Marana and Mountain View essentially had playoff games on Friday night. Wins would mean their seasons continued, losses essentially ended them. In the end both teams fell in close, exciting games.
A late interception spelled doom for Marana as they fell to Sabino 35-28. The Tigers rallied from a 21-7 deficit to tie the game at 21 but Sabino scored on their first two drives of the second half and then both teams stiffened defensively.
The loss ended Marana’s hope for their first playoff bid in nearly a decade. A win would have clinched a sectional title and an automatic bid in the state playoffs. The loss did not officially eliminate the Tigers but they needed a number of other games to go their way, but an early glimpse at the scores look as if Marana was not going to catch those breaks.
Mountain View fell 21-20 to Ironwood Ridge in overtime. The Mountain Lions scored a touchdown to cut the Nighthawk lead to one, but failed on their two-point conversion attempt.
The Lions came into the game ranked No. 19 in the state and had to have a win even consider a playoff spot. The Lions dropped their final two games of the regular season, which eliminated them from playoff contention.
Ironwood Ridge will not only qualify for the Division II state playoffs, but have assured themselves a first round home game and a top-eight seed. They will likely remain in the top-4.
Pusch Ridge, Catalina Foothills and Flowing Wells are the other area teams who will make their respective playoffs.