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2014 Playoffs

CLICK HERE for complete playoff matchups and scores!

State Championships


Division I

GAME OF NOV. 28, 2014:

(2) Chandler 28
(1) Hamilton      7

(Game at U. of Phoenix Stadium)

Division II

GAME OF NOV. 29, 2014:

(3) Centennial 26
(1) Liberty     14

(Game at Sun Devil Stadium)

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Division I & II SECTIONS for the 2014 season


SECTION 1:  Basha, Chandler, Gilbert, Hamilton, Highland, Perry.

SECTION 2:  Cesar Chavez, Maryvale, Millennium, North, Valley Vista, Westview.

SECTION 3:  Desert Mountain, Desert Ridge, Mesa, (Mesa) Mountain View, Red Mountain, Skyline.

SECTION 4:  Brophy, Corona del Sol, Desert Vista, Dobson, Mountain Pointe.

SECTION 5:  Boulder Creek, Horizon, Mountain Ridge, North Canyon, O'Connor, Pinnacle.


SECTION 1:  Camelback, Carl Hayden, Copper Canyon, Fairfax, La Joya, St. Mary's, Sunnyslope, Tolleson, Trevor Browne.

SECTION 2:  Buena, Cienega, Desert View, Nogales, Sahuaro, Sunnyside.

SECTION 3:  Apollo, Centennial, Deer Valley, Ironwood, Kellis, Liberty, Willow Canyon.

SECTION 4:  Cibola, Gila Ridge, Kofa, Lake Havasu, Yuma.

SECTION 5:  Ironwood Ridge, (Marana) Mountain View, Rincon, Salpointe, Tucson, Vista Grande.

SECTION 6:  Campo Verde, Marcos de Niza, Mesquite, Poston Butte, Westwood.

SECTION 7:  Arcadia, Cactus Shadows, Chaparral, Notre Dame, Paradise Valley.







Coyotes now with top dogs in D-I

State champion OG Bailey leads Centennial in new challenge

WEEKLY BLOG:  3/1/15

You can break the first 23 years of Centennial football into two eras.

It begins with 13 seasons at the Class 4A level (1992-2004).  The Coyotes didn't become a West Valley powerhouse overnight.  The inaugural '92 team lost games to Coronado, Kingman, and Flagstaff en route to a 2-8 season.  It took four years for Centennial to make the playoffs and 12 years before the Coyotes advanced a round in the postseason.

In 2005, the Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) split 5A and 4A into two separate classifications each.  Centennial was placed into Class 5A-II (which would eventually become Division II).  In 10 years at that level, the Coyotes racked up an unbelievable record of 122-15.  Centennial had double-digit win totals in every season.  The gold balls started making their way to Peoria as well.  The Coyotes made seven trips to the title game and took home the championship four times (including last November).

So, as we peek ahead to the 2015 season, it begins a third era in CeHS history as the Coyotes were placed in the state's highest level - Division I.

The new group of competition for Centennial stems from the formula implemented by the AIA in January to position schools for realignment.  It begins by looking at enrollment.  With 2,115 students on October 1, CeHS was given a designation of Division II enrollment (ranked 44th in the state).  Then, the formula looked at a combination of free and reduced lunch (35% for Centennial) and success over the years of 2008-2013.  The "success" portion throws out the best two and worst two for CeHS and ends up using the 2010 and 2012 seasons.  Both were 12-2 campaigns that ended with losses in the state finals.  The formula gave Centennial a Divison I designation (and No. 11 ranking).  Because the formula is higher than the enrollment number, Centennial was moved up one level and placed in D-I.

One constant throughout the 23 years of Centennial football has been head coach Richard Taylor.  The longtime mentor to Coyote players is just two wins shy of 200 victories in his CeHS career (198-74-3).  He has also been accustomed to enrollment being used to sort the schools as that had been the rule until 2015.

"That's something we really don't have any control over," Taylor said of the placing by the AIA.  "We will be among the smallest enrollments (in Division I)."

Indeed, D-I newcomers Centennial and Chaparral (2,081 students) are the smallest schools in the state's highest class.  At the other end, Hamilton (3,716) and Red Mountain (3,401) have the largest student bodies in the division.

Like many schools over the past month, Centennial filed an appeal for its placing and attempted to go back to Division II.  The arguments included the improbability of growth for the school as it is "landlocked" with other district schools surrounding it.  Centennial also has a smaller number of paid coaches compared to other D-I programs.  Just four coaches are on the payroll for the Coyotes (including Taylor).  The daily schedule for students does not include a football class as other areas have.  Also the facilities are a little on the short end, as is the JV practice field (just 75 yards long X 48 yards wide).

Those arguments were given to the Football Board at the AIA and Centennial's request was denied unanimously.  Among the schools that were Division I with larger enrollments, Corona del Sol (11 % free/reduced lunch), Gilbert (25%), Millennium (27%), and O'Connor (15%) were all given Division II placements via the formula.

"Rewarding mediocrity and punishing being excellent," Taylor said of the way the new formula impacted teams at the highest level.  "I think the fairest way is just by population."

One figure that was not used in the formula is numbers within the entire program.  Remember, all three levels play at the level designated by the AIA.  A few years ago, Centennial would routinely have close to 100 in the freshman program.  Taylor said last season, the Coyotes had their smallest Frosh group at just 47.

The other ramification of all the appeals and the formula was the reduction of teams in Division I from 29 to just 17.  With the bottom teams now dropped down, 15 of the 17 made the playoffs last season.  When Centennial captured the state title last season, it was in a division with 43 schools.

"It's kind of hard to say you're the state champ with just 17," Taylor said.

Before we lament the Coyotes' situation any further, let's look at one of the things they have done consistently over the past decade - beat Division I schools.

In that time, Centennial has recorded non-section wins over Mountain View, Desert Vista, Hamilton, Desert Ridge, Chandler, Brophy, and Red Mountain.  The win over Hamilton (in 2008) was against a Huskies' team that was 25-1 over its past 26 games.  Following the 35-16 defeat to CeHS, Hamilton went on a 53-game winning streak.

Last year, Centennial played all four of its freedom games against Division I competition losing games to eventual D-I champion Chandler (by 4) and Basha (by 10).  The Coyotes defeated Brophy and Desert Vista.

Looking ahead to the upcoming season, the offensive line seems to be the strength of the team with guards Marshal Nathe and Steven Bailey maintaining control in the trenches.  Both appear to be future Division I (college) recruits.

"Traditionally, we have been pretty good on the offensive line," Taylor said.  "We do have some good offensive linemen coming back."

One player Centennial does not have coming back is All-State performer Dedrick Young, who has already enrolled at Nebraska.  He played linebacker and running back for the Coyotes and rushed for 1,557 yards and 19 touchdowns in his senior year.  Replacements in the backfield will come from a group of players that had carries last season including Quentin Gomez, Taylor Fiame, Isaac Haney, and Marcus Wakeham.

Behind center, the Coyotes return dual-threat QB Isaac Steele.  As a junior, he was accurate with 27 touchdown passes and just three interceptions.  He can also take off and run with it as he had 558 yards and six scores.

Fiame and Wakeham are candidates to play linebacker and Gomez is the team's starting strong safety.  Last season, Gomez scored four touchdowns rushing and also recorded four defensive TDs (three interception returns and fumble return).

Another pair of juniors that had big years were linebacker Bozton Sanders, who has great size at 6-0, 240 pounds and defensive end Chris Jules.  Sanders led the Coyotes with 107 tackles and had four sacks.  Jules had 11 sacks including four in the defensive shutdown of Liberty in the title game.

Taylor said by the looks of things right now, there will be some two-way players on this season's squad.  But, he also added that despite being reigning state champions, the boys are going about their business right now in the offseason and are being productive.

"I think last year's team worked extremely hard and I'm seeing that again now this year," Taylor said.  "They know the move to Division I is going to require more out of all of us and they are working to that end."

Initial sections come out this Wednesday and it is likely that the Coyotes will be part of a northern region that includes Liberty, Boulder Creek, Horizon, Pinnacle, and Chaparral.

PHOTO CAPTION:  Centennial junior offensive guard Steven Bailey gets ready to take his spot on the line during last November's Division II state championship game.  Bailey was part of an O-line that helped the Coyotes rush for 228 yards per game and pound out 40 touchdowns on the ground.  Bailey was named to the First-Team All-State for Division II as Centennial won its fourth title in school history.


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(as per AIA/MaxPreps)



 School SectionRecordPlayoff Finish
Power Points 
1. Hamilton
Sect. 1 12-2 Championship Game
Sect. 5 10-2 Quarterfinals
Sect. 4
10-4 Semifinals
Sect. 3 10-2 Quarterfinals
6. Mountain Pointe
Sect. 4 10-3 Semifinals
7. Basha
Sect. 1 7-5 Quarterfinals
8. Boulder Creek
Sect. 5 8-3 First Round
9. Skyline
Sect. 3 10-2 Quarterfinals
10. O'Connor
Sect. 5 7-5 First Round
11. WESTVIEW Sect. 2
8-3 First Round
12. Horizon
Sect. 5 7-4 First Round
13. Perry Sect. 1
5-6 First Round
14. Highland
Sect. 1
5-6 First Round
15. Red Mountain
Sect. 3 3-8 First Round
16. Valley Vista
Sect. 2 6-5 First Round
  Desert Vista
Sect. 4 3-7      0.9126  
  Cesar Chavez
Sect. 2
4-6      0.6188
  Mesa Mountain View
Sect. 3 3-7  
Sect. 4 5-5      0.3201
Sect. 1 2-8      0.0258


Sect. 2 4-6    - 0.1113
Sect. 3 3-7    - 1.2358
  Mountain Ridge
Sect. 5
1-9    - 1.4539
  Desert Mountain
Sect. 3 1-9    - 5.1518
  Corona del Sol
Sect. 4
1-9    - 5.5592  
  North Canyon
Sect. 5 0-10    - 8.8127  
Sect. 2 1-9   -10.3464
Sect. 2 0-10   -13.9580  

CAPS - Indicates Clinched Section title

The top team from each section based on section record is guaranteed playoff one of the 16 playoff berths.  These 16 teams will be seeded in a bracket according to the final power points.

NOTE: Mountain Ridge and North Canyon were both given forfeits following their brawl in Week 10. Both games were recorded as a loss and the game is not included in the power point rankings.

The AIA works with Maxpreps in devising the power points formula.  This is a statistical method that incorporates an algorithm not able to be duplicated by Gridiron Arizona.  For more on the formulas, or to see the points for Divisions III, IV, V, and VI, see the AIA web site at


 School SectionRecord   Playoff Finish
  Power Points 
1. Liberty
Sect. 3 12-2   Championship Game


Sect. 5 9-2  

First Round

Sect. 3 12-2   STATE CHAMPIONS
Sect. 2 11-2   Semifinals
5. Deer Valley
Sect. 3 8-3   First Round
Sect. 1 11-1   Quarterfinals     10.6962
7. Westwood
Sect. 6 9-2   First Round
Sect. 7 10-2   Quarterfinals
9. Sahuaro
Sect. 2 9-2   First Round
10. Chaparral
Sect. 7
9-4   Semifinals
11. Salpointe
Sect. 5 8-3   First Round
Sect. 6 7-5   Quarterfinals
13. Poston Butte
Sect. 6 7-4   First Round      6.9916
Sect. 4
8-3   First Round
x- Marana Mountain View Sect. 5 6-4    
15. Sunnyside
Sect. 2 7-5   Quarterfinals
16. St. Mary's
Sect. 1 7-4   First Round      2.5524
Sect. 7 7-3          2.0306
Sect. 6
4-6          1.9276
  La Joya
Sect. 1
7-3          1.5677
  Gila Ridge Sect. 4 5-5          1.5026
Sect. 3 4-6          1.3061  
  Campo Verde
Sect. 6 5-6          1.2162  
Sect. 4 5-5          0.0078
  Willow Canyon
Sect. 3 4-6        - 0.0799  
  Notre Dame
Sect. 7 4-6        - 0.3190
Sect. 1
6-4        - 0.4783  
Sect. 3 3-7        - 0.7818  
Sect. 5 4-6        - 1.5308
  Cactus Shadows
Sect. 7 3-7        - 3.4091  
Sect. 2 3-8        - 3.9037  
Sect. 2 4-6        - 3.9409  
Sect. 1 4-6        - 4.8121  
  Vista Grande
Sect. 5 3-7        - 5.1428  
Sect. 4
3-7        - 5.4059  
Sect. 4 3-7        - 6.7402  
Sect. 1 2-8    
  Trevor Browne
Sect. 1 2-8       -10.1915
Sect. 5 2-8  




  Copper Canyon
Sect. 1 1-9       -13.3751
  Desert View
Sect. 2
0-10       -13.4818  
Sect. 3 0-10       -13.5135  
  Carl Hayden
Sect. 1 1-9       -13.9938

CAPS - Indicates Clinched section title

The top team from each section based on section record is guaranteed playoff one of the 16 playoff berths.  These 16 teams will be seeded in a bracket according to the final power points.

x - Marana Mountain View has been placed on probation by the AIA due to recruiting violations.  The Mountain Lions are ineligible for the 2014 playoff tournament.  This chart places where the school would be if it were not under these sanctions.

NOTE: Rincon was awarded a victory over Santa Rita by forfeit due to SRHS playing ineligible players.  That win is being reflected on their record, but the game is not included in the power points as the AIA/MaxPreps formula does not allow for a reversal of a forfeited game.  Instead, the result is simply thrown out.

The AIA works with Maxpreps in devising the power points formula.  This is a statistical method that incorporates an algorithm not able to be duplicated by Gridiron Arizona.  For more on the formulas, or to see the points for Divisions III, IV, V, and VI, see the AIA web site at