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FOOTBALL: Week One High School Pigskin Preview

From San Manuel to the north, Willcox to the east, Nogales to the south and Baboquivari to the west, there are 37 teams in our Southern Arizona football coverage. Ajo no longer plays AIA sports and Bowie will join forces with Willcox.

6A CONFERENCE (1)
Tucson High

(16 team bracket – no automatic qualifiers)

5A CONFERENCE (12)
Buena
Cholla
Cienega
Desert View
Empire
Flowing Wells
Ironwood Ridge
Marana
Mountain View
Nogales
Rincon/University
Sunnyside

(16 team bracket – no automatic qualifiers)

4A CONFERENCE (10)
Amphitheater
Canyon del Oro
Catalina Foothills
Douglas
Palo Verde
Pueblo
Rio Rico
Sahuaro
Salpointe
Walden Grove

(16 team bracket – region champion qualifies)

3A CONFERENCE (5)
Catalina
Pusch Ridge
Sabino
Sahuarita
Tanque Verde

(16 team bracket – region champion qualifies)

2A CONFERENCE (6)
Benson
Bisbee
San Manuel
Santa Rita
Tombstone
Willcox/Bowie

(16 team bracket – region champion qualifies)

1A CONFERENCE (3)
Baboquivari
St. David
Valley Union

(12 team bracket – region champion qualifies)

THURSDAY, AUGUST 22

Flowing Wells at CANYON DEL ORO

Canyon del Oro holds a 21-15 advantage over Flowing Wells dating back to 1966 and that includes a current win streak of 7-1 dating back to 2004 but the Caballeros came up with a huge 38-37 win to open up the season last year and that game changed the fate of both teams.

(Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

FRIDAY, AUGUST 23

Maryvale at TUCSON (Region)

Tucson leads the series 1-0 thanks to a 63-6 victory over the Panthers last year. The Badgers finished 6-4 last year with a No. 20 ranking. There should be enough 6A teams in the Open Championship to leave a void in the 6A playoffs which means every game is even more important for the Badgers. A top 20 finish should get a team into the 6A playoffs

(Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

Sunnyside at CAMPO VERDE

Campo Verde holds a 1-0 record over Sunnyside thanks to a 37-0 victory last year. The Blue Devils finished 5-5 last year with a No. 22 ranking. A 6-4 finish might be enough to get into the playoffs with several 5A teams moving into the Open Championship. A Blue Devil upset should not be a shock to anyone.

(Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

Nogales at CHOLLA

Nogales holds a 16-9 record over Cholla dating back to 1970 including eight wins in a row since 2005. Nogales finished 2-8 last year and Cholla came in at 1-9.

(Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

MOUNTAIN VIEW at Ironwood Ridge

Ironwood Ridge holds a 10-2 record over Mountain View dating back to 2007. The Mountain Lions won in 2013 and 2017. A big clash with Matt Johnson moving over to Mountain View after serving the last ten years at Ironwood Ridge. Both teams will be battling for a higher playoff spot with the possibility of several 5A teams moving out to the Open Championship.

(Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

HORIZON at Marana

Marana holds a 1-0 record over Horizon thanks to a 42-36 win last year. The Tigers finished 7-3 last year and the Huskies were 6-4 heading in to the 5A playoffs. A big game that could decide which team will host a first round game last year. Perhaps both.

(Andy Morales/AllSPortsTucson.com)

Sierra Linda at RINCON/UHS

Sierra Linda holds a 1-0 record over Rincon/UHS thanks to a 27-19 win last year. Both teams finished 1-9 last year.

(Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

Buena at CATALINA FOOTHILLS

Buena holds a 2-1 record over Catalina Foothills since 1995 but the two teams did not play from 1997 to last year when the Falcons pulled out a 28-17 win. Former Colt, Darius Kelly, takes over for Jeff Scurran at Catalina Foothills. Buena finished 5-5 last year and Catalina Foothills came in at 4-6.

(Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

BUCKEYE at Amphitheater

Buckeye holds a 1-0 record over Amphitheater thanks to a 51-7 win over the Panthers last year. The Hawks finished 3-7 last year and Amphitheater was 4-6 in the 4A Conference.

Amphitheater coach Jorge Mendivil is going for win 100 (Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

Palo Verde at CASA GRANDE

Casa Grande holds a 4-0 record on Palo Verde dating back to 1993 including a 49-0 win last year. The Cougars finished 5-5 last year and the Titans were 2-8.

(Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

Tanque Verde at DOUGLAS

Tanque Verde holds a 1-0 lead on Douglas thanks to a forfeit from last year. The Bulldogs beat Tanque Verde 55-6 last year but the team had to forfeit six games last year. Douglas finished 2-8 and Tanque Verde was 3-8.

(Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

Rio Rico at PUSCH RIDGE

Pusch Ridges holds a 2-1 record over Rio Rico dating back to 2011. Rio Rico finished 1-9 and Pusch Ridge came in at 5-5. A difficult schedule for Pusch Ridge means win when you can.

(Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

SAHUARO at Vista Grande (Region)

Sahuaro holds a 3-0 record over Vista Grande dating back to 2013 including a 56-13 win last year. The Cougars finished 8-2 last year and ranked No. 5 in the 4A Conference while Rio Rico finished 2-8. Can the Cougars continue their hot streak after moving into the 4A Conference? The team starts out with a region game.

(Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

SAHUARITA at Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz holds a 19-11 record over Sahuarita dating back to 1974 but the Mustangs have won the last four dating back to 2004. The Mustangs started out 4-1 last year but a 2-3 finish kept the team out of the playoffs. The Dust Devils finished 4-6 and missed the playoffs for the first time since 2015.

(Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

WILLCOX/BOWIE at Lordsburg (NM)

Lordsburg holds an 11-6 record over Willcox dating back to 1959. Willcox finished 7-3 and made the playoffs for the second year in a row.

(Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

YUMA CATHOLIC at San Manuel

Yuma Catholic holds a 4-0 record over San Manuel dating back to 2007. The first three wins over the Miners came in the state playoffs in 2007, 2009 and 2011. The Shamrocks finished 8-2 last year and a No. 2 ranking in the 3A Conference while San Manuel went 4-6 in the 2A Conference.

(Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

FORT THOMAS at Baboquivari (Region)

Fort Thomas holds a 2-1 record over Baboquivari dating back to 2015. Fort Thomas finished 6-2 last year and Baboquivari was 2-6.

(Andy Morales/AllSportsTucosn.com)

Mayer at ST. DAVID

Mayer holds a 6-4 record over St. David dating back to 1988. Mayer finished 1-7 and St. David was 5-4.

(Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

VALLEY UNION at Cibecue

The first meeting between the two teams. Valley Union was 2-6 last year and Cibecue was 1-3 (JV). The Wildcats didn’t have a varsity program from 2012 to this year.

(Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

BYES (11)
Cienega
Desert View
Empire
Pueblo
Salpointe
Walden Grove
Catalina
Sabino
Benson
Bisbee
Santa Rita
Tombstone

THURSDAY, AUGUST 29

Cibecue at St. David (Region)

FRIDAY, AUGUST 30

Tucson at Pueblo
Marana at Fairfax
Sahuaro at Buena
Cholla at Cienega
Sunnyside at Desert View
Empire at Rio Rico
Flowing Wells at Walden Grove
Vista Grande at Amphitheater
Douglas at Bisbee
Catalina at Palo Verde
Catalina Foothills at Cactus
Canyon del Oro at Prescott
Casa Grande at Sabino
Dobson at Salpointe
San Manuel at Benson
Santa Cruz at San Tan Foothills
Morenci at Santa Rita
San Carlos at Tombstone
Baboquivari at San Pasqual, 6 p.m.
Valley Union at Superior

BYES (9)
Ironwood Ridge
Mountain View
Nogales
Rincon/University
Pusch Ridge
Sahuarita
Tanque Verde
Bisbee
Willcox/Bowie

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Andy Morales was recognized by the AIA as the top high school reporter in 2014 and he was awarded the Ray McNally Award in 2017 and he has been a youth, high school and college coach for over 30 years. His own children have won multiple state high school championships and were named to all-state teams. Competing in hockey, basketball, baseball and track & field in high school, his unique perspective can only be found here and on AZPreps365.com. Andy is the Southern Arizona voting member of the Ed Doherty Award, recognizing the top football player in Arizona, and he was named a Local Hero by the Tucson Weekly for 2016. Andy was named an Honorary Flowing Wells Caballero in 2019. Contact Andy Morales at amoralesmytucson@yahoo.com

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