A LOOK TO WEEK SIX
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 23 (all games 7 p.m.)
Salpointe (1-2) at Cienega (1-1)
Salpointe and Cienega meet in a non-region game between two traditional powers over the last decade. The Bobcats have a winning record of 4-3 against the Lancers in their seven meetings.
Sunnyside (1-1) at Waddell Canyon View (1-2)
Sunnyside returns from a bye week to travel to Canyon View on the far westside of Phoenix in the first meeting of the programs.
Ironwood Ridge (0-2) at Goodyear Desert Edge (2-1)
The Nighthawks, another of many Southern Arizona teams coming off a bye week, have a difficult task to earn the first win of the Dale Stott coaching era playing at Desert Edge.
Phoenix South Mountain (2-1) at Tucson (1-1)
Arizona linebacker great Byron Evans and his alma mater make a trip to Tucson High for the second consecutive season. The Jaguars prevailed 26-20 last season.
Canyon del Oro (2-0) at Marana (2-0)
The most anticipated Southern Arizona game on Friday is affected by the unfortunate development of six CDO players, including starters, unable to play for disciplinary reasons. “The District is not able to comment due to federal confidentiality laws about information contained in student records,” Michelle Valenzuela, Amphitheater Communications Director, stated.
Catalina Foothills (0-2) at Mica Mountain (1-2)
Two teams trying to find their identity meet in Vail with Catalina Foothills having a bye last week and Mica Mountain coming off consecutive losses to 4A juggernauts Bradshaw Mountain and Poston Butte.
Mesa Red Mountain (2-1) at Mountain View (0-2)
Mountain View’s Matt Johnson continues his sound scheduling philosophy of playing powerful teams from the Phoenix area to boost his team’s chances of qualifying for the state playoffs down the road.
Safford (1-4, 0-1 3A South) at Sabino (4-0, 1-0)
Sabino looks to keep rolling along with Ed Doherty Award state player of the year candidate Cameron Hackworth, a junior, at quarterback. Ryan McBrayer is 41-13 in his sixth year at his alma mater.
Pusch Ridge (5-0, 1-0 3A South) at Thatcher (4-0, 1-0)
Another marquee matchup, one of the best in the state, any classification. A Pusch Ridge win would boost the Lions’ chances for a 3A South title and automatic bid to the state playoffs. Another significant showdown looms next Friday with Sabino traveling to Oro Valley to play Pusch Ridge. The game can be heard live on KATO 1230-AM with Arizona grad Lee Patterson on the call.
Palo Verde (2-3, 0-1 3A South) at Benson (3-2, 0-1)
If Palo Verde can pull off the upset, the Titans would be at .500 after six games, matching the feat when Mike Wells was the coach in 2019. That’s saying something with Palo Verde not having a varsity team last season because of a lack of eligible players.
Nogales (0-2) at Sahuaro (1-1)
The Cougars have had two weeks off to grow from their loss to rival Sabino while the Apaches are looking to end a six-game losing streak dating to last season.
Amphitheater (0-2) at Tempe Marcos de Niza (3-0)
Amphi coach Jorge Mendivil, who has 112 career victories, also uses the tactic of scheduling Phoenix-area teams. This one will be difficult going against the unbeaten Padres who are looking to match their win total for all of last season.
Cholla (1-2) at Buena (2-1)
Virgil Henderson’s Chargers suffered a 56-49 shootout loss at home against Douglas last week and now must travel to Sierra Vista. Both teams can top their win total for all of last season with a victory.
Sahuarita (0-2) at Rincon/University (0-3)
Both schools are looking for their first win of the season and to put an end to lengthy losing streaks going back to last season — the Mustangs are at five games and the Rangers 10.
Rio Rico (1-1) at Douglas (2-0)
Douglas, coached by former Arizona defensive lineman Hunter Long, can legitimately start 3-0 for the first time since 1990, when Dick Keith’s team went 6-4-1 and lost in the first round of the state playoffs. The 2018 team started 5-0 but those games were forfeited because of the use of ineligible players.
Pueblo (2-0) at Walden Grove (1-2)
The Warriors trying to start 3-0 for the first time since Brandon Sanders’ last season leading the program in 2019. They made it to the state playoffs and finished 8-3 that season. Walden Grove again showing a potent passing offense with senior QB Gabe Smith the leader.
Flowing Wells (1-1) at Avondale Agua Fria (0-3)
Flowing Wells is in the midst of three straight road games, second consecutive in the Phoenix area after losing at Paradise Valley last week.
Morenci (4-0) at Tombstone (2-2)
The upstart Yellow Jackets, behind dual-threat QB DJ Elias, face their most difficult test of the season hosting 2A defending state champion Morenci. Tombstone is 2-2 after winning its last two games. It was 2-18 in the previous 20 games dating to 2019.
Empire (1-1) at Glendale Deer Valley (0-3)
The Ravens came close to starting 2-0 but fell 14-12 at home last week to Sierra Linda. A win over Deer Valley can set the tone to a possible 4-1 start heading into the 4A Kino opener at Mica Mountain.
Pima (3-1) at Willcox (3-1)
Willcox took defending 2A state champion Morenci to the limit last week on the road before losing 21-14. Another difficult challenge happens Friday at home Pima, a 2A state semifinalist last year, coming to town.
Phoenix North Pointe (0-4) at Tanque Verde (0-4)
Tanque Verde enters winless at 0-4 after its Sept. 2 victory over Valley Lutheran was forfeited because of the use of an ineligible player due to a clerical error. The Hawks look to take care of business before facing the uncertainty of having Catalina and Santa Rita next on their schedule to start play in the 2A San Pedro. Catalina and Santa Rita have been forced to forfeit games in recent weeks because of not having enough eligible players
Phoenix NFL Yet (2-2) at Bisbee (1-3)
Bisbee has lost three straight games since its opening win at Eloy Santa Cruz. The Pumas will try to generate offense behind the productive rushing offensive backfield of quarterback Sebastian Lopez and running back Diego Chavez, who combine for 755 rushing yards.
St. David (5-0, 3-0 1A South) at Valley Union (0-5, 0-3)
The Tigers have a showdown looming with San Manuel next week at home in a game that will likely decide the 1A South championship and automatic bid for the state tournament.
Duncan (1-3, 1-2 1A South) at Baboquivari (3-2, 2-1)
Baboquivari is in position to reach four wins for the first time since 2019 (the program did not play a game in 2020 and had only six games last year due to COVID-19 protocol). The Warriors are trying to achieve their first winning season since going 5-2 in 2003 under Jeff Pichotta.
Fort Thomas (0-5, 0-3 1A South) at San Manuel (4-1, 2-0)
San Manuel is on course to play for a 1A South title next week at St. David. Senior safety Ralphie Valencia, who also plays QB, has six interceptions this season after tallying 10 last year. His 16 career interceptions ties him for third-most in 1A state history. The record is 25 set by Seligman’s Joe Campbell from 1973-75.
Globe over Catalina (forfeit)
Wittmann Mountainside over Santa Rita (forfeit)
BYE: Desert View (0-2)
A LOOK BACK TO WEEK FIVE
San Tan Valley Poston Butte 40, Mica Mountain 0
Kingman Academy 54, Catalina 0
Basha 46, Salpointe 14
Canyon del Oro 38, Desert View 7
Goodyear Millennium 42, Cienega 14
Vista Grande 31, Ironwood Ridge 17
Buena 41, Nogales 0
Douglas 56, Cholla 49
Phoenix Alhambra 32, Rincon/UHS 10
Phoenix Thunderbird 55, Amphitheater 7
Chandler AZ College Prep 28, Walden Grove 20
Phoenix Sierra Linda 14, Empire 12
Flagstaff 59, Rio Rico 12
Sabino 55, Palo Verde 6
Pusch Ridge 59, Benson 0
Morenci 21, Willcox 14
Tombstone 56, St. John Paul II 0
Gilbert San Tan Charter 16, Tanque Verde 7
Phoenix Veritas Prep 27, Bisbee 8
Baboquivari 20, Kearney Ray 14
St. David 61, Heber Mogollon 44
San Manuel 58, Valley Union 6
Phoenix Cortez over Santa Rita (Forfeit)