By Greg Perkins
When Holbrook hosts Winslow tonight (Sept. 4), Roadrunner fans will be hoping the Birds can turn the tables on what has been a dominating performance by Winslow for more than a decade when the two schools meet on the gridiron. Winslow has won every game played over the past 10-plus years, with none of the past 11 outings being closely contested. The location of this game hasn’t seemed to matter as the Bulldogs have steamrolled the Roadrunners regardless of whether the game is in Holbrook or Winslow.
This year maybe that will change. Holbrook is coming off a 25-12 win over Camp Verde, while Winslow came up one touchdown short in a 27-20 loss to Lake Havasu in the season opener. The Birds played well on offense against the Cowboys last week, scoring both through the air and on the ground. Winslow also played well in a loss to a bigger school.
The Dawgs have controlled this meeting since before most of Holbrook’s players were born, but based on teams using their junior varsity programs as feeders for the varsity teams, this game could be close. Over the past two seasons the two jayvee teams split the wins, with each outscoring the other 14-6. Most of those jayvee players for both squads are now in varsity uniforms, meaning this game could be closer than several in the past have been.
With both schools having new head coaches, one of them is certain to get their first win in this age old rivalry. Both schools have good athletes, but based on tradition alone, the edge has to go to Winslow. Fans may get to see a competitive game between the two schools for the first time in many years.
Joseph City is also playing in a bit of a rivalry game tonight. Pima and Joseph City haven’t played a regular season game in at least the past 10 years, but they have met four times in the state playoffs. In these meetings they have either been playing for a state title or for a chance to get to the title game in eight-man football. The Wildcats won the most recent game, but Pima’s Roughriders claimed the three prior meetings.
The Wildcats enter the game at 1-1 after suffering a big home field loss to Salome last week. Pima comes to town with a 2-0 mark, edging a very good Gilbert Christian team 22-19 last week. The Roughriders once again favorites for a deep playoff run in Division VI. The Cats are at home, which will help, but will have to play at a high level if they want to send both teams into next week with 2-1 marks. This could also be a preview of a state playoff game.
Snowflake is off this week and will return to action on Friday, Sept. 11, when the Lobos host Fountain Hills.