FIELDER’S CHOICES: Unlike candy, postseason picks easy to digest

Hey, it’s Eric here.

I’m filling in for Fielder this week. The poor kid’s been sick since Monday. I told him not to eat all that Halloween candy, but he said he needed to gain weight so he can play left tackle in college.

Yeah. More like left out.

This shouldn’t be as hard as Fielder makes it out to be every week. Two teams walk onto a football field (is this a bad joke?), and one wins. Pick the right one, Einstein.

The stakes are pretty high, though. The losing team here has its season end.

Everybody’s 0-0 now (except for Fielder), and there are 16 teams from the South with a shot at winning a Class 4A state championship. Well, kind of. More like one, actually.

Let’s start picking them off. For full prognostications, go to It’s the same place you’ve been looking for Fielder all year.

■ Desert Pines (4-5) at Foothill (7-2) — Try as they might, the Jaguars just couldn’t be kept out of the playoffs this year.

Sure, they needed a little bit of help from Eldorado to clinch. But don’t hold that against anyone.

Fielder keeps telling me all sorts of good things about the Jaguars’ offensive line. I still haven’t seen it. No literally; every time I go to look, I can’t see around some human-brick wall on the football field to glimpse the O-line.

Kyle Keplinger helped the Falcons wrap up a playoff berth long ago. And Foothill was a Kai Nacua interception of Drew Doxtator away from knocking off Liberty for the Southeast title.

There’s a slight difference between the Patriots and the Jaguars.

It will show tonight in the Falcons’ defense … Foothill by 8.

■ Basic (5-4) at Canyon Springs (7-2) — Fields tried to tell me to go to Canyon Springs last week just in case the Pioneers upset Las Vegas.

I didn’t believe him. Instead, I stayed home watching reruns of "Two and a Half Men," wondering why TV games can’t start at 7 p.m.

Imagine my surprise when I logged onto that night and found out Donnel Pumphrey went Beast Mode on the Wildcats defense.

The important thing about that win for Canyon Springs is that it changed this week’s opponent from Green Valley to Basic.

And it means staying away from Liberty in the second round. Yes, second round… Canyon Springs by 10.

■ Bonanza (7-2) at Arbor View (8-2) — Don’t think I haven’t been watching you, Bengals.

We’ve got to give it up to Bonanza for the turnaround since last year. Sure, the Bengals still give up 50 points some games, but at least they score 60, too.

But the Aggies are a different breed than what Jayveon Taylor and Carlos Soto have seen.

In case you didn’t know, Arbor View likes to run the ball. A lot. It’s not just Roderick Eason or Donnie Gaskin, either.

But even that might be enough … Arbor View by 10.

■ Centennial (6-3) at Desert Oasis (7-2) — For the second straight year, the Diamondbacks finished second in the Southwest.

Not bad for a relatively new school.

Desert Oasis has found its identity, and it has a picture of Devin Fortenberry on it.

Centennial also has an identity: run hard with Jacobi Owens, and play big defense.

It’s served the Bulldogs well. And will continue to do so … Centennial by 4.

Last week: 6-2, 5-3 (with points)

Season: 54-18, 39-31-2 (with points)

Contact Fielder (and Eric) at


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