Arizona Preps Pick'em: Week 6

September, 30, 2011
9/30/11
12:23
PM ET
Tune in tonight to catch Notre Dame Prep vs. Chaparral at 5 p.m. (MST) on ESPN2.

Each week we'll take three intriguing matchups and put our knowledge to the test with some predictions. If you think your team's game is one of the best on the schedule, let us know in the comments or on Twitter @CParishESPNHS and we'll put it up for debate.

(Ranks based on this week's state rankings)

No. 1 Hamilton (5-0) vs. Chandler (4-1)

Chandler was one of the top five teams in the state until losing a shootout to Basha. Before the loss, the Wolves had yet to surrender a single point to its first three opponents. The Wolves got back on track with a win over Mountain Pointe this past weekend, but it'll take a big-time effort on both offense and defense to unseat the Huskies and their 45-game winning streak. I expect this game to be more competitive than the final score will ultimately show. PREDICTION: Hamilton 34, Chandler 21

No. 7 Desert Vista (5-0) at No. 5 Saguaro (5-0)

In Arizona this season, there's been a major discrepancy between the top teams and the rest of the state. The teams in the top 10 have been some of the most impressive teams in years; the teams on the outside looking in have struggled to keep up. But to find out who among the best of the best truly stands out, we need games like this one. Desert Vista has been unbelievably good this season, outscoring opponents 237-27. But Saguaro's offense has been arguably the best in the state, scoring 307 points to date. When offense faces defense, defense usually comes out on top. But not this time. PREDICTION: Saguaro 37, Desert Vista 24

Ironwood Ridge (5-0) at No. 2 Centennial (5-0)

This week could provide a major shakeup in our rankings, and this is one of the most interesting games on the docket. Centennial has been largely untested this season — the starters have yet to play a full game. Ironwood Ridge is averaging 40 points a game and its defense has been excellent, but the Nighthawks haven't faced an opponent nearly on the level of Centennial. It'll be back and forth early, and senior running back Mitch Fischer (749 yards, 11 TDs) will put on a show, but the better team will pull away late. PREDICTION: Centennial 31: Ironwood Ridge 17

BONUS: Notre Dame Prep (2-3) vs. No. 3 Chaparral (5-1)
(Game televised on ESPN2; 5 p.m.)


It's been a trying season for Notre Dame Prep. A team with high hopes has fallen in some frustrating games, including a high-profile blowout against top-ranked Hamilton. Head coach Scott Bemis took a leave of absence. But this team has more talent on it than its record implies. Look for senior Jordan Gehrke to put this team on his back. Unfortunately, the Saints are facing a team also projected to be one of the best — in the nation. Chaparral scored 79 points in its last outing. The team won't put up 79 again, but it won't be close, either. PREDICTION: Chaparral 48, Notre Dame Prep 24

Previous Record: 9-3

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