Iowa State quarterback Brock Purdy graduated from Perry High School in Gilbert.
Arizona high school rivals Purdy, Shough meet again in Fiesta Bowl
On Saturday, the No. 25 Oregon Ducks will take on the No. 10 Iowa State Cyclones in the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. Aside from immediate family members for each team, no fans will be permitted to attend the game due to the ongoing surge of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nevertheless, there will be some local flavor in this year’s edition of Arizona’s most prestigious bowl game. The starting quarterbacks from both programs played their high school football in the Valley, with Oregon’s Tyler Shough hailing from Hamilton High School in Chandler and Iowa State’s Brock Purdy graduating from Perry High School in Gilbert.
In fact, these two know each other quite well, having played each other four times in just two seasons during their high school careers. Unfortunately for Ducks fans, Purdy came out on top on all four occasions, outplaying Shough every step of the way.
The 2020 First Team All-Big 12 quarterback was also a two-time First Team All-State performer during his time at Perry, and he had some of his best games lining up against Hamilton. During their first head-to-head matchup as juniors in 2016, Purdy threw for 482 yards and five touchdowns, while rushing for another 58 yards and a touchdown in a 55-21 blowout victory. Shough finished with 164 yards, two touchdowns and four turnovers in the loss.
They met again later that season in the Conference 6A State Playoffs, where Purdy and the Perry Pumas squeaked out a 63-60 overtime win over Hamilton. Purdy finished with 453 total yards, five touchdowns and a couple turnovers, while Shough played much better with 334 total yards and five touchdowns. Perry High School went on to lose to Chandler High School in the 6A semifinals that year.
Fast forward to 2017, and Shough came so close to redemption but ultimately fell short in their 65-63 regular season loss to Perry. Purdy had a breakout game that put recruiters on notice, totaling 549 yards and seven touchdowns. Shough was no slouch during this contest either, finishing with 352 pass yards and two touchdowns himself.
Finally, these two battled it out in the 6A State Playoffs once again, but this one was not nearly as close as their previous matchups. Perry stomped Hamilton 72-14, as Purdy totaled 598 yards and eight touchdowns to Shough’s 205 yards and two scores. With that being said, Perry was unable to reach the mountain top, falling to Chandler High School once again, except this time in the State Championship by a score of 49-42.
Despite besting Shough on the field, Purdy did not receive the acclaim you might expect. Instead, he received very little interest from Power 5 schools coming out of high school. In fact, he finished as the No. 12 QB prospect in the state and the 839th-ranked football player in the nation. On the flip side, Shough was the top-rated QB prospect in Arizona. He was also the No. 7 rated pro-style QB in the nation and ranked 140th overall coming out of high school.
After visiting Texas A&M, Purdy decided to commit to Iowa State and went into his collegiate career as the third-string QB before winning the job and becoming an All-Conference star. Shough had offers from Alabama, Georgia, Florida State and Michigan to name a few. Ultimately, he decided to commit to Oregon, where his grandfather helped construct the very field he played on in Eugene. After backing up the presumptuous NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Justin Herbert for a season, Shough took over the starting job for the Ducks in 2020.
There may not be any Sun Devils or Wildcats on the field this weekend, but local football fans will certainly have plenty of reasons to watch the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl, as these former Arizona high school athletes square off for the fifth time in their careers. Will Brock Purdy continue his spectacular season or will Shough finally get the redemption his been longing for?
The PlayStation Fiesta Bowl will be played on Saturday, January 2, 2020 at 2:00 pm local time and will be broadcast on ESPN.