OCTOBER 2, 2013

Falcons blank South Mountain, 40-0; Host 5-0 Sunnyslope Friday night

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sportsLast Friday night, Sept. 27, scoring in every quarter (6-7-7-20), the Falcons, as hoped, did regroup from their last-seconds heartbreak at Higley and wore down South Mountain, shutting out the Jaguars, 40-0. The win was the Falcons’ fourth in five starts; but MaxPreps was not impressed. The on-line stats service dropped Cactus Shadows one notch to #17 in their ranking of the 52 teams in A.I.A. Division II. Strength-of-schedule (or lack of same) was obviously given more weight than the Falcons outscoring their first five opponents by a combined 189-68.

So the Falcons, at home this Friday night, will be underdog hosts to an old foe, #9 ranked Sunnyslope, unbeaten at 5-0. The two teams last met (at ‘Slope) in 2010, with the Falcons rallying late, 34-24. Playing at Sunnyslope (in any sport) is a tall order. A West Stands crowd should give the Falcons a home-field plus. They’ll take all the help they can get against the Vikings.

Positive recognition is due South Mountain. It was Homecoming Night for the Jaguars, no insignificant event for any high school. That the home team fought hard hopefully lessened the disappointment from the 0-40 final score.

Last Saturday evening, I received the good news of the South Mountain score from a Football Falcon parent who has attended many CSHS road games at faraway schools – from Cienega (southeast of Tucson) to Flagstaff. She was quick to volunteer that the courtesy and hospitality at South Mountain were the best she and her husband, as visiting fans, had ever experienced. Congratulations to the entire South Mountain community – coaches, players, students and fans.

So how good is this Falcon football team? One thing is for certain, over these next five Friday nights, the Falcons will emphatically answer that question. First ‘Slope; then (in order) Notre Dame (at “neutral” site SCC); Paradise Valley for Homecoming; next, down to Football Factory High (Chaparral); and finishing at home vs. Arcadia on Senior Night. None of those five will be easy. Homecoming and Senior Night should help.

But strength-of-schedule to date be damned! A record of 4-1 makes for a pretty fair “country start.” Falcons: stay tough – and focused, one game at a time.

~ Pete Mohr

Photo:  At South Mountain, the “D-Rob Defenders” posted a shutout. From l-r: Troy Turner, Corey Harper and Nate Brockman.