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Football: Cienega, CDO, Sahuarita, Nogales, Douglas, Walden Grove, Rio Rico and Amphi to play

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 30

5A Salpointe (2-0) at 5A Campo Verde (3-1), 7 p.m.

The teams are tied at 1-1 against each other with the Lancers winning 34-27 in 2014 and the Coyotes beating Salpointe 14-7 in 2015.

The rankings will be released on Nov. 3 and one would have to believe the winner of this game will be in top 8 for the 5A Conference.

5A Cienega (0-0) at 4A Canyon del Oro (0-0), 7 p.m.

Cienega is 38-1 against other teams from Southern Arizona since 2015. It’s a streak that includes three straight wins over Salpointe but the two power teams did not meet last year. Canyon del Oro, however, has a 5-2 record against the Bobcats since 2007.

The Dorados knocked the Bobcats out in the semifinal round during the Ka’Deem Carey era (2009 and 2010) but Cienega beat Canyon del Oro in 2014 and 2015 in Nemer Hassey’s last year and Pat Nugent’s first year at Cienega.

This will be the first game of the year for both squads.

(AZ Republic, Nov. 28, 2009)

5A Buena (2-1) at 4A Casa Grande (2-1), 7 p.m.

Buena is 6-0 against Casa Grande with all games taking place between 2001 and 2008. Both squads are trying to get five games during the regular season to qualify for the 4A and 5A playoffs. Buena needs to finish in the top 8 for 5A but Casa Grande has more cushion with 16 teams making the 4A playoffs (play-in tournament).  This game could be high scoring.

3A Sahuarita (0-0) at 5A Nogales (0-0), 7 p.m.

Nogales holds a 7-3 advantage over Sahuarita dating back to 1982 and the two programs haven’t met since 2015. A rare 3A vs. 5A match that opens up the season for both teams.

4A Douglas (0-0) at 4A Walden Grove (0-0), 7 p.m.

The Red Wolves are 5-0 against Douglas dating back to 2013 including a 57-0 win last year.

4A Rio Rico (0-0) at 4A Amphitheater (0-0), 7 p.m.

Amphitheater is 10-3 against Sahuarita dating back to 2007. The 4A Gila Region could be at stake.

3A Pusch Ridge (3-1) at 3A San Tan Foothills (0-2), 7 p.m.

Now playoff eligible, the Lions of Pusch Ridge Christian Academy can move to 3-0 in the 3A South Region and practically guarantee the team one of the two automatic playoff bids from the region and not have to worry about fighting for a playoff berth via the 3A selection committee.

2A Santa Cruz (3-1) at 2A Sequoia Pathway (3-1), 7 p.m.

Santa Cruz is playoff eligible but this is a big 2A Gila Region game. The winner still has a shot at the region title and a top 16 ranking.

2A Willcox (2-0) at 2A Bisbee (0-4), 7 p.m.

Willcox holds a 24-15 lead over Bisbee dating back to 1964 but Bisbee won 28-21 last year.

The Cowboys will be post season eligible after this game and be 3-0 for the first time since 2013.

2A Benson (3-0) at 2A Morenci (4-0), 7 p.m.

The Bobcats hold a slim 16-14 lead over Morenci dating back to 1982 including a 48-7 win last year. The winner of this game takes the lead in the 2A San Pedro Region. Benson went 4-0 in 2015 and made the state championship game that year.

2A Pima (0-2) at 2A Tombstone (0-4), 7 p.m.

Pima is 15-7 over Tombstone dating back to 1985 including the last five meetings. One team will earn their first victory of the year.

1A St. David (4-0) at 1A San Manuel (3-0), 6 p.m.

The first meeting between the two schools. According to the new rules, 1A teams need a minimum of six games to make the playoffs. There are no rankings at the 1A level this year but the top two teams from each of the four regions will earn and automatic playoff sport. The winner of this game has complete control of their destiny. San Manuel started out 5-0 in 2011 and the Tigers started 6-0 in 2015.

1A Valley Union (1-3) at 1A Ft. Thomas (1-3), 6 p.m.

Elfrida Valley Union holds a slim 7-6 lead over Ft. Thomas in verified modern games between the two longtime programs.

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Andy Morales was recognized by the AIA as the top high school reporter in 2014, he was awarded the Ray McNally Award in 2017, a 2019 AZ Education News award winner and he has been a youth, high school and college coach for over 30 years. He was the first in Arizona to write about high school beach volleyball and high school girls wrestling. 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 and he was a member of the Amphi COVID-19 Blue Ribbon Committee and was given the Amphi Distinguished Service Award. Contact Andy Morales at amoralesmytucson@yahoo.com

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