Postseason football returns to both Ahwatukee Foothills high schools for the first time since 2005.

It isn't all that surprising, but the fact that Desert Vista grabbed the higher seed is to most followers of Class 5A Division I.

The Thunder's quick turnaround from 2-8 last season to 8-2 this year is one of the classifications better stories.

"We didn't work any harder or anything," Desert Vista coach Dan Hinds said of the coaching staff. "We worked just as hard last year, but sometimes the ball bounces your way. We were fortunate and took advantage of some opportunities. We lost a lot of close games last year, and this year the ball bounced our way a lot of times."

Desert Vista finished third in the power rankings to end up on the opposite side of the 16-team bracket from overwhelming favorite Chandler Hamilton, which finished 11-0, including a 35-17 win over the Thunder.

Desert Vista hosts Mesa Mountain View (5-5) at 7 p.m. Friday.

Despite beating Desert Vista head-to-head, Mountain Pointe (8-2) finished fifth in the power rankings mainly because three of the Pride's wins came against three teams that combined for four wins.

The Pride will also host Friday as No. 12 Mesa Red Mountain (6-4) comes visiting.

"It feels good," Mountain Pointe senior offensive lineman Chris Carl said Friday about getting a win at home on senior night. "We have to move on and get ready for the playoffs. It's a whole new season, but we are playing well and looking forward to it."

Should the Pride, who made the semifinals last season, win they would face the winner of No. 4 Glendale Mountain Ridge and No. 13 Phoenix Brophy. A win in the quarterfinals presumably brings a meeting with Hamilton.

The Pride put it to Gilbert Perry and Tempe Marcos de Niza, Class 5A Division II playoff teams, the last two weeks and appeared to have found a new level since falling to Mesa Desert Ridge a month ago.

As hot as the Pride is, the win streak is only half of Desert Vista's current run. The Thunder has ripped off six straight to put them in prime position for a deep run.

A win over the Toros would pit Desert Vista against the victor of No. 6 Tucson Salpointe Catholic and No. 11 Phoenix St. Mary's contest

The semifinal opponent should the Thunder get there could be No. 2 Chandler Basha or No. 7 Chandler or even No. 10 Desert Ridge.

"At this point it doesn't matter what you are seeded," Hinds said. "All that matters is that you are in and you keep advancing in a do-or-die situation. We will hammer that home this week. There are no second chances anymore."

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