Don Ketchum
Former Staff Writer,

CDO, Queen Creek lead parade in 4A-I

November 9, 2010 by Don Ketchum, AZPreps365

By Don Ketchum
The Class 4A Division I football playoffs commence on Friday (Nov. 12).
Defending champion Tucson Canyon del Oro is unbeaten and the top seed. The biggest challenges are expected to come from No. 2 Queen Creek and No. 3 Scottsdale Saguaro. Keep an eye on No. 5 Peoria and No. 7 Tucson Sabino as dark horses.
Here is a quick look at the first round . . .
No. 16 Peoria Sunrise Mountain (5-5) at No. 1 Tucson Canyon del Oro (10-0). The main objective for Sunrise Mountain will be trying to figure out how to stop Ka’ Deem Carey, the state’s top running back. He has been hobbled by injuries, but even at less than full strength, he is still better than many others.
No. 9 Cave Creek Cactus Shadows (7-3) at Glendale Apollo (8-2). Cactus Shadows has another strong passing game, and Apollo features dual-threat quarterback Jonathan Brown.
No. 12 Nogales (6-4) at No. 5 Peoria (8-2). Peoria struggled early in the season, but has been one of the most consistent teams of late.
No. 13 Apache Junction (5-5) at No. 4 Vail Cienega (9-1). Cienega coach Nemer Hassey has had one of the top programs in the Tucson area for quite some time. This year’s team has dominated opponents, with the exception of Cactus Shadows (three-point loss).
No. 14 Phoenix Moon Valley (5-5) at No. 3 Scottsdale Saguaro (8-2). Saguaro defeated Moon Valley 63-7 earlier this season. While Moon Valley has improved, it will be difficult to completely reverse the outcome. Saguaro is led by tough, elusive quarterback Teddy Ruben.
No. 11 Phoenix Shadow Mountain (6-4) at No. 6 Prescott Valley Bradshaw Mountain (8-2). Shadow Mountain has made a significant turnaround under first-year coach Mike Giovando. It will be interesting to see how the Matadors react to the colder weather up the hill and the aggressive defense of Bradshaw Mountain.
No. 10 Tucson Catalina Foothills (6-4) at No. 7 Tucson Sabino (8-2). Sabino’s Jay Campos is one of the state’s top coaches, and he figures to find a way to emerge with a victory.
No. 15 Glendale Raymond S. Kellis (7-3) at No. 2 Queen Creek (8-2). Kellis will need a strong defensive effort to stop Queen Creek running back Chim Nga, who has picked up more than 1,500 yards on the ground.