By Greg Perkins
Week three of the football season has arrived and three of the four local teams could find themselves in competitive games tonight (Sept. 13).
Despite still looking for their first win, the Joseph City Wildcats should be the only team with a relatively easy game as they travel to Superior to take on the 0-2 Panthers. This will be the third straight long road trip for the Wildcats, but tonight they should be able to enjoy the long bus ride home. While both teams are winless, Joseph City has faced much stiffer competition than has Superior. Last week the Cats seemed to begin finding their stride against a good St. David team and it could all come together for them against the Panthers.
Winslow, now 1-1, played well last week in a loss to Blue Ridge, and tonight the Bulldogs travel to the dome in Eagar, where they will face an unbeaten and certainly untested Round Valley team. The Elks have not allowed a single point in their first two games, although that stat could be a little misleading. Round Valley beat Piñon 80-0 and Williams 41-0. Neither one of those teams is exactly a powerhouse. Still, to play eight quarters of high school football without letting anyone find the end zone is impressive. Despite the Elks playing one division lower than Winslow, they would like to move to 3-0 and take advantage of future Bulldog power points as Winslow is expected to win several more games this year. Round Valley will face a much better offensive team than they have seen through the first couple of weeks. The question is can they pitch another shutout. The answer is no. Winslow will score points. Will it be enough to win? Only time will tell.
Snowflake has played well through the first two weeks and may have the toughest early schedule of all area teams. After picking up wins over Mingus and Estrella Foothills, tonight they make a journey to the city to meet up with the defending Division IV state champion, Seton Catholic. The Sentinels, like Snowflake, graduated quite a bit of talent, but they seem to have reloaded nicely. They have wins over Estrella Foothills and Maricopa through the first two weeks. Both teams defeated the Wolves by similar numbers. Seton has the crown, but the Lobos want to prove they have also reloaded and a big road win over the champs would be a huge feather in their cap.
If Coach Ron Tenney’s offense continues to pile up points like it has through the first couple games, the Lobos have a chance to return to Snowflake unbeaten.
Holbrook evened its mark with last week’s big win over Lee Williams. Tonight the Roadrunners have a lengthy road trip leading them all the way to Willcox, where they will face an unbeaten Cowboy’s team. Willcox hasn’t exactly been an offensive juggernaut through the first two games. The Cowboys won their first game 7-0 over Lordsburg, N.M., then defeated Bisbee last week, 18-14. Their 25 points through two games doesn’t speak highly of their offense. On the flip side, they have only given up 14 points with their defense. The Roadrunners showed last week they are capable of piling up yards on the ground against a lesser team. Willcox is a better team than Lee Williams. In years past, the Cowboys have had some very solid teams. Based on their first two weeks of action, this team doesn’t appear to be an elite level squad.
If the Birds can overcome the long bus ride, they have a chance to test that Cowboy defense with their running game. If the Cowboys get ahead early, they could make things tough for them. Holbrook’s schedule over the next month is very favorable with predictable wins in four games. A win tonight would be a huge boost to their playoff hopes, despite being only the third week of the season. With Round Valley and St. Johns looming at the end of the season, the Birds could use this win to potentially send them on a five-game winning streak.
By Greg Perkins