OCTOBER 30, 2013

Chaparral crushes Cactus Shadows; Arcadia here for Friday’s ‘Senior Night’

Falcons playing for first winning season since 2010
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coach robidouxHead Coach Greg Davis would be the first to credit his assistant coaches with contributing importantly to the Falcons' successful season. Pictured here, calling in a defensive scheme, is Defensive Coordinator Darin Robidoux.  
Photo by Gina Brown

“Res ipsa loquitur”
From my 10th grade latin (1951)
Translation: “Things speak for themselves”

That they do indeed! Like … Chaparral, 54 – Cactus Shadows, 6. A Falcon Football parent gave me the bad news (not unexpected) last Saturday evening. I spent more than casual time Monday and Tuesday trying to put the embarrassing beat-down in the right perspective. I awoke Wednesday morning to the recognition that 2013 marks the 25th anniversary year of “Pursuing Victory With Honor,” the Arizona Interscholastic Association (A.I.A.) mantra for high school athletes. Hmmm … let’s see now … 25 years, and the Chappies still don’t get it. I’ll leave the sour grapes (railing against everything Chaparral) to someone else.

But consider: By last Friday’s halftime, the Firebirds were on 44-6 cruise control. They would tack on their last 10 points in the 3rd quarter. But suppose the game had been close – or even tied? Picture, if you will, the visiting Falcons facing a 4th down-and-one for a critical first down. Suddenly they hear, “Whop, whop, whop! Whirr-whirr-whirr!” What-the-heck is that almost-deafening noise?! Not to worry. It’s only a helicopter touching down behind Chap’s bell-and-whistles scoreboard. A copter landing can be an ominous event – a distraction, to say the least.

Were you at Falcon Stadium (October 2009) when “The Bull” Cameron Larson concussed for the third time and had to be air evaced to John C. Lincoln Hospital? Scary stuff!

But down at the Football Factory, the passenger that debarked was none other than Todd Graham, head football coach of the resurgent ASU Sun Devils. Why was he visiting Chappietown? Well, he’d come to personally scout Chaparral’s latest crop of “transferees.” Wouldn’t you think that someone at Chaparral might have suggested, “Honored to have you visit, Coach; but in consideration of the visiting team, we can’t risk the distraction of your helicopter landing while the game is still in progress.” The principal … the athletic director … the head football coach … someone in authority. Coach Davis shared with me the players Coach Graham had come to scout were all standing on the Chaparral sideline.

“All of the above” doesn’t mean anything. It's Friday's “Senior Night” that really matters. For the Falcons’ opponent, in come the 5-4, #25-ranked Arcadia Titans. It’s a pivotal game for both teams, each seeking a 6th win that would result in a 6-4 winning season. The Falcons have the motivation of "Senior Night"; the Titans are coming off a good road win at Independence.

And, at #18, the Falcons are still hoping to earn a Division II State Playoff berth. There are seven Sections (the Falcons are in Section 3) in Division II. The top-ranked team in each Section is an automatic qualifier. That leaves nine teams for the other qualifying berths – based on their MaxPreps power point ranking. The Falcons are likely to be on the proverbial “bubble” until some time late Friday night or Saturday afternoon. A.I.A. playoff brackets will be posted online next week at AIAonline.org.

State Playoffs or not, Falcons, congratulations on your successful season. Coach Davis is rightfully proud of you for toughing it out through the “adversity” of numerous injuries to key players – and two heartbreaking losses in the last seconds, at Higley and Notre Dame.

~ Pete Mohr