By Greg Perkins
Technically, week two of the high school football season gets underway tonight (Aug. 29), as a handful of teams kicked off the season last week, but for area teams Holbrook, Snowflake, Winslow and Joseph City, the inaugural game of the 2014 season begins at 7 o’clock tonight. Holbrook will host Winslow, Joseph City welcomes in Duncan and Snowflake plays on its home turf when Mingus makes a visit.
Holbrook, 6-4 last season, hosts the Bulldogs, who were 8-4 a season ago. The Roadrunners narrowly missed the Division V state playoffs, while Winslow bowed out in the second round of the Division IV state playoffs with a loss to Seton Catholic. These two schools, located just 30 miles apart, are rivals, although in football that rivalry is a one-sided affair with the Bulldogs having owned the Roadrunners on the gridiron. In their last three meetings Winslow has put up at least 42 points while the Birds have managed just two scores, neither of which came in last year’s 47-0 Winslow win.
The first schedule shortened week of the season brought about a couple of surprises. Blue Ridge and Show Low both lost by large margins, and St. Johns had to score on the final play of the game to beat Window Rock. Local football fans know it’s been several years since either one of those two things have occurred. Maybe that is a precursor of things to come tonight at Roadrunner Stadium. Maybe Holbrook can once again give this rivalry some meaning on the scoreboard where it has been severely lacking for several years.
Snowflake, 9-3 a season ago, also lost in the second round of the Division IV state playoffs. Several names familiar to Lobo fans have since moved on due to graduation, but like most good programs, Snowflake basically reloads as opposed to rebuilds. Tonight they host a Marauder team which went 5-5 last year. These teams have met in each of the past three seasons, with Snowflake winning each of those contests. This has usually been a good game with an average margin of victory around two touchdowns, including Snowflake’s 36-21 win last year. Despite playing against a bigger school, Snowflake seems to have Mingus figured out.
Duncan will be playing its second game of the season, although the team didn’t exactly show up for the first game, which was a 48-0 loss to Superior. The Wildkats finished with fewer than 50 yards in total offense last week, which shouldn’t be near enough to get the job done against a hometown Wildcat team coming off a 4-5 campaign last season. These two teams didn’t meet last year, but played in the two years prior, with Joseph City winning both games handily.