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A LOOK AT WEEK SEVEN – Friday, Sept. 30 (games at 7 p.m. unless noted)

Tucson (2-1) at Catalina Foothills (1-2), 6 p.m.

Tucson has surpassed last year’s win total in a 1-9 season and can start 3-1 for the first time since 2019. Catalina Foothills hopes to build off the momentum of winning at Mica Mountain last week after starting 0-2.

Cienega (1-2) at Goodyear Desert Edge (3-1)

Cienega is coming off consecutive losses after a season-opening win at Catalina Foothills.

Sunnyside (1-2) at Ironwood Ridge (0-3)

The Blue Devils have also lost two straight after a season-opening win against rival Desert View. Ironwood Ridge is in a transition year with a new head coach (Dale Stott) after losing 30 players from last year’s varsity team.

Canyon del Oro (2-1) vs. St. Mary’s (2-1) at Phoenix College

The Dorados look to rebound on the road in the game at Phoenix College after losing their first game of the season last week in a tight game at Marana. Dustin Peace is 97-48 in his 14th season at CDO.

Mesa Westwood (1-3) at Marana (3-0)

The Tigers are coming off 40-37 win over CDO behind the passing performance of senior QB Elijah Joplin, who earned an Ed Doherty Award nomination medallion after completing 31 of 38 attempts for 317 yards and two touchdowns.

Mountain View (0-3) at Nogales (0-3)

Both teams are looking for their first victories. The Mountain Lions’ three losses have come against Marana (3-0), Higley (3-0) and Red Mountain (3-1). Nogales put up a good fight in a 21-7 loss at Sahuaro last week.

Flowing Wells (1-2) vs. Desert View (0-2) at Tucson High

This game will shift to Tucson High because Desert View’s turf field is not completely installed and ready. Flowing Wells is accustomed to playing at Tucson in such a scenario. Its field was being renovated last year.

Vista Grande (2-2) at Rio Rico (1-2)

After traveling nearly a combined 400 miles to play at Flagstaff and Douglas the last two weeks, Rio Rico returns home to face Vista Grande in a non-region game.

Thatcher (5-0) at Sahuaro (2-1)

A 3A vs. 4A matchup with Thatcher making the trip west to play at Sahuaro, which is 2-1 under first-year coach Al Alexander. This the 44th annual Rick Botkin Memorial Game that honors the star quarterback who passed away from an automobile accident when he was a senior in 1977.

Sabino (5-0) at Pusch Ridge (5-1)

The Sabino-Pusch Ridge matchup has become a rivalry since both teams have competed in the 3A South in 2016. The Sabercats hold the series edge of 4-1, including last year’s 27-16 win at Sabino. The Lions need this win to keep pace for the 3A South title, which carries an automatic berth into the state playoffs.

Glendale Independence (0-3) at Douglas (3-0)

The Bulldogs have a chance to start 4-0 for the first time legitimately since 1981 when they started 5-0 under Mike Foster and finished 8-3 after making the state playoffs. Douglas started 5-0 in 2018 but had to forfeit those wins because of the use of ineligible players.

Pueblo (2-1) at Amphitheater (0-3)

Both teams are coming off big losses and in need of wins with region play starting soon. Pueblo has won the last three meetings between the teams since 2017.

Sahuarita (0-3) at Empire (2-1)

Empire’s defense has been stifling with only two touchdowns allowed through the first three games, including a 6-0 win at Glendale Deer Valley last week. Sahuarita will try to end a six-game losing streak dating to last season.

Willcox (4-2) at Bisbee (3-3)

The 2A San Pedro opener for both teams. Willcox has suffered back-to-back losses to Class 2A state championship contenders Morenci and Pima entering this game. Bisbee ended a three-game losing streak last week with a win over NFL Yet.

Tombstone (3-3) at Catalina (1-5)

The Yellow Jackets have shown improvement under second-year coach Dominic Bonilla coming off a 2-7 season. The program is trying for its first winning season since 2016, when the late Mike Hayhurst coached it to a 6-5 record.

Valley Union (0-6) at Fort Thomas (0-6)

Both teams are shooting their first win of 2022. Valley Union won this meeting 56-26 last year.

Baboquivari (3-3) at Mayer (0-6)

A Baboquivari win would guarantee a non-losing season through the regular season for the second time since 2019, when the Warriors finished 4-4. Baboquivari has not had a winning season since 2003, when it finished 5-2.

San Manuel (5-1) at St. David (6-0)

The game of the night in the 1A conference statewide. A victory by St. David assures another 1A South championship for the Tigers. A San Manuel victory puts the Miners in a good position to win the region title with games against Ray and Baboquivari remaining.

Tanque Verde (2-4) at Santa Rita, Tanque Verde wins by forfeit

BYES: Salpointe (2-2), Cholla (1-3), Rincon/UHS (1-3), Buena (3-1), Walden Grove (2-2), Mica Mountain (1-3), Benson (4-2), Palo Verde (2-4).

FOLLOW @JAVIERJMORALES ON TWITTER! 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, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports,, 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.

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