By Greg Perkins
Two area football teams enter post-season play tonight (Nov. 8) as Snowflake and Winslow both advanced to the Division III State Tournament. Both will be at home tonight, with each hosting schools making long trips up from much warmer climates.
The Lobos finished as the third ranked team in the power point standings and will host Rio Rico, while the Bulldogs are the seventh seed and will host Sahuarita.
Rio Rico lost at Sahuarita earlier this year by a large margin and also fell to Seton Catholic, 68-21. Snowflake defeated Seton in a close game, 28-23. The edge simply sways in the Lobos’ favor on that stat alone. The Hawks finished the regular season with an overall mark of 6-4. As the No. 14 seed, it would be a huge upset if they were to come to Snowflake and get past third seeded Snowflake. That will not happen. The Lobos played a very difficult schedule this year, which, along with what will be a huge home field advantage due to the temperature alone, will be more than enough to end Rio Rico’s season.
With an expected win, Snowflake would advance to face either No. 6 River Valley or No. 11 Page next week.
Winslow completed the season with an impressive five-game winning streak, posting an overall record of 7-3. In their final three wins over Page, Chinle and Ganado the Bulldogs outscored those opponents a combined 147-0.
Sahuarita will be a stiffer test than those teams were. The Mustangs are also 7-3, but they don’t have what would be a signature win on their schedule. They have won their past two games over Palo Verde and Santa Rita. Their best game on paper may have been a 21-0 loss to Blue Ridge to open the season.
Like Rio Rico, the Mustangs will be traveling a long distance to a much colder game. That, along with Winslow’s talent, should be more than enough to propel the Bulldogs to the second round.
If the Bulldogs get past Sahuarita, they will more than likely have a date with second seeded Seton Catholic in the second round. The Sentinels are the defending champions and enter the state tournament at 9-1 with a seven-game winning streak. They should easily advance past No. 15 Combs in their first round match-up.
By Greg Perkins