By Sam Conner
The Winslow High School Bulldogs will host the Sahuarita Mustangs in the Division 4 state football playoffs on Saturday at 6 p.m. at Emil Nasser Stadium. The teams will come into the playoffs with identical 7-3 records.
The only team both teams have met during the regular season was the Blue Ridge Yellow Jackets, with both teams losing to the Yellow Jackets early in the season. Sahuarita opened its season with a 21-0 loss to Blue Ridge at Pinetop. Winslow lost to Blue Ridge 21-6 at Emil Nasser Stadium in its second and Blue Ridge’s third game of the season. Blue Ridge had lost to a larger Prescott Badger team at Prescott 30-14 between the Winslow and Sahuarita games. The Yellow Jackets finished the season with an 8-2 record. Their only other loss was to Show Low at Show Low 38-14.
Sahuarita’s other losses were to larger schools. Catalina Foothills pounded the Mustangs 51-6 midway through the season and Amphitheater defeated the Mustangs 35-28 in the seventh game of the season. Winslow’s other losses were to a talented Snowflake Lobo team 46-14 at Snowflake and to Estrella Foothills 42-27, also on the road. The Bulldogs were without several key players due to injury during the loss to Estrella Foothills.
Should the Bulldogs win on Saturday they would play the winner of a game between Seton Catholic and Combs. That game will be played at the home of the higher seed. To host a second playoff game the Bulldogs would have to beat Sahuarita and have the Combs Coyotes upset the Seton Catholic Sentinels.
Other first round games include the Payson Longhorns at the Show Low Cougars, Safford Bulldogs at the Estrella Foothills Wolves, Fountain Hills Falcons at the Coolidge Bears, Monument Valley Mustangs at the Blue Ridge Yellowjackets, Rio Rico Hawks at the Snowflake Lobos and Page Sand Devils at the River Valley Dust Devils.
By Sam Conner