Cienega with its tenacious defense, which has a school-record three shutouts this season, will have a rematch with Phoenix Sunnyslope — one of the two teams that beat the Bobcats this year — in a first-round game at home on Friday at 7 p.m. in the 5A state tournament.
The Bobcats (8-2) lost at Sunnyslope 36-10 in the second week of the season. They have won seven straight games since losing 38-14 against Centennial the week after losing to Sunnyslope.
The other local 5A team playoff games Friday:
No. 9 Buena (8-2) at No. 8 Sunrise Mountain (7-3), 7 p.m. Quarterback/safety Jovoni Borbon and the Colts make the playoffs for the first time since 2013. Only three seasons ago, Buena snapped a 21-game losing streak. The combination of coach Joe Thomas and Borbon has rejuvenated the program.
No. 13 Ironwood Ridge (5-5) at No. 4 Casteel (7-3), 7 p.m. Ironwood Ridge running back Brandon Barrios has 1,387 yards rushing on 222 carries this season.
No. 16 Mountain View (6-4) at No. 1 Williams Field (8-2), 7 p.m. The Mountain Lions, led by coach Matt Johnson and captain Giovanni Ciaccio at quarterback, were anxiously awaiting its fate. The Mountain Lions got into the field as the last-seeded team winning their final five games of the season to claim the 5A Sonoran title.
Desert View (6-4) missed the playoffs ranked No. 22. The Jaguars boast 1,000-yard rushers Serge Gboweiah and Carlos Alvarez. Gboweiah finished with 1,404 yards and Alvarez 1,078.
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.