While seniors Tayvin Bevell and Marc Irigoyen lead the Round Valley running game, the Elk defense will be focused on Eloy Santa Cruz junior Hunter Ogle in the AIA Division 2A semifinals at Gilbert Campo Verde High on Saturday, Nov. 23. It will be the second time in the past three years the teams have met in the semifinals. The Dust Devils won the last playoff meeting in 2017, 24-21.
Ogle has run for 21 touchdowns and he averages more than 145 rushing yards a game. He ran for 162 yards and three touchdowns in the Dust Devils’ 50-12 win against No. 5 Parker last Friday, Nov. 8, to bring his rushing total to 1,742 yards for the season. He also leads the team in tackles and has scored a TD on defense.
Sophomore Ricardo Alaniz has seven rushing touchdowns this year and junior David Avilez has 11 total TD’s, including six rushing.
No. 1 Round Valley advanced to the 2A/Division 5 semifinals for the fifth straight season with a 36-14 win against No. 9 Benson in last Friday’s second round game. Bevell and Irigoyen ran for two touchdowns apiece in the win.
The Elks will be looking for their third title-game appearance in the last four years while the Dust Devils hope to return to the final for the first time since 2017, when the team lost to Thatcher in overtime, 28-27. Santa Cruz missed the playoffs last year.