Friday night is fast approaching, with a full slate of tantalizing contests that are sure to warrant your attention.
All six programs of the northwest are playing this week, with Ironwood Ridge-Marana being an intra-region contest.
Canyon del Oro looks to extend its win streak to seven, as they host Sahuaro, which is coming off its first loss of the year.
Catalina Foothills looks to improve to 3-4 for the year in Casa Grande, against a winless Vista Grande squad, while Mountain View is in Vail to play a 1-5 Empire team.
Pusch Ridge Christian Academy will play the Sahuarita Mustangs on the road with a shot at improving to 4-3 with a win, closing out what should be a phenomenal week on the gridiron.
Here’s how I see the five contests listed above playing out come Friday night:
Canyon del Oro (6-0) vs. Sahuaro (6-1)
Location: Canyon del Oro High School (25 W. Calle Concordia)
The Dorados and Cougars met in week seven of the 2018 regular season, with Sahuaro winning that contest, 42-21.
Prediction: The Dorados are at full health, with running back Stevie Rocker getting his feet under him in the backfield. I think CDO wins a nail-biter in this one, holding off a talented Sahuaro team, 28-21.
Catalina Foothills (2-4) at Vista Grande (0-7)
Location: Vista Grande High School (1556 N. Arizola Road, Casa Grande)
The Falcons and Spartans previously met in week eight of the 2018 regular season, with Catalina Foothills winning that contest, 55-6.
Prediction: The Falcons are coming off a hard-fought loss to CDO a week ago and should be ready for this one. I think tight end-turned-quarterback Will Parker will guide the Falcons towards an easy win on Friday night, blasting the Spartans, 49-0.
Ironwood Ridge (3-3) at Marana (0-6)
Location: Marana High School (12000 W. Emigh Road)
The Nighthawks and Tigers previously met in week seven of the 2018 regular season, with Marana winning that contest, 20-13.
Prediction: The Nighthawks have one of the best running games in the state right now, with senior back Brandon Barrios coming of a school-record 313 rushing yards in the team’s 35-9 win over Nogales last Friday. The Tigers’ defense has been mediocre at best this year. I’ll go with the Nighthawks comfortably in this one, beating the hometown Tigers, 56-14.
Mountain View (2-4) at Empire (1-5)
Location: Empire High School (10701 E. Mary Ann Cleveland Way, Vail)
The Lions and Ravens previously met in week seven of the 2018 season, with Mountain View winning that contest, 62-0.
Prediction: The Lions finally found their form on both sides of the ball last week, blanking Cholla, 56-0. I expect them to do more of the same against the Ravens Friday, beating Empire, 49-7.
Pusch Ridge Christian Academy (3-3) at Sahuarita (3-3)
Location: Sahuarita High School (350 W. Sahuarita Road)
The Lions and Mustangs met in the seventh week of the 2018 regular season, with Pusch Ridge winning that contest, 40-21.
Prediction: I covered the Mustangs for four seasons, including when they made the Division IV (now 3A) semifinals in 2014. This might be the Mustangs’ best team top-to-bottom since David Rodriguez’s squad, but I’m going with the Lions, because of how deep their rushing attack is right now. I expect Evan Lovett to round into form against the Mustangs, guiding the visitors to a two-score win. I’ll go with Pusch Ridge in this one, 34-21.