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DIVISION I SUNSET: Football Capsules

NORTHWEST LEAGUE

ARBOR VIEW

Coach: Dan Barnson, sixth season (33-21)

2011 record: 9-3 (7-1 Northwest League)

Returning starters: Six offense, three defense

Top players: OL Elijah George (Sr.); OL Thomas Newton (Sr.); TE Rasheed Parks (Sr.); DT Steven Davis (Sr.); DE Jordan Eggleston (Sr.)

Outlook: The Aggies were among the area’s top teams all of last season, with two of the losses coming to eventual Class 4A state champion Bishop Gorman, and the other to Sunset Region runner-up Palo Verde.

Take away the two losses to Gorman, and Arbor View outscored its opponents 427-132, winning six games by 28 or more points.

George, a two-time all-state pick who already has garnered offers from Oregon State, San Diego State and UNLV, among others, will lead the charge. He’ll team with Newton, who is back for his third year as a starter on the offensive line, to open holes in the team’s double-wing offense.

The Aggies must replace essentially their entire backfield. Roderick Eason, Steve Burns and Christian Rodriguez graduated after combining to rush for 1,834 yards last season. Donnie Gaskin, who led the team with 1,198 yards and 18 touchdowns, did not return to the team for his senior season.

The defense has less experience, but All-Northwest League defensive tackle Davis will be key after leading the Aggies with 76 tackles and seven sacks last season.

Replacing Burns, Eason and Joey Comish in the secondary will be tough.
 

DURANGO

Coach: Matt Gerber, first season

2011 record: 5-5 (5-3 Southwest League)

Returning starters: Four offense, six defense

Top offensive players: RB/DB Marcus Sanders-Williams (Sr.); RB/LB Arie McQuaig (Sr.); OL/DL Ben Rush (Sr.); QB/DB Scott Martinez (Sr.); LB/RB Gene Germain (Sr.); DB/WR Anthony Collins (Sr.); DB/WR Kameron Gillis (Jr.)

Outlook: Gerber takes over a team that has made the playoffs for three straight years, and the new coach looks to keep the streak alive.

There is plenty of firepower in the backfield with Sanders-Williams, who has committed to Utah, and McQuaig leading the way.

McQuaig led the team with 902 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns last season, and Bishop Gorman transfer Sanders-Williams added 248 yards and four TDs after becoming eligible late in the season.

McQuaig and Germain give the Trailblazers a pair of strong linebackers. Gillis, who had four interceptions last year, should key the secondary.

Gerber said the development of the offensive and defensive lines will determine how much success the team has this season.

 

PALO VERDE

Coach: Darwin Rost, 17th season (130-39)

2011 record: 11-1 (8-0 Northwest League)

Returning starters: Not available

Top players: WB/DB Lee Griggs (Sr.); WB/DB Ryan Beaulieu (Sr.); QB Parker Rost (Jr.); OL/DL Mike Hughes (Jr.); OL/DL Brad Solomon (Sr.)

Outlook: The Panthers lost plenty of size and talent, but the cupboard is far from empty.

Griggs and Beaulieu are explosive playmakers on both sides of the ball, and Parker Rost is back to help lead an offense filled with veteran skill-position players.

Griggs was a first-team all-state defensive back after logging 52 tackles, four sacks and one interception last season. He also led the Panthers with 917 yards and 17 touchdowns rushing.

Beaulieu was rarely thrown at as a junior but still made four interceptions. He was a first-team all-state return specialist after averaging 43.6 yards per punt return.
 

SHADOW RIDGE

Coach: Frank Tousa, second season (0-9)

2011 record: 0-9 (0-8 Northwest League)

Returning starters: Five offense, three defense

Top players: QB/DB J Henderson (Jr.); RB/DB Ryan Johnson (Sr.); QB Bakari Smith (Sr.); WR Deshawn Thompson (Sr.); OL Hunter Rawson (Sr.); WR Marquies Evans (Sr.); WR Alex Wise (Sr.); LB Robby Mokiao (Sr.); LB Andrew Kesi (Sr.); DB Chris Goodie (Sr.)

Outlook: The Mustangs are coming off a winless season and lost their only two All-Northwest League picks to graduation.

The offense sputtered last season, as Shadow Ridge never scored more than 16 points in a game and was held to single digits five times.

But things should be better with the return of Henderson, who passed for 876 yards and five touchdowns, and ran for 223 yards as a sophomore. He’ll team with Cheyenne transfer Bakari Smith to lead the offense.

On defense, Tousa expects linebackers Mokiao and Kessi to lead the way after combining for 52 tackles.
 

SIERRA VISTA

Coach: Mark Sauve, eighth season (23-49)

2011 record: 3-7 (3-5 Southwest League)

Returning starters: Five offense, six defense

Top players: WR/DB Tim Jenkins (Sr.); DB Mike Dominique (Sr.); QB Octavious Payne (Jr.); RB Maliek Broady (So.); RB Deyon McKinney (So.); LB/OG Steven Brooks (Sr.)

Outlook: The Mountain Lions must replace their top rusher, top passer and top receiver from last season, but the skill positions are the least of the team’s worries.

Sauve said the team is extremely thin on the lines, but has a lot of speedy, young players.

McKinney, who played at Clark as a freshman, and Broady give the Mountain Lions a pair of big-play threats in the backfield.

Jenkins was second on the team in receiving last year with 16 catches for 174 yards and should be the top target for Payne, who takes over at quarterback after playing running back on the junior varsity last season.

Payne’s speed will allow the team to mix in some option along with two- and three-receiver sets.

On defense, Sauve said the team is focusing on stopping the inside run.
 

SPRING VALLEY

Coach: Marcus Teal, third season (9-11)

2011 record: 3-6 (3-5 Southwest League)

Returning starters: Three offense, four defense

Top players: OL/DL Devin Dishari (Sr.); OLB Tyree Berry (Sr.); OLB Andre Bartley (Sr.); K Landon LeBlue (Sr.)

Outlook: Teal said this is the youngest team the school has had, and that could lead to growing pains.

The Grizzlies missed the playoffs for the first time in school history last season, and they will have to rebuild offensively after a dismal season.

Spring Valley scored only 112 points last season, and 53 of those came against a Western team that canceled the rest of its season a few weeks later. The Grizzlies were shut out four times.

Because of the lack of offense, the defense will need to be good if the Grizzlies hope to be a playoff contender.

Dishari (32 tackles, two sacks) was a second-team All-Southwest pick a year ago and should lead the defensive unit.

SOUTHWEST LEAGUE

BISHOP GORMAN

Coach: Tony Sanchez, fourth season (45-2)

2011 record: 17-0 (8-0 Southwest League)

Returning starters: Six offense, six defense

Top players: QB Jarrett Solomon (Sr.); RB/S Nathan Starks (Jr.); WR Ryan Smith (Sr.); WR Jamir Tillman (Sr.); CB Justin Sweet (Sr.); DE Isaiah Nacua (Jr.); DE Jake Smirk (Sr.); DT/OG Zack Singer (Jr.); DT Marquis Hunkin (Sr.)

Outlook: Usually teams that lose three three-year starters on the offensive line and a running back that was the state player of the year might be in for some rebuilding.

Not the Gaels.

With Shaquille Powell having graduated, Solomon becomes the big name on the Gorman offense. All he’s done in three years as a starter is lead the team to three Class 4A state titles. He was a first-team all-state pick as a junior after passing for 2,744 yards and 41 touchdowns with only two interceptions.

Smith was a second-team all-state receiver, catching 37 passes for 1,041 yards and 16 TDs, and the rest of the receiving corps returns as well.

Starks, who was a second-team all-state pick at defensive back, will take over for Powell at running back, and the junior already has multiple college offers.

The defense lost all of its linebackers, but the return of the entire defensive line should help ease the transition.

Singer was a first-team all-state pick, as was Sweet, who will key the secondary.
 

BONANZA

Coach: Chad Dobar, first season

2011 record: 7-3 (6-2 Southwest League)

Returning starters: Five offense, four defense

Top players: QB Brett Doyle (Sr.); RB Jayveon Taylor (Jr.); WR Colton Bennion (Sr.); OL Jordan Knapp (Jr.); ILB Jeff Dore (Sr.); ILB Spencer Stewart (Sr.); FS Carlos Soto (Jr.)

Outlook: Dobar hopes to bring a new attitude to the Bengals program in his first year.

Dobar previously was the defensive coordinator at Legacy, and he expects to have a more aggressive defensive team this season.

The Bengals were an offensive force under previous coach Shawn Dupris, but often struggled to stop opponents. Bonanza averaged 32.3 points last season, but allowed an average of 31.0.

The Bengals will go from the spread to an I-formation this season, but Doyle still should be a strong offensive weapon. He passed for 1,847 yards and 14 touchdowns last season.

Bennion, who was a second-team all-state pick after catching 44 passes for 730 yards and seven TDs, should be his top target.

Taylor, an elite track sprinter, will be a big-play threat out of the backfield.
 

CENTENNIAL

Coach: Leon Evans, third season (15-8)

2011 record: 7-4 (6-2 Northwest League)

Returning starters: Seven offense, five defense

Top players: QB Austin Turley (Sr.); RB Coby Newton (Sr.); TE/DE Trajan Pili (Sr.); WR/DB Deontae Gilkey (Sr.); WR Chris Rodriguez (Sr.); OL/DL Jordan Karst (Sr.); OL Bobby Ruelas (Jr.); OL Skylar Jacobs (Sr.); OL Jon Tanner (Sr.); LB Chris Johnson (Sr.); LB Chase McCutcheon (Sr.); LB Andrew Romoff (Sr.)

Outlook: The Bulldogs are motivated by the way their 2011 season ended. Centennial allowed a late scoring drive, and Palo Verde beat the Bulldogs 23-20 in the Sunset Region semifinals.

Centennial returns an experienced quarterback in Turley, who passed for 1,290 yards and 12 touchdowns while throwing only two interceptions last season.

He was a first-team All-Northwest League pick, as was fullback Newton (456 yards, 8 TDs) and tight end Pili.

But the offense must find a way to replace second-team all-state running back Jacobi Owens (1,498 yards, 14 TDs).

Pili, who has committed to Brigham Young, will help anchor the defense along with returning second-team all-league picks Karst and Johnson.
 

CIMARRON-MEMORIAL

Coach: John Parcells, second season (6-4)

2011 record: 6-4 (4-4 Northwest League)

Returning starters: Four offense, four defense

Top players: OT Aaron Manumaleuna (Sr.); RB Justin Davis (Sr.); DL Austin Cervantes (Sr.); LB Robert Padilla (Jr.); DB Tristan Grimmett (Sr.); DB Donovan Dykes (Sr.)

Outlook: Parcells and the Spartans will try to end a two-year playoff drought, but the team must replace most of its offensive production from a year ago.

The biggest loss will be first-team all-state running back Demaryae Williams, who rushed for 1,778 yards and 23 touchdowns last season. Also gone is fullback Demarlo Lewis (540 rushing yards) and quarterback Gerard Martinez (933 passing yards, seven TDs).

The 300-plus-pound Manumaleuna will anchor the line, but Davis and sophomore quarterback Derek Morefield will need to produce.

The defense was solid last season and returns some strong building blocks, but it probably will have to improve to offset the offensive losses.
 

DESERT OASIS

Coach: Scott Staudinger, second season (7-3)

2011 record: 7-3 (7-1 Southwest League)

Returning starters: Five offense, four defense

Top players: RB Devin Fortenberry (Sr.); QB Herman Smith (Sr.); WR Marvin Duty (Sr.); DL Drake Leifried (Sr.); DB Mark Fredricks (Sr.); LB Mason Leifried (Sr.)

Outlook: The Diamondacks are trying to build off three straight postseason berths.

Fortenberry, Smith and Duty give the team a solid presence at the skill positions. Fortenberry rushed for 578 yards and 11 touchdowns, while Smith passed for 805 yards and 11 scores in his first season as a starter.

Duty was the top receiving target with 22 catches for 296 yards.

The defense has holes to fill with the graduation of linebackers Kyle Henry (119 tackles, seven sacks) and Jonah Montenegro (72 tackles).

Drake Leifried (62 tackles, six sacks) should lead the defensive line, with Fredricks (seven interceptions) pacing the secondary.

Gorman still looms in the league, but Desert Oasis should be capable of contending for a playoff berth again.
 

LEGACY

Coach: Dave Snyder, seventh season (29-31)

2011 record: 4-5 (3-5 Northwest League)

Returning starters: Six offense, seven defense

Top players: QB Kashawn Richardson (Sr.); TE/DT Randy Ricks (Sr.); OL Zach Lugris (Jr.); OL Chris Campbell (Sr.); OL Brandon Sink (Sr.); OL Matt Sink (Jr.); OLB Joe Murray (Sr.); OLB Jake Martin (Sr.); ILB LaMarus Williams (Sr.)

Outlook: The Longhorns return four key linemen who average 253 pounds, along with the 6-foot-5-inch, 220-pound Ricks at tight end, so expect this to be a physical bunch.

Replacing all-league running back D’Andre Hughes, who rushed for 1,345 yards and 12 touchdowns last season, will be difficult, but the presence of the strong line should ease the transition.

Richardson got some experience at quarterback last year and should be more comfortable this season.

On defense, Ricks and Williams were all-league picks and should help lead a unit that was up and down last season.

The Longhorns expect to be in the mix for a playoff berth.

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