By Greg Perkins
All four area teams are home for tonight’s (Oct. 16) football contests. Holbrook welcomes in St. Johns, Snowflake plays host to Payson, Joseph City hosts Williams and Winslow will host Page. Snowflake has definitely secured a spot in the post-season while the other three teams still hold hope of playoff action.
Holbrook comes into this game at 4-3. It has literally been an up and down season for the Roadrunners. The good news is they haven’t lost two games in a row, but conversely, they also haven’t won two games in a row. If that trend continues on tonight at Roadrunner Stadium, the Redskins will leave town with a win.
St. Johns comes in with a 5-2 record, but perhaps its most impressive game was a two-point loss to Blue Ridge to start the season. Four of the Redskins’ five wins have come against Pima, Rough Rock, Window Rock and Ganado. In their past four meetings, the Roadrunners have struggled. St. Johns defeated Holbrook in each of the past four seasons and the games really haven’t been that close. Longtime Redskin coach Mike Morgan has retired, leaving the Skins under the tutelage of first year coach Tony Neubauer, who has done well.
Holbrook had a strong second half last week against Alchesay, but St. Johns is a much better team than the Falcons. The Roadrunners need to keep this game close for as long as possible to hopefully steal the win at the end.
Winslow, also 4-3, hosts a struggling Page team which won its first game, but has since dropped six straight. The Sand Devils’ past two games have been against Snowflake and Show Low. They will come into this game beaten and battered, and most likely will leave the same way with their seventh straight loss. Winslow upset Payson last week and may have caught the Longhorns looking ahead to their matchup with Snowflake this week. As long as the Bulldogs don’t fall into the same trap and get caught looking ahead to next week’s game with Blue Ridge, they should come away with a win.
Snowflake hosts Payson tonight, and will find a Longhorn team licking its wounds after suffering just the second loss of the season last week to Winslow. The Lobos have won the past three meetings between these two clubs, and the final scores really haven’t been all that close. As long as the Lobos don’t peek ahead to next week’s clash with Show Low, they should prevail to set up next week’s big game with the Cougars.
Joseph City is playing its final game of the regular season. Tonight the Wildcats host Williams in a critical game for their playoff hopes. In Division VI only 12 teams make the post-season. Prior to their loss to Mogollon the Wildcats were ranked ninth, with Williams following closely in 11th. This could be a potential playoff game, with the winner remaining in the top 12, leaving the loser possibly on the outside looking in. These two teams have four common opponents in Pima, El Capitan, Mogollon and Fredonia. They each went 3-1 against those foes with very similar scores. Williams has won four of its past five games and comes in as the hottest team. Joseph City will need to recover from last week’s loss to rival Mogollon in time to bounce back and secure a playoff spot. This may well be the best game of those slated for the four area schools.