Southern Arizona 2A San Pedro schools Tanque Verde, Santa Rita, Catalina, Willcox and Bisbee will add to this week’s schedule of high school games with each playing their season opener.
They join 1A South and 3A South schools and Tombstone (also a member of the 2A San Pedro), all of which started their seasons last week.
Overall, 11 games involving 12 local schools will take place Friday and Saturday.
AllSportsTucson.com has been previewing the teams on our Baja Arizona Tour with interviews and notes.
Highlights of Week 2 are discussed by myself and my brother Andy in our latest podcast (click on the player above).
Some of those highlights include:
- Recaps of season-opening games played last week, including impressive victories by 3A South title contenders Sabino and Pusch Ridge.
- Discussion of top performances, most notably by Sabino quarterback Cameron Hackworth, Pusch Ridge quarterback Bubba Mustain and our APS Digital Player of the Week Xavier Mease, quarterback at Baboquivari.
- Early 1A South showdown between Baboquivari and St. David, and San Manuel traveling to defending 1A state champion Mogollon in a battle of two top 1A teams in the state.
- Santa Rita, rebuilding under veteran coach Tom Joseph, going for a realistic shot at a season-opening win hosting Globe after the Eagles finished 1-8 last year in Joseph’s first year.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 26
Palo Verde (0-1) at Florence (1-0), 7 p.m.
The Gophers were 4-6 last year and Titans have only played three games since 2020. Palo Verde played in its first varsity game in two seasons last week, losing 48-0 at home to San Tan Foothills.
Paradise Honors (1-0) at Pusch Ridge (1-0), 7 p.m.
The Panthers were 4-6 last year. Expect a tough game at Pusch Ridge but the Lions come out with a 2-0 record.
Tanque Verde (0-0) at Morenci (1-0), 7 p.m.
The Hawks were 7-3 last year but the team missed the playoffs due to automatic qualifiers from other regions ranked below them. The Wildcats were 11-4 last year and finished runner-up in the 2A Conference.
Benson (1-0) at San Tan Foothills (1-0), 7 p.m.
The Bobcats, coming off a 20-16 win over visiting Tombstone last week, were 9-3 last year with a semifinal finish and the Sabercats were 1-9.
Catalina (0-0) at San Pasqual (0-0), 7 p.m.
The Trojans were 1-9 last year in Greg McKinstry’s first year as coach with the victory coming via forfeit and the Warriors were 0-5.
Bisbee (0-0) at Santa Cruz (0-1), 7 p.m.
The Pumas, entering Year 6 of the Brian Vertrees era, were 4-6 last year and the Dust Devils were 5-5.
Globe (0-0) at Santa Rita (0-0), 7 p.m.
The Tigers were 1-8 last year and the Eagles were also 1-8 in the first year under veteran coach Tom Joseph, who tops all active Southern Arizona coaches with 171 victories.
Gilbert Christian (1-0) at Willcox (0-0), 7 p.m.
The Knights, who opened with a 34-6 win at Eloy Santa Cruz last week, were 9-3 last year and the Cowboys were 8-3. Could be the best game in Southern Arizona in Week 2.
Baboquivari (1-0) at St. David (1-0), 7 p.m.
Both teams are coming off impressive season-opening home wins — Baboquivari 50-6 over Fort Thomas and St. David 42-0 against Ray. The Tigers came away with a 51-6 win over the Warriors last year.
Ray (0-1) at Valley Union (0-1), 7 p.m.
Valley Union, coming off a 64-0 season-opening loss against visiting Hayden, beat Ray 28-8 last year.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 27
San Manuel (1-0) at Mogollon (1-0), 6 p.m.
The Miners, who looked impressive in last week’s 30-14 win over visiting Anthem Prep, are coming off an 8-2 season and the Mustangs have won 21 games in a row.
FOLLOW @JAVIERJMORALES ON TWITTER!
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.