Observations from round 1 of the 5A and 4A football playoffs

November 13, 2010 by Les Willsey, AZPreps365

Quick hits from first round action in the 5A and 4A football playoffs:

Observation I: Scoring runs amuck. Winning teams in 4A-I and 4A-II averaged 46 and 43 points, respectively. A bit lower in 5A-I and 5A-II -- 37 and 39, respectively. In five of 4A-I's eight games, the teams combined for at least 70 points. What happened to the defensive struggle? The game that fits that best was Mountain Pointe's 21-17 win over Red Mountain in 5A-I.

Observation II: Big night for Gilbert, and Ahwatukee. Not so big for Chandler and Mesa. All three of Gilbert's schools that qualified in 5A-I (Gilbert High, Desert Ridge and Mesquite) prevailed. Mountain Pointe and Desert Vista had to overcome two-touchdown deficits, but rallied to beat Red Mountain and Mountain View, respectively. Chandler saw three of its four teams go down (Basha, Chandler High and Perry). Mesa's three entries fell with Westwood joining Red Mountain and Mountain View on the sidelines. The last time Mesa schools didn't win a first-round game or didn't qualify for football postseason was 1984. Mesa High, Mountain View, Westwood and Dobson failed to make the playoffs that season although three of the four Mountain View, (7-3),  Westwood (7-3) and Dobson (6-4) had winning records.

Observation III: Big night for Tucson. Salpointe (5A-I), Ironwood Ridge (5A-II), Canyon del Oro (4A-I), Cienega (4A-I) and Catalina Foothills (4A-I) and Amphitheater (4A-II) were victorious. The only Tucson schools to lose were Sabino (to Catalina Foothills) and Sunnyside (to No. Chaparral in 5A-II).

Observation IV: Remember the 4A East Sky meltdown last year when Williams Field, Arcadia, Notre Dame and Coronado all lost in the 4A-II first round. Three of six qualifiers survived  the first round this year-- Williams Field, Higley and Notre Dame.  Seton Catholic, Coronado and Arcadia (loss to Williams Field) bowed out. And No. 12 seed, Higley, is going to host a second-round game, taking on No. 13 Thunderbird. Double-digit seeds don't often get to host a game. The only other one this year is Desert Ridge (10 seed) hosting No. 15 seed Gilbert  in 5A-I.