Some football teams played last week; some did not.
Nearly every team is on the docket this week. It means some teams are playing a second game against an opponent that is hitting the gridiron for the first time.
Is there a distinct advantage toward the team that has already played? It’s clearly not enough to close the gap in a game where there is a major talent discrepancy. It’s just not.
It might, however, make a difference in a contest that is a toss up.
The team that already has 48 minutes of football to gleam off probably just might have a cleaner first quarter. The players ia little calmer in week two. First-time varsity players know what to expect, while the other team is playing under the lights for the first time. It might lead to some early game penalties and miscues as the players adjust to the real-time action.
Westwood travels to Copper Canyon in Glendale this week. The Warriors already played a game, albeit a loss at Sklyine, while Copper Canyon has not.
“It can help, but I’m not sure how much,” Westwood coach Kyle Ide said. “I expect we will play more soundly this time around. We have some young players and they have that first game out of the way.”
Coaches speak of first-game jitters all the time. It seems to be a real threat. After all, ever hear a coach mention second-game jitters?
Can’t say we have.
Here’s a closer look at this week’s 6A Conference games:
Desert Ridge (0-0) vs. Brophy (0-1) at Central High
Here is an example of the above as the Jaguars play their first game against Brophy, which opened the year with a 45-7 loss to Pinnacle.
The Broncos have been known to rebound during Scooter Molander’s tenure to bad defeats, and win games that they are the presumed underdog.
The offense was bad – 7 of 23 passing, 3.4 yards a rush – and the defense – 25 first downs and 570 yards – might have been worse.
The Jaguars’ coaching staff have a game film to dissect, whereas the Broncos are going off bland scrimmage tape and 2016 footage.
Desert Ridge coach Jeremy Hathcock has been known to do unconventional things, switch up offensive style based on personnel, and adjust on the fly like a right-handed boxer switching to southpaw mid-fight.
The Jaguars will definitely put a lot on Stanford commit Donjae Logan and Tyrese Allen in order to try and develop a power running game, especially with a sophomore quarterback in Matt Purnell.
It will be enough to win the opener.
Desert Ridge 24, Brophy 13
Highland (1-0) at Skyline (1-0): The Hawks defeated Corona del Sol 29-13 in the first game in the Brock Farrel tenure.
Highland did it behind 268 yards rushing including 156 yards from Jacob Wood, while the defense had two sacks, four tackles for a loss and two interceptions.
Skyline had a similar win over region-foe Westwood as Aaron Wood, who had 82 yards and two touchdowns, led the team in rushing with a total of 247, and big plays from Darius Glover, who had three catches for 128 yards, in the passing game.
Have a feeling this is one going to come down to defense and that’s an edge that almost always leads to Skyline coach Angelo Paffumi. There are some whispers that the Coyotes are a step below the last three squads to put on the green, black and gold.
A win here and the Coyotes show they are going to be good again, but a loss drops them out of the top 10.
Skyline 17, Highland 10
Mesa (0-1) at Desert Mountain (1-0)
Prior to last week’s action, this game was probably considered a toss by most observers.
Desert Mountain has only three winning season since 2004. The Wolves always seem to have these breakout years, and jump to nine wins, every four seasons or so.
After last week’s 28-27 win over Chaparral just might indicate Desert Mountain, which has Hall of Famer Kurt Warner running the offense, is about to have one of those seasons event though the Firebirds were with their top quarterback.
Mesa played Mesquite tightly – 14-6 – through three quarters before the game got away from them. If the Jackrabbits can keep close, Kris Jackson (20 rushes, 108 yards) is a difference maker.
Jackson probably doesn’t get that chance this week.
Desert Mountain 34, Mesa 17
Mountain View at Valley Vista
Westwood at Copper Canyon
Dobson at Rincon
Carl Hayden at Alhambra
Pinnacle at Basha
Central at Fairfax
Kofa at Central (Calif.)
Horizon at Chaparral
Imperial (Calif.) at Cibola
La Joya at Corona del Sol
Mesquite at Gilbert
Queen Creek at Hamilton
Boulder Creek at Liberty
Perry at Millennium
Camelback at North
Sunnyside at Pueblo
Tolleson at Sandra Day O’Connor
Trevor Browne at South Mountain
Mountain Ridge at Tucson
IMG Academy at Chandler
Season record: 12-5 (71 percent)
– Jason P. Skoda is a senior writer for MyNewsMesa.com. Send Mesa-based story ideas to email@example.com.