By Greg Perkins
The final week of the regular football season has arrived and three local teams are hoping to improve their post-season positioning, while one’s season came to a close last week.
Joseph City fell to Mogollon in the first round of the Division VI state tournament last Saturday night, losing to the Mustangs by a final of 62-6. Fifth seeded Mogollon will now travel to play fourth ranked St. David on Saturday for the right to a semi-final berth.
Last week’s loss to Round Valley put Holbrook’s Roadrunners in a position where they need to win tonight at Miami and will still most likely need some outside help to make the final field of 16 for the state playoffs, which begin next week in Division V. The Roadrunners dropped to No. 17 in the rankings, but despite being a heavy favorite at Miami against a Vandals team, which has won just two games this year, the Birds will more than likely need at least one or two of the teams from Benson, Hopi, San Tan Foothills, Canyon State and or Valley Christian to lose their final games as well. All of those teams are playing games in which they have better records than their opponents. Three of those schools have moved just ahead of Holbrook in the standings, while two are just behind. A Holbrook win coupled with the right combination of a loss or losses could put the Birds into the state tournament. Obviously, a Holbrook loss would close out the Birds’ post-season hopes.
Miami picked up an 18-12 win over Valley Sanders last week, then earned a big 63-12 win over a bad Alchesay team several weeks ago. Holbrook shut out the Falcons 59-0 and easily cruised past Valley, 48-6. On paper Holbrook is the better team. Having to travel to Miami will be in the Vandals’ favor, but the Birds should expect to win this game. If that comes to fruition, they just will have to wait and see if they make the final field of 16, which will be announced over the weekend.
Two teams assured of Division IV playoff berths are Winslow and Page. The Bulldogs head into this match up ranked seventh, while the Sand Devils are sitting in the 12th spot. Both teams have 6-3 records and both are in the midst of four-game winning streaks, ironically, over the same four teams. In the past month each team has beaten Monument Valley, Chinle, Window Rock and Ganado. In the four games the Bulldogs racked up three shutouts and allowed just 14 points. Page, on the other hand, gave up 86 points to the four teams combined. That stat alone makes the Bulldogs the favorite to extend their winning streak to five.
Winslow wants to remain in the top eight in the standings in order to host at least one playoff game. Despite playing in Page, Winslow will get that home playoff game.
Snowflake is 7-2 on the season, with the two losses coming to Blue Ridge and Show Low. Tonight (Nov. 1) they travel to Globe to face a Tiger team which is just 2-7, and looking forward to basketball and wrestling season. Show Low and Blue Ridge combined to defeat Globe 123-0. Globe also lost to Payson 52-6, the same Payson team Snowflake defeated 57-20. This game won’t be close.
The Lobos head into the final game ranked third in power points. A win may possibly move them into the second spot. It appears the Cougars will retain the top spot, meaning that if the Lobos win, they will be in the opposite side of the bracket from the Cougars. Currently, Blue Ridge is No. 5 and for the Lobos, nothing would be better than the Yellowjackets and Cougars ending up on one side of the bracket with Snowflake on the other.
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By Greg Perkins