Two weeks remain in the 2018 regular season on the gridiron. As of this writing, every single Gila Valley football team would be in the playoffs but there are several scenarios that could change that.
#1 Thatcher vs #3 Round Valley
This game will be the de facto 2A Black River Championship game. Neither team has lost a 2A Black game this season. Both teams are solidly in the playoffs win or lose.
Both teams will be getting players in the lineup this week. Round Valley will add RB Dylan Workman back into full time duty after a knew injury last Spring. Thatcher will be adding DE Collin Thompson, who was recently reinstated by the AIA after his transfer from Safford. Thompson will give Thatcher a pass rush option that has been non-existent the last 2 games.
#5 Morenci vs #16 Pima
Both teams need a win for momentum’s sake in this one. Pima is coming off a bye last week but lost a hard fought 23-20 game to St. Johns two weeks ago. Morenci failed to show up offensively against Round Valley last week in a 30-2 loss. Pima needs to win one of their last two games or they won’t make the playoffs. If Morenci is in a tailspin, this could be the week. This game will be much closer than the rankings indicate.
#9 Safford vs #12 Pusch Ridge
Safford has rolled their winning streak to 5 games but will be tested this week in Tucson. Safford’s starters haven’t played a full game in the 2 weeks and will need to be prepared Friday. Pusch Ridge is coming off a 23-7 loss to Sabino. This is much more a must win for the Lions that it is for Safford. However, Safford still has a big game with Sabino left on the schedule. The Bulldogs can win the 3A South with 2 more wins but will be a playoff team regardless of the next two week’s outcomes.
#8 Fort Thomas vs #9 Joseph City
This is the 1st round of the 1A State Playoffs. Fort Thomas has backed into the playoffs with back to back losses. Head Coach Bracken Walker says they that the losses have forced them to fix some things that needed to be shored up. Joe City has to make the long drive down to The Fort for a 6pm game on Friday. As long as the Apaches aren’t looking ahead to a match up with #1 Williams next week, they should be fine Friday.