The high school football gods weren't smiling on Marana last Friday.
Both of the town's teams were defeated on opening day. They have a chance for redemption this week, as Marana and Mountain View revive their long-dormant gridiron battle.
"These kids go to school together and they know each other," said Marana head coach Anthony Coronado. "They've been itching to play against each other for a long time, but scheduling has always kept it away.
"It's definitely a game both sides are ready to play," added Coronado.
While the Tigers are ready to call it a rivalry, Mountain View head coach Paul Schmidt is more hesitant.
"Rivalry games come from playing each other for a long time, and we haven't played each other in a while," said Schmidt.
Rivalry or not, a victory on Friday would go a long way toward developing confidence for two programs looking to improve after difficult openers.
Marana lost to Amphitheater 21-0 in its first game as a member of the 4A Kino region, giving up 272 yards on the ground to the Panthers on 49 carries, an average of 5.5 yards per carry, while the Tigers mustered 74 rushing yards on 26 carries, or 2.8 yards per attempt.
On the positive side for the Tigers, the secondary held Amphi to 16 yards through the air, limiting Panther quarterback Zach Roth to two completions on nine attempts while Marana QB junior Robert Contreras averaged more than 11 yards per completion (3 of 11 for 34 yards with no interceptions).
"Playing Amphi, they're always going to be a physical, pop-you-in-the-mouth team," said Coronado.
"We came out of it pretty healthy, and held our own.
"We were in it all the way to the fourth quarter, and the defense impressed me – they were gang tackling and played good football," he added.
Coronado pointed to the play of Contreras and sophomore cornerback Tanner Morse as positives for the Tigers last week.
"I saw a lot of good thing out of (Contreras) — it was his first varsity start," said Coronado. "He's got that under his belt now.
"I'm also very impressed by Tanner Morse, we hope he can build on that game," added Coronado.
As for the lack of rushing production, Coronado plans to address that this week.
"We have to get our fullback (5-9, 215-pound junior Louis Payne) more involved," said the coach.
Mountain View's Schmidt is also looking to see his team improve after a tough first week. The Mountain Lions lost to Tempe Marcos De Niza 42-7 on Friday.
After a scoreless first quarter, the Padres broke the game open with a 60-yard run from senior running back Ramon Abreu, scoring 42 unanswered points before Mountain View senior running back Myles Williams scored the final touchdown of the contest on a 4-yard run with 3:26 left to play.
Williams finished with 82 yards on 23 carries, and senior quarterback Evan Roberts kept the ball eight times for 34 yards.
The Mountain Lions' passing game struggled. Roberts attempted five passes, completing one to Williams for 13 yards and throwing one interception.
"We've got to improve in all areas, offensively and defensively," said Schmidt. "Now our players know what it takes to compete at that level."
Turnovers were especially devastating for Mountain View, according to Schmidt.
"We turned the ball over to them five times – you just can't do that," he said.
While Schmidt and the Mountain Lions are attempting to correct their own weaknesses, they are also well aware of Marana's strengths.
"Their fullback is a big, big strong kid," said Schmidt. "They've got good speed – they look very big, and they're quick and run fast to the ball. We'll give our best effort to contain them."
As for the Tigers, stopping Williams will be a main focal point.
"Their tailback Williams is a pretty good athlete," said Coronado. "That's going to be key — in high school football, if you can run the ball, you're in good shape. We have to make sure it's kept in check."
While practice and planning take precedence right now, both coaches say they are happy to be involved in the intra-town tussle.
"I hope it will develop into a good, healthy rivalry," said Schmidt.
"We respect our opponent, and I think it's good for the community," said Coronado. "We're excited to get this game back."