Halfway through, really?
All of this drama, which has included game-winning safeties, missed chip-shot field goals, a kicker coming off the bench for a game-winner, two student body bum rushes and one heck of a rivalry game, and only five weeks have passed.
Someone please keep an EKG machine handy if this is going to continue.
Indications are the next five weeks might be as crazy as the first five.
Just because Mountain Pointe has defeated Hamilton, Desert Vista and Chandler by a total of six points doesn’t mean the craziness is over.
Not with these upcoming games.
Mountain Pointe (5-0) faces Brophy (4-2) this Friday at Phoenix College and a markedly better Mountain View (3-2) squad on Oct. 19.
Desert Vista (4-1) has appointments at Hamilton (4-2) on Oct. 5 and closes out the regular season with Chandler (4-1).
All winnable games, all losable, as well.
With the precedent set thus far, lunacy just might be waiting, but the good thing is both squads have shown championship qualities while overcoming some missteps. The schedules might not be kind but it is clear there will be a postseason in November.
Long before then, the Pride and Thunder clearly have work to do.
Here is quick glance at what is next and what might possibly happen.
Schedule: at Brophy, at Corona del Sol, vs. Yuma Kofa, vs. Mountain View and at Westwood.
Best-case scenario: The Pride has one more great and heart pounding 48 minutes reserved for Brophy. The Pride’s defense handles Brophy’s aerial attack to improve to 4-0 against the same four teams that created so much havoc to the locker room in 2011. The Pride heal, keep playing well and run the table to go undefeated in the regular season while grabbing the top seed in Division I.
Worst-case scenario: The Broncos prove too much as the gauntlet of a schedule trips up the Pride after playing their fourth top five team in six weeks. The problem is Mountain View’s surprise loss keeps Mountain Pointe earning a top four seed and forces a rematch with one of the four elite teams on the schedule in the quarterfinals.
Best bet: Mountain Pointe pulls off its second undefeated regular season under Norris Vaughan and grabs the top seed. The playoffs are a different animal. By then, the Pride will have plenty of experience playing as the top dog. The thing is, the top seed in the big-school division in Arizona always has trouble winning it all and it isn’t like they’ve blown away their quality opponents. This team clearly has something special brewing and it just might be two straight-state titles for Ahwatukee.
Schedule: vs. Saguaro, at Hamilton, vs. Mesquite, vs. Dobson and at Chandler.
Best-case scenario: Win out. The Thunder has won 17 of its last 19 games overall and clearly can play with anyone in the state. The win on Friday against Corona del Sol showed some bounce-back for Thunder after an uneven performance the week before. Desert Vista gets past trying to equal last year’s team and develops its own identity then realizes what truly is possible.
Worst-case scenario: Saguaro presents a problem like last year and Hamilton exacts a little revenge from the state title defeat. Chandler finishes a season strong for once and the Thunder take on two more defeats to finish at 7-3.
Best bet: Thunder coach Dan Hinds has another motivated and selfless senior class led by offensive and defensive lines that are the heart of the team. Cole Preston, Dylan Fischer and Zack Tamburo won’t let this team fail. They may not win it all again, but there is no question the Thunder will be contenders by earning a top-four seed.
Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or Jskoda@ahwatukee.com. Follow him on Twitter @JSkodaAFN.