A total of 16 high school football programs from Southern Arizona are rated in the top 20 from the Open Division to 1A:
- Open: Top eight teams from 4A-6A conferences
6A, 5A, 4A (16-team bracket): In order to qualify, a school must have played a minimum of six (6) games. After qualifying teams are added to the Open Division state tournament bracket and removed from the conference rankings (if applicable), remaining teams will be re-seeded No. 1 through No. 16 and will make up the state tournament brackets. The state tournament brackets will be seeded according to the overall AIA rankings powered by MaxPreps. The state tournaments will consist of four rounds and be single elimination.
- Chandler (6-0)
- Hamilton (7-0)
- Queen Creek (6-0)
- Cactus (7-0)
- Basha (7-0)
- Highland (6-0)
- ALA – Queen Creek (6-1)
- Horizon (6-0)
12. Desert View (5-1)
6A, 5A, 4A: Teams ranked 1-16 following selection of Open Division participants:
- Horizon (6-0)
- Saguaro (5-1)
- Desert View (5-1)
- Verrado (4-1)
- Salpointe (4-2)
10. Marana (5-1)
14. Sunnyside (4-2)
17. Cienega (3-3)
NOTES: Desert View is now No. 3 in the 5A after holding the No. 1 spot last week before the 48-0 loss at home to Salpointe, which moved up two spots to No. 5. Marana also moved up two spots to No. 10 after its 36-35 win over Sunnyside, which went from No. 10 to No. 14 after the loss. Cienega, which has won consecutive games, is now in the top 20 at No. 17. … Keep in mind that the top 16 seeded teams in the 5A AFTER teams that are in the Open Division make the state playoffs. Presently, Horizon is the only 5A school in the Open Division so that means Cienega would make the playoffs as the 16th seed if the season ended today.
- Cactus (7-0)
- ALA – Queen Creek (6-1)
- Poston Butte (5-2)
- Prescott (5-1)
- St. Mary’s (4-2)
17. Amphi (4-1)
18. Canyon del Oro (4-3)
NOTES: No. 17 Amphi and No. 18 Canyon del Oro have to string together wins to put themselves in a better position to qualify for the top 16 spots (after the teams that leave for the Open Division) in the state playoffs. The Panthers, who featured all-region running back candidate Kiko Trejo, remained at No. 17 after topping Douglas 42-7 at home last week. … CDO, which plays only four seniors extensively, has won four straight games after an 0-3 start and the Dorados have gained talented sophomore transfers Kayden Luke at running back and Chance Cassell at receiver and defensive back. Both transferred from Ironwood Ridge. The Dorados are coming off a 42-21 win at Walden Grove. … If the season ended today, the Panthers and the Dorados would make the 4A state playoffs. Amphi would be the No. 15 seed and CDO the No. 16 team because Cactus and ALA – Queen Creek would be in the Open Division playoffs.
(16-team state tournament bracket) In order to qualify, a school must have played a minimum of six (6) games. Based on region standings, the top team in each region will earn an automatic bid to the state tournament. Remaining teams will be added to the state tournament bracket based on AIA rankings powered by MaxPreps. The 16 teams will be seeded according to AIA rankings. 3A Conference leadership reserves the right to evaluate state tournament participants and bracket seeding based on analytical data. The state tournament will consist of four rounds and be single elimination.
- 3A: Seven (7) automatic bids and nine (9) at-large qualifiers based on ranking
- Valley Christian (8-0)
- ALA – Gilbert North (7-1)
- Snowflake (7-1)
- Yuma Catholic (7-1)
- Round Valley (8-0)
8. Pusch Ridge (6-2)
10. Sabino (5-2)
NOTES: After its impressive 38-14 win at Safford last week, Pusch Ridge has moved up from No. 12 to No. 8 in the 3A rankings. Sabino moved up a spot from No. 11 after not playing last week because 2A team Tanque Verde canceled the non-region game due to COVID-19 protocol. … The top nine rated teams in 3A after the seven region champs qualify for the playoffs. … This Friday two huge 3A South games will take place in Tucson — No. 9 Thatcher at Pusch Ridge and No. 11 Safford at Sabino. All four of those 3A South rivals would make the state playoffs if the season ended today.
(16-team state tournament bracket): In order to qualify, a school must have played a minimum of six (6) games. Based on region standings, the top team in each region will earn an automatic bid to the state tournament. The state tournament bracket will be seeded according to the overall AIA rankings powered by MaxPreps of the 16 teams. The state tournament will consist of four rounds and be single elimination.
- 2A: Nine (9) automatic bids and seven (7) at-large qualifiers based on ranking
- Parker (7-0)
- Arizona Lutheran (7-1)
- Benson (5-2)
- Gilbert Christian (6-2)
- Willcox (7-0)
17. Tanque Verde (4-3)
NOTES: Benson’s significant 42-7 win over No. 8 Morenci moved the Bobcats five spots up to No. 3. Willcox, coached by former Arizona player Eric Hjalmarson, remained at No. 5 following last week’s 46-7 win over Bisbee. The Cowboys play a huge game at Morenci this Friday. …Tanque Verde, also coached by an Arizona alum, Jay Dobyns, had to cancel its non-region game at Sabino because of COVID-19 protocol and it cost the Hawks in the rankings. They fell three spots to No. 17. If the season ended today, Tanque Verde would be a spot out of the playoffs based on its ranking.
(12-team state tournament bracket): In order to qualify, a school must have played a minimum of four (4) games. Based on region standings, the top team in each region will earn an automatic bid to the state tournament. Remaining teams will be added to the state tournament bracket based on AIA rankings powered by MaxPreps. The 12 teams will be seeded according to AIA rankings. Teams seeded Nos. 1-4 will receive first-round byes. 1A Conference leadership reserves the right to evaluate state tournament participants and bracket seeding based on cancellations, head-to-head and common opponents, and may adjust seeding accordingly. The state tournament will consist of four rounds and be single elimination.
1A: Four (4) automatic bids and eight (8) at-large qualifers based on ranking
- Mogollon (9-0)
- St, David (8-1)
- Williams (7-2)
- Mohave Accelerated (6-1)
- San Manuel (7-1)
11. Valley Union (4-4)
15. Baboquivari (2-4)
NOTES: The state playoffs are already set. Here is the schedule:
No. 9 Salome (6-2) at No. 8 El Capitan (5-3), 7 p.m.
No. 12 Tempe Prep (5-3) at No. 5 San Manuel (7-1), 7 p.m.
No. 11 Valley Union (4-4) at No. 6 Hayden (4-3), 7 p.m.
No. 10 Lincoln Prep (6-2) at No. 7 Bagdad (6-3), 7 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 29
Salome-El Capitan winner at No. 1 Mogollon (9-0), 7 p.m.
Tempe Prep-San Manuel winner at No. 4 Mohave Accelerated (6-1), 7 p.m.
Valley Union-Hayden winner at No. 3 Williams (7-2), 7 p.m.
Lincoln Prep-Bagdad at No. 2 St. David (8-1), 7 p.m..
Friday, Nov. 5
Both games at Scottsdale Coronado, times TBA
Saturday, Nov. 13
Final at Scottsdale Coronado, 6 p.m.
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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. He became an educator five years ago and is presently a special education teacher at Gallego Fine Arts Intermediate in the Sunnyside Unified School District