Marana Middle School 1

Even prior to the start of school, the Marana Middle School Falcons football team players were hard at work preparing for the gridiron. Head coach Paul Acosta, pictured, put the players through their paces, which he hopes will pay off during tomorrow morning's Duel in the Desert.

Randy Metcalf/The Explorer

Which middle school has the strongest football team? Local footballers will decide who has those bragging rights when Marana Middle School hosts its "Duel in the Desert" jamboree tomorrow from 7 a.m. to noon.

The event is aimed at allowing local seventh- and eighth-grade lightweight teams to come together to represent their schools and show team colors, spirit and pride. Winners of the event will have their year and school name engraved on a team plaque.

Teams competing in the Aug. 27 event include Amphi, La Cima, Coronado, Marana, Cross, Tortolita, Flowing Wells and Wilson.

"My main focus or emphasis for the jamboree is all communities will come together as one and enjoy young, talented football players play with their heart and have some fun. Coaches will be able to network with other middle school coaches and evaluate their team's skills," said head coach Paul Acosta. "As we are all aware, competition is always a part of football. However, the jamboree is designed around family, fun, community and school spirit."

In the competition, each scrimmage will be 45 minutes with a running clock, and no timeouts. Each scrimmage will begin at the 35-yardline with no kickoffs, no down markers and no first downs.

Each team will be given 10 offensive plays regardless of a touchdown. If an extra point is attempted, the attempt will count against the 10 plays.

In the event a touchdown is scored, play will resume at the 35-yard-line until the 10-offensive play limit is met.

Turnovers will be whistled dead, and possession will remain with the defense. No infractions will be addressed, only corrected.

All players on the team are required to play.




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