WEEK TEN – Friday, October 21
6A EAST VALLEY
No. 14 Gilbert Williams Field (3-3, 1-0) at No. 20 Salpointe (3-3, 0-1)
Salpointe is in a must-win situation to keep a top 20 ranking and a stronger possibility to make the state playoffs with three games remaining after this one. Former Arizona Desert Swarm cornerback Kelvin Hunter is in his 12th season as the defensive coordinator at Williams Field.
No. 25 Sunnyside (4-2, 1-0) at No. 8 Marana (5-1, 1-0)
No. 40 Flowing Wells (2-4, 1-0) at No. 44 Nogales (0-6, 0-1)
No. 47 Rincon/UHS (1-5, 0-1) at No. 43 Cholla (1-5, 0-1)
Sunnyside at Marana is a playoff game really for both teams because Sunnyside needs a victory to bolster any possibility of making the 16-team state-playoff field. Marana needs the victory to help its hope to host in the first round of the playoffs by keeping a top 8 ranking. Both teams face the daunting reality of facing teams ranked No. 40 or lower the rest of the season after this game, adversely affecting their power ratings. … Sunnyside’s defense vs. Marana’s offense is strength vs. strength. The Blue Devils have recorded three straight shutouts for the first time since 2007. Opponents are averaging only 6.7 points a game against them. Marana, behind its no-huddle offense, engineered to perfection by senior QB Elijah Joplin, is averaging 48 points a game.
No. 26 Cienega (2-4, 1-0) at No. 37 Ironwood Ridge (1-5, 0-1)
No. 31 Mountain View (2-4, 1-0) at No. 30 Buena (4-2, 0-1)
No. 28 Desert View (3-2, 1-0) at No. 35 Tucson (2-4, 0-1)
Cienega, Mountain View and Desert View — all of which won their region openers last week — are on the road this week. Each need to run the table to have a chance to make the postseason.
No. 12 Walden Grove (4-2, 1-0) at No. 38 Rio Rico (3-3, 1-0)
No. 23 Catalina Foothills (3-3, 1-0) at No. 49 Sahuarita (0-6, 0-1)
No. 28 Sahuaro (2-4, 0-1) at No. 44 Amphitheater (1-5, 0-1)
The biggest game in Rio Rico history occurs on Friday night when the Hawks host Walden Grove. Rio Rico, under first-year coach Jeff Scurran, face an uphill battle to make the state playoffs because of their No. 38 power rating. … A victory against Walden Grove would be significant because Rio Rico would finish 3-0 against fellow I-19 schools Nogales, Sahuarita and Walden Grove. … The Red Wolves, behind prolific-passing junior Gabriel Smith, need to keep winning to stay in position to make the 16-team field for the 4A postseason.
No. 26 Pueblo (4-2, 0-1) at No. 3 Canyon del Oro (5-1, 1-0)
No. 34 Douglas (3-3, 0-1) at No. 32 Mica Mountain (2-4, 1-0)
No. 20 Vista Grande (5-2, 1-0) at No. 40 Empire (3-3, 0-1)
Pueblo needs a win at CDO to strengthen its playoff aspirations while the Dorados must win to have a chance to host the first round and quarterfinals of the 4A state tournament if they finish ranked in the top 4 in the state. Finishing in the top 2 can translate into hosting a semifinal-round game as well.
No. 3 Pusch Ridge (7-1, 2-1) at No. 36 Palo Verde (2-6, 0-3)
No. 6 Sabino (6-2, 2-1) at No. 1 Thatcher (8-0, 3-0)
No. 23 Safford (3-5, 1-2) at No. 11 Benson (5-3, 1-2)
No. 3 Pusch Ridge will be adversely affected playing No. 36 Palo Verde but shouldn’t fall below No. 8 (the top eight teams host a first-round playoff game). … No. 6 Sabino has a chance to make a significant climb if it upsets No. 1 Thatcher. The Sabercats would also be in a three-way tie for 3A South lead with Pusch Ridge with a win and a Lion victory over Palo Verde. … A loss by Sabino should not hurt it in the power ratings. The Sabercats last at No. 3 Eastmark last week and remained at No. 6. … No. 11 Benson can solidify its chance to make the 3A state tournament — after previously being at the 2A level — with a victory against visiting Safford.
2A SAN PEDRO
No. 44 Catalina (1-7, 1-2) at No. 5 Willcox (6-2, 3-0)
No. 19 Tanque Verde (4-4, 3-0) at No. 25 Tombstone (3-5, 1-2)
No. 13 (3A) San Tan Foothills (5-3) at No. 23 Bisbee (3-5, 1-2)
All eyes are on next week’s showdown between No. 5 Willcox and No. 19 Tanque Verde for the potential 2A San Pedro title and an automatic bid to the 2A state playoffs. … If Willcox and Tanque Verde take care of business against Catalina and Tombstone, respectively, the teams would meet with 4-0 region records in next week’s regular-season finale. … Tanque Verde, which has never advanced to the state playoffs, has shut out three straight opponents for the first time in program history.
1A STATE PLAYOFFS FIRST ROUND
No. 9 San Manuel (7-2) at No. 8 Superior (6-3)
Difficult news coming out of San Manuel with running back/linebacker Mathias Medina out for the playoffs because of a broken-leg injury suffered last week against Baboquivari. … The Miners will have to rely on quarterback and defensive back Ralphie Valencia for leadership to make it to the next round against No. 1 Hayden. … No. 2 St. David awaits the winner of No. 10 El Capitan Academy and No. 7 Bagdad for a quarterfinal game next Friday.