With the regular season winding down and awards announcements around the corner, we take a look at some of the top offensive player of the year candidates in each 6A region.
Note: All statistics through Nov. 19. Teams in Region 6 (Desert Southwest) have not played a full season and are postseason ineligible. Jared Williams photo by Shari Miller – SLM Images.
Meet the state’s top players by position:
Arizona high school football all-star team:
Region 1 (Desert Valley)
Brayten Silbor, QB, Chaparral: The junior is averaging 302 yards per game while completing 61 percent of his passes in the Firebirds’ first four games since returning from COVID-19 quarantine.
Brock Mast, QB, Liberty: The senior leads the region with 1,658 yards passing, and his steady play (12 TDs, 0 interceptions) has played a big part in the Lions’ four-game win streak since a 1-2 start.
Dorian Singer, WR, Pinnacle: The Tartan, Minn., transfer has been as good as advertised through six games, catching a region-best 37 passes for 664 yards and nine touchdowns.
Jared Williams, RB, Chaparral: As Williams goes, so go the Firebirds. In their two victories, he’s run for 322 yards and six touchdowns; in two losses, 95 yards and one score.
James Scott/Kavaughn Clark, RB, Centennial: The 1-2 Coyotes backfield tag team has combined for 1,114 yards and 13 touchdowns on 151 carries. The best part for Centennial fans — neither is a senior.
Region 2 (Premier)
Eli Sanders, RB, Chandler: The Boise State commit went over 100 yards in the Wolves’ first four games and returned from a third-quarter injury suffered against Centennial to run for 74 yards and two touchdowns against Highland.
Kai Millner, QB, Higley: The senior has been everything Cal could have hoped to see before heading to Berkeley, leading the region with 1,720 passing yards (61.4% completions) and 12 touchdowns.
Max Davis, RB, Highland: A two-game stretch during which the senior amassed more than half his region-leading 1,008 rushing yards announced his candidacy with authority.
Mikey Keene, QB, Chandler: The Central Florida commit hasn’t made many mistakes in directing the Wolves offense, throwing for 1,333 yards (72.6%) and 16 touchdowns against one interception.
Nicco Marchiol, QB, Hamilton: The Colorado transplant will be one of the state’s top recruits next year. He’s a two-way threat with 1,139 passing yards, 396 rushing yards and a combined 10 TDs.
Mikey Keene photo by Liebrock Photography
Region 3 (Fiesta)
Dane Christensen, QB, Casteel: The senior directs the conference’s top passing attack, throwing for 1,994 yards (70% completion) and 14 touchdowns (six interceptions).
Devin Brown, QB, Queen Creek: The junior has demonstrated why he’s headed to USC in 19 months, completing 69.7% of his passes for 1,506 yards and 17 touchdowns against three interceptions.
Dominic Digian, TE, Casteel: The senior leads tight ends in the state with 46 catches for 529 yards and seven touchdowns.
Isaiah Newcombe, WR, Casteel: The UCLA commit has made several highlight-reel plays while leading the state with 60 catches for 744 yards and six touchdowns.
Payton Barlow, RB, Queen Creek: Barlow, a junior, has spearheaded the Bulldogs’ three-game win streak, going over 100 yards in each game to take the region lead with 623 yards and five touchdowns.
Region 4 (East Valley)
Anyale Velazquez, RB, Corona del Sol: Velazquez has played a big part in the Aztecs’ resurgence this season — the junior leads the region with 876 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Craig Montgomery, RB, Mesa: The junior has gone over 100 yards each of the past two weeks to move into second in the region with 595 yards and six touchdowns.
Gabby Mendoza, QB, Mesa: The three-year starter is having a solid season for the Jackrabbits, leading the region with 1,329 yards (57.4% completions) and 14 touchdowns.
Kvon Sutton, WR, Mesa: The senior has broken through this season to lead the region with 42 catches for 591 yards and six touchdowns.
Quade Swearingen, QB, Corona del Sol: The senior hasn’t put up flashy numbers, but he’s turned the ball over only three times, completed 75.5% of his passes for 1,195 yards and 13 touchdowns, and run for four scores.
Region 5 (Central)
Amire Boyd-Matthews, QB, Mountain Pointe: The South Mountain transfer has had a solid junior season despite the Pride going 0-7, completing 58.3% of his passes for 646 yards and rushing for 316 yards.
Caleb Jones, RB, Basha: The senior has a region-high 12 touchdowns — 11 on the ground as he’s run for a team-high 436 yards (six per carry).
Demond Williams Jr., QB, Basha: The freshman has shown no fear of the Friday night lights, leading the Bears back from an 0-2 start to win the region title, completing 63.4% of his passes for 1,335 yards and 12 TDs.
Reese Marziale, RB, Mountain View (Mesa): The junior leads the region with 605 yards and eight touchdowns, running for a career-high 146 yards in Week 7 against Basha.
Tanner Johnson, WR, Mountain View (Mesa): Johnson, a senior, has caught a region-high 41 passes for 602 yards and four touchdowns.
Bear Milacek photo by Elena Bernardo – EMB Photoshop
Region 7 (Southwest)
Bear Milacek, QB, Boulder Creek: The senior has been a dual threat under center for the Jaguars, throwing for 972 yards (67.3% completions) and nine touchdowns and running for 392 yards and eight TDs.
Jacob Cisneros, RB, Boulder Creek: The senior ranks among state leaders in all-purpose yards, rushing for a region-high 1,042 yards and 13 touchdowns, catching 34 passes for 517 yards and nine TDs, and averaging 34.5 yards per kick return.
James Groff, WR, Sandra Day O’Connor: He’s been a big revelation for the Eagles this fall — the senior has caught 37 passes for 599 yards and nine touchdowns.
Seth Gallardo, QB, Shadow Ridge: The junior took over starting quarterback duties for the Stallions and has thrown for a region-leading 1,318 yards and 19 touchdowns, completing more than 63% of his passes.
Zach Sutton, WR, Shadow Ridge: Sutton, a senior, leads the region in all three receiving categories with 38 catches for 668 yards and 12 touchdowns.