ArizonaVarsity - Gridiron Arizona's 8 Shining Stars: Week 2
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Gridiron Arizona's 8 Shining Stars: Week 2

Hamilton DT Davis highlights Husky D with 4 sacks

STAT BLOG: 9/14/21

Just about everyone has played at least one game now. There have already been some spectacular athletic feats taking place!

This is a weekly look at where we look back at eight different categories from last Friday and find a 5A or 6A standout performer for each. The name isn't that complex, we just call it "8 Shining Stars".

QUARTERBACK - Adryan Lara (Desert Edge)

The 6-2, 200-pound QB had a light night of work (10 pass attempts), but piled up points quickly for the Scorpions. Lara completed seven passes for 132 yards and three of them went for touchdowns. The Washington State commit also added a rushing score during Desert Edge's 58-0 blanking of Westview. Amir Smith (two) and Gavin Parks were on the receiving end of the TD passes. Lara now has 91 touchdown passes in his four-year varsity career. Through two games, he is hitting on 68 percent of his attempts, which would be the highest in his four years at DEHS.
Next Up: Desert Edge (2-0) is home in Goodyear against Horizon (2-0) this Friday.

RUNNING BACK - Zach Wallace (Liberty)

The junior running back found the end zone five times and did it on just eight carries. Wallace finished with 145 yards, which included a 53-yard run. Liberty stormed out to a 28-0 halftime lead and didn't look back for a 42-6 victory at Boulder Creek. Wallace has been a part of a high-powered Lion offense that has scored 116 points in two games (58 ppg).
Next Up: Liberty (2-0) is on the road, but within the Peoria School District, at rival Sunrise Mountain (1-1) this Friday.

WIDE RECEIVER - Dawood Montejano (Trevor Browne)

The stat-keeping site of MaxPreps has been around since 2004. Montejano became the first Bruin receiver in that span to finish a game with 200 yards or three touchdowns. The 5-10, 150-pound senior actually did both pulling down nine receptions for 216 yards and four TDs in Trevor Browne's 55-6 win at Maryvale in the renewal of the Pride of the West Side rivalry. Montejano showed his speed during his second touchdown catch along the right sideline and no defender was able to get close enough to bring him down.
Next Up: Trevor Browne (2-0) is home in West Phoenix against Cibola (0-2) this Friday.

DEFENSIVE LINE - Chandler Davis (Hamilton)

The junior defensive tackle tallied four sacks for the Huskies, who received a test from Casteel. Hamilton prevailed in the first meeting between the two Chandler District schools by a 23-13 score. Davis (6-2, 230) had an even dozen tackles helping the Huskies to another strong defensive showing. Hamilton has allowed just 20 total points in its two games. A nationally televised game awaits this week.
Next Up: Hamilton (3-0) is home in Chandler against Las Vegas power Bishop Gorman (3-0) this Friday. ESPNU will have the broadcast at 7 p.m.

LINEBACKER - Jacob Steward (Cactus Shadows)

If it seems like the 6-1, 185-pound linebacker was in on every other tackle, it's because he was. Steward had 11 solo tackles and 15 assisted for a total of 26 tackles. The rest of the Falcon defense totaled 24 tackles in a 31-12 loss at Campo Verde. It's not every week that someone who wasn't on the winning team makes this list of stars, but Steward couldn't escape our attention. Included in those tackles were three sacks to give him five for the season.
Next Up: Cactus Shadows (0-2) is one the road up in Flagstaff against Coconino (0-0) this Friday.

DEFENSIVE BACK - Thomas DeChesario (Saguaro)

The senior safety had an impact on a close game, which many did not expect. DeChesaro (5-10, 180) had eight tackles, a sack, and forced a fumble in a 20-14 win over ALA-Queen Creek. He's a skilled athlete in multiple sports as he won four games on the mound for SHS last spring (with 49K in 41 IP). With the bat, he hit .415 and also played infield. DeChesaro doesn't let up in the classroom as he totes a 4.48 GPA. This Friday night, he gets a much-earned breather.
Next Up: Saguaro (2-0) is idle this week. The Sabercats next play on Sept. 24 at Chaparral (1-1).

SPECIAL TEAMS - Grady Gross (Horizon)

Horizon has played in a couple close games this season, and the difference in winning those as the season goes on, could come down to the kicking game. The Huskies have the best in the state at it (so far) in Gross. In a 24-15 victory over Sunrise Mountain (which was closer than the score indicates), he made the Mustangs start on the 20 with four touchbacks in five kicks. Two of his four punts were placed inside the 20-yard line (49.8-yard average) and he booted a 43-yard field goal to give HHS the lead right before the half. Gross earned a spot in the Under Armour All-American Game in Orlando last month at the Kohl's National Scholarship Camp.
Next Up: Horizon (2-0) is on the road in Goodyear against Desert Edge (2-0) this Friday.


The past two years have seen the Pride go 2-16. Mountain Pointe has already equaled that win total in just two games in 2021. After opening the season with a dramatic 34-33 win at Corona del Sol (an Open team in 2020), MPHS rallied for a 26-23 victory over Brophy last Friday. A 17-yard pass from Chris Arviso to Amier Boyd with just over a minute to play put the Pride ahead to stay. Boyd also starred on defense with a pick-six shortly before halftime. Head coach Eric Lauer was named the Arizona Cardinals Coach of the Week. Pulling out close wins like this can pay dividends down the road. Not just in picking up W's, but in knowing the little things to do down the stretch when the pressure is on.
Next Up: Mountain Pointe (2-0) is at home in Ahwatukee against Perry (1-1) this Friday.

Desert Edge QB Adryan Lara  (Photo by Ralph Amsden)
Desert Edge QB Adryan Lara (Photo by Ralph Amsden)
Horizon K Grady Gross
Horizon K Grady Gross