LB Cameron Larson, OL Robert Dusz, OL Tanner Case.
Keys to a Thunderbird victory: The Chiefs have relied on a good ground game featuring Hustead and Benoit, this week their performances will be even more important. Keeping their offense on the field means D.J. Foster will not have the ball in his hands. Foster rushed for 243 yards last week (over 18 yards per carry) and limiting his touches is key. QB Vinnie Marin has to manage the game, make all of the throws when asked to throw and not turn the ball over.
Keys to a Saguaro victory: Foster is going to get his. Week in and week out, he will be the main focus of every defense he faces. Last week, Cactus Shadows transfer Cameron Larson rushed for 133 yards on just 9 carries. If he can keep that up, it will take some pressure off of Foster. The Sabercats must stop T-Birds ground attack, plain and simple.