Weekly tests keep 6A Coaches poll fluid

4 weeks ago Jason P. Skoda 0

Dan Hinds knew the sentiment that was out there before last week’s matchup against undefeated Highland.

“This is a barometer for us,” the Desert Vista head coach said. “People question our schedule. We have a challenge in front of us. We will know more about us after this one.”

The Thunder held their own against Highland until a defensive touchdown in the final seconds of the first half by the Hawks changed momentum for good in a 45-24 loss.

Desert Vista learned a bit about itself and can serve as an example of what is about to transpire the rest of the season.

There are going to be great matchups the rest of the regular season, and each week will be a bit of barometer for every team.

It’s not limited to the teams in the 6A Coaches Poll. Sure, those will be the marquee games each week, but each program has its own level of expectations and measurements of development.

Each week from here on out – essentially the second half – will define the 2018 season whether it is fighting for a playoff spot, respect of an opponent and/or just trying to get back to .500.

Queen Creek was in a similar position as Desert Vista last week as the Bulldogs had a barometer test of its own, traveling to perennial state contender Mountain Pointe.

QC faced a 28-20 deficit in the third quarter against an opponent that has a 35-2 record at home since 2012. The Pride simply doesn’t let leads like that evaporate. So, it was clearly a chance for the Bulldogs to find out exactly where they stand in the 6A hierarchy.

A field goal and two-minute drill touchdown let the Bulldogs – and the rest of the 6A classification – know exactly where it stood.

It was downplayed, as expected by Queen Creek coach Travis Schureman, because there are plenty of tests that remain.

“We’re a 5A team that got moved up and we’re sitting at 5 – 1,” he said. “We’ve got a long way to go, but we’re happy where we’re at.”

And as of now that is No. 5 in the 6A Coaches Poll as Queen Creek moved up to a season-high ranking while Highland moved from fourth to second after the win over the Thunder.

Basha moved into the top 10 with its upset over Red Mountain, which dropped out for the first time all year, as the Bears came back strong after losing last week to Highland.

Here is a look at the latest poll at least until the next round of tests:

6A Coaches Poll (11 coaches participating)

      Team  (record)                    LW            Points (1st place votes)

  1. Chandler (4-1)                         1                       109 (10)
  2. Highland (6-0)                         4                        88 (1)
  3. Pinnacle (4-1)                          2                       85
  4. Perry (5-1)                               3                       81
  5. Queen Creek (5-1)                  6                       61
  6. Liberty (5-0)                            8                       54
  7. Chaparral (4-1)                       9                       40
  8. Mountain Pointe (2-3)             5                       31
  9. Desert Vista (4-1)                  10                      18
  10. Basha (5-1)                            —                      13

Dropped out: Red Mountain (seventh)

Others receiving votes: Red Mountain 9, Brophy 8.