By Sam Conner
The Winslow Bulldogs will host the Monument Valley Mustangs tonight (Oct. 19) in a game that may have a major impact upon the post-season chances of both teams.
Monument Valley is undefeated at 8-0, although the Mustangs have not played a team of anywhere near the talent of the Bulldogs or the teams that have beaten them.
The Bulldogs are 5-3 going into tonight’s contest. Two of their losses were to highly ranked teams regarded as championship contenders. Those losses were to the 6-2 Snowflake Lobos, 43-17, and the undefeated Show Low Cougars, 40-7. Snowflake’s two losses were by a single point to Show Low and to the top ranked Blue Ridge Yellowjack-ets. Winslow’s other loss was an 18-10 upset by the Flagstaff Eagles.
Monument Valley’s wins include victories over such smaller and less feared opponents as Piñon, Rough Rock Community School, Many Farms and Red Mesa. Close wins over Chinle and Page were the team’s toughest challenges. The Mustangs have a game with the 4-4 Scouts at Window Rock after the Winslow game. That could also be a test.
Monument Valley defeated the Ganado Hornets 47-6 at Kayenta last Friday to stay undefeated. Winslow picked up a surprisingly easy 45-14 victory over the Coconino Panthers last Friday at home. Coconino had been considered a major threat to the Bulldogs.
Winslow has the top ranked Blue Ridge Yellowjackets at Lakeside left on the schedule. The Bulldogs probably need a win against Monument Valley to get a home game in the playoffs and may need such a win just to qualify. A win by Monument Valley would likely give the Mustangs not just a home game, but a very high seed in the playoffs. They may well get a home game even with a loss.
Few know how the Arizona Interscholastic Association’s power point system works, but the Winslow-Monument Valley game looms large for both teams. The winner will almost certainly be a playoff team and probably have a home game. The loser may well also be a playoff team and could even have a home game. It is, without a doubt, one of the biggest and most important games of the year for both teams.
The winner of tonight’s game between the Blue Ridge Yellowjackets and the Show Low Cougars will probably be the top ranked team in the playoffs and the loser would be a good bet for the second seed.
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By Sam Conner