TEN WEEKS – Friday, October 21
6A VALLEY EAST
Gilbert Williams Field No. 14 (3-3, 1-0) at Salpointe No. 20 (3-3, 0-1)
Salpointe is in a compelling situation to retain a top-20 finish and a greater chance of qualifying for the playoffs with three games remaining after this one. Former Arizona Desert Swarm cornerback Kelvin Hunter is in his 12th season as defensive coordinator at Williams Field.
No. 25 Sunnyside (4-2, 1-0) at No. 8 Marana (5-1, 1-0)
No. 40 Flowing Wells (2-4, 1-0) at No. 44 Nogales (0-6, 0-1)
#47 Rincon/UHS (1-5, 0-1) vs. #43 Cholla (1-5, 0-1)
Sunnyside at Marana is very much a playoff game for both teams, as Sunnyside needs a win to solidify any chance of making the 16-team playoffs. Marana needs the win to help his prospect host the first round of the playoffs by keeping a top-8 finish. Both teams face the daunting reality of facing teams ranked No. 40 or lower the rest of the season after this game, which negatively affects their power ratings. …Sunnyside’s defense against Marana’s attack is force against force. The Blue Devils have recorded three straight shutouts for the first time since 2007. Opponents are averaging just 6.7 points per game against them. Marana, behind his no-huddle offense, engineered to perfection by the senior QB Elijah Joplinis averaging 48 points per game.
No. 26 Cienega (2-4, 1-0) at No. 37 Ironwood Ridge (1-5, 0-1)
No. 31 Mountain View (2-4, 1-0) at No. 30 Buena (4-2, 0-1)
No. 28 Desert View (3-2, 1-0) at No. 35 Tucson (2-4, 0-1)
Cienega, Mountain View and Desert View – all of which won their first regional matches last week – are on the road this week. Everyone must run the board to have a chance of making the playoffs.
No. 12 Walden Grove (4-2, 1-0) at No. 38 Rio Rico (3-3, 1-0)
No. 23 Catalina Foothills (3-3, 1-0) vs. No. 49 Sahuarita (0-6, 0-1)
No. 28 Sahuaro (2-4, 0-1) at No. 44 Amphitheater (1-5, 0-1)
The biggest game in Rio Rico history comes Friday night when the Hawks host Walden Grove. Rio Rico, under freshman coach Jeff Scurran, face an uphill battle to make the state playoffs due to their No. 38 power rating. … A win over Walden Grove would be significant as Rio Rico would finish 3-0 against fellow I-19 Nogales. , Sahuarita and Walden Grove. … The Red Wolves, behind prolific juniors Gabriel Smithmust keep winning to stay in position to make the 16-team pool for the 4A playoffs.
No. 26 Pueblo (4-2, 0-1) at No. 3 Canyon del Oro (5-1, 1-0)
No. 34 Douglas (3-3, 0-1) at No. 32 Mica Mountain (2-4, 1-0)
No. 20 Vista Grande (5-2, 1-0) to No. 40 Empire (3-3, 0-1)
Pueblo needs a win at the CDO to bolster its playoff aspirations while the Dorados need to win for a chance to host the first round and quarterfinals of the 4A state tournament if they finish ranked in the top 4 in the state. Finishing in the top 2 can also result in the organization of a match in the semi-finals.
No. 3 Pusch Ridge (7-1, 2-1) at No. 36 Palo Verde (2-6, 0-3)
No. 6 Sabino (6-2, 2-1) vs. No. 1 Thatcher (8-0, 3-0)
No. 23 Safford (3-5, 1-2) at No. 11 Benson (5-3, 1-2)
No. 3 Pusch Ridge will be negatively affected playing No. 36 Palo Verde but shouldn’t fall below No. 8 (top eight teams host a first-round playoff game). … No. 6 Sabino has a chance of making a significant move if he upsets No. 1 Thatcher. The Sabercats would also be in a three-way tie for the lead at 3A South with Pusch Ridge with a win and a Lion win over Palo Verde. … A loss to Sabino shouldn’t hurt him in the power ratings. The Sabercats lasted at No. 3 Eastmark last week and remained at No. 6. … No. 11 Benson can solidify his chance to make the 3A state tournament – after previously being at the 2A level – with a victory against Safford’s visit.
2A SAN PEDRO
No. 44 Catalina (1-7, 1-2) vs. No. 5 Willcox (6-2, 3-0)
No. 19 Tanque Verde (4-4, 3-0) at No. 25 Tombstone (3-5, 1-2)
No. 13 (3A) San Tan Foothills (5-3) at No. 23 Bisbee (3-5, 1-2)
All eyes are on next week’s showdown between No. 5 Willcox and No. 19 Tanque Verde for San Pedro’s potential 2A title and an automatic bid for the 2A state playoffs. … If Willcox and Tanque Verde mind business against Catalina and Tombstone, respectively, the teams would find themselves with regional records of 4-0 in next week’s regular season finale. … Tanque Verde, who has never qualified for the state playoffs, shut out three straight opponents for the first time in program history.
1A STATE PLAYOFFS FIRST ROUND
No. 9 San Manuel (7-2) at No. 8 Superior (6-3)
Tough news from San Manuel with running back/linebacker Mathias Medina out of the playoffs with a broken leg injury suffered last week against Baboquivari. …Miners will have to rely on quarterback and defensive back Ralphie Valencia for leadership to make it to the next round against No. 1 Hayden. … No. 2 St. David awaits the winner of No. 10 El Capitan Academy and No. 7 Baghdad for a quarter-final match next Friday.