Welcome to week 10 of the high school football season, with the state playoffs kicking off in two weeks.
We’re treated to a solid slate of games this Friday, with Ironwood Ridge putting its four-game win streak on the line against a solid Buena team in Sierra Vista.
We’ll also see whether Canyon del Oro can rebound from its first loss of the season, playing a winless Vista Grande team at home, while the Marana Tigers look for their first win of 2019 against Sunnyside.
Pusch Ridge will look to rebound from a recent run of bad luck in Safford on Friday, playing a 6-2 Bulldogs team, while Mountain View and Desert View will square off for 5A Sonoran supremacy.
The playoff picture is coming into focus, with several local teams fighting for their postseason lives this week.
Without further ado, here’s how I see each of the six games in northwest Tucson going down this week:
Canyon del Oro (7-1) vs. Vista Grande (0-8)
Location: Canyon del Oro High School (25 W. Calle Concordia)
The Dorados and Spartans last met in week nine of the 2018 regular season, with CDO winning that contest, 54-21. That is the only contest between the two schools in their respective histories.
Prediction: The Dorados got their first taste of adversity a week ago, falling to Salpointe Catholic, 35-0. I expect them to come back with a vigor, blanking the Spartans at home, 49-0.
Ironwood Ridge (5-3) at Buena (6-2)
Location: Buena High School (5225 E. Buena School Blvd., Sierra Vista)
The Nighthawks and Colts last met in week nine of the 2018 season, with the Nighthawks winning that contest, 31-20. IRHS is 9-0 all time against Buena, dating back to the 2007 season.
Prediction: This one is tough to predict, with the Colts surging to respectability in 5A after a long respite. They have one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in the state, in senior Jovoni Borbon and a stout defense. I think the Nighthawks have a solid antidote in senior back Brandon Barrios, who’s rushed for 875 yards and 13 touchdowns in his last four games. I’ll go with IRHS to win this one, 35-28.
Pusch Ridge Christian Academy (4-4) at Safford (6-2)
Location: Safford High School (1400 W. Bulldog Blvd., Safford)
The Lions and Bulldogs last met in week nine of the 2018 regular season, with Safford winning that contest, 35-34 in Oro Valley. The Lions are 2-1 all time against Safford, beating them in 2016 and 2017.
Prediction: The Lions have one of the best backs in the city, in junior Evan Lovett. The issue is that Safford is back to its bruising, take-no-prisoners days of yole, so I’ll go with them to beat PRCA at home, 27-21.
Catalina Foothills (3-5) vs. Salpointe Catholic (7-0)
Location: Catalina Foothills High School (4300 E. Sunrise Drive)
The Falcons and Lancers last met in week nine of the 2018 season, with Salpointe Catholic winning that contest, 42-14. The two sides have played each other seven times since 2009, with the Lancers winning each game.
Prediction: Darius Kelly has the Falcons trending in the right direction, but no one’s going to beat Salpointe Catholic in 4A this season, save Saguaro. I expect Dennis Bene’s team to roll over the Falcons once again, with the Lancers winning this one, 42-7.
Mountain View (4-4) vs. Desert View (5-3)
Location: Mountain View High School (3901 W. Linda Vista Blvd.)
The Lions and Jaguars last met in week nine of the 2018 season, with Mountain View winning that contest, 38-13. The two sides have played each other five times, with the Lions winning each contest.
Prediction: The Lions are red-hot right now, while the Jaguars have won three-straight by single digits against mediocre opponents. I’m going with Matt Johnson’s team to win in a big way on Friday, with Mountain View blowing the doors off the Jaguars, 42-14.
Marana (0-8) at Sunnyside (2-6)
Location: Sunnyside High School (1725 E. Bilby Road)
The Tigers and Jaguars last met in week nine of the 2018 regular season, with Marana winning that contest, 47-17. The two sides have played each other two times since 2004, splitting those games, as Sunnyside won the other contest in 2004, 66-0.
Prediction: The Tigers are overdue to get a taste of victory, against a Sunnyside that’s lost by double-digits to Compo Verde, Desert View, Sahuaro and Ironwood Ridge this season. I can’t do it, however, as the Tigers have too many injuries to overcome, sadly. I’m going with Sunnyside to win a close one on Friday, 27-21.