One of the biggest high school sports events in Arizona is almost here, as Desert Vista and Mountain Pointe meet in the annual Ahwatukee Bowl at Karl Kiefer Stadium.
Both teams rely heavily on their core group of standout players who have them in position to make a playoff run.
This is arguably the biggest game of the year for both squads, and any mistake could prove to be costly.
Here is a look at who might make the biggest impact on Friday night.
Jakim McKinney, running back
McKinney has rushed for 768 yards and 10 touchdowns. His 5-foot-8, 170-pound frame allows him to hide behind the Pride’s offensive line before using his elusiveness and speed to break away. The senior is the workhorse for the Pride offense, forcing opposing defenses to key on him.
Dominique Davis, wide receiver
Davis has burst onto the scene as the Pride’s big-play receiver, averaging 23.2 yards a catch. He is quarterback Nick Wallerstedt’s favorite target. With 31 receptions for 720 yards and eight touchdowns, the 6-foot-4 Davis is a match-up nightmare for opposing secondaries. Davis has proven his ability to change a game with his speed on the outside, yet another weapon for a talented Pride offense.
Anthony Dedrick, defensive line
One glance at Dedrick’s 6-foot-4, 230-pound frame can be intimidating for any opposing offensive lineman. With 29 tackles, the senior is a run-stuffer at the line of scrimmage. When he isn’t making the play himself, he’s creating space for a talented group of Pride linebackers. Dedrick will continue to play a vital role in Mountain Pointe’s defense on Friday, as they look to slow Desert Vista’s potent rushing attack.
Armando Delgado, linebacker
Delgado made the switch from defensive end to stand-up linebacker this season and so far it has paid off. The senior has excelled, using his natural speed and strength. Delgado also plays offense, and has carried the ball 17 times for 84 yards as a fullback.
Colby Humphrey, running back
Humphrey has teamed with junior running back Tyson Grubbs as a formidable rushing tandem. Humphrey saw the bulk of the workload last Friday against Desert Ridge when Grubbs was sidelined with a foot injury. With Grubbs’ status for Friday’s contest with Mountain Pointe still up in the air, Humphrey will again be looked upon to lead the Thunder out of the backfield, although he suffered a injury of his own last week.
Thomas Jackson, defensive line
Jackson has created mayhem at the line of scrimmage all season for Desert Vista, limiting opponents’ rushing. The senior has accounted for 10 tackles and is poised for a breakout performance with fellow defensive lineman Brett Johnson likely to be double teamed by the Pride offensive line. Jackson and the Thunder defense will have their hands full Friday with Jakim McKinney in Mountain Pointe’s offense.
The 22nd Ahwatukee Bowl between Mountain Pointe and Desert Vista takes place Friday at Mountain Pointe. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.