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IRHS running back Brandon Barrios ran for a school-record 315 yards and three touchdowns in the Nighthawks’ 35-9 win over Nogales on Friday, Oct. 4. 

Welcome to week eight of the high school football season, better known as the home stretch of the regular season. 

We saw a series of blowout victories involving teams from the northwest, with Ironwood Ridge, Mountain View and Pusch Ridge Christian Academy winning their contests by 26, 56 and 63 points, respectively. 

The Marana Tigers found themselves on the wrong end of a bludgeoning, falling to Buena in Sierra Vista, 64-6. 

The Canyon del Oro Dorados won by double-digits over regional rival, Catalina Foothills, pulling out their sixth-straight victory, 34-21. 

There were so many great individual performances in week seven that I couldn’t limit them down to my three allotted spaces. 

Without further ado, here’s who stood out the most in an action-packed week seven of the football season: 

Honorable mention: Gavin Davis (Canyon del Oro senior running back)

Stats: 11 carries, 67 rushing yards, 3 rushing touchdowns 

Honorable mention: Aaron Logsdon (Mountain View senior running back/linebacker)

Stats: 95 rushing yards, 2 rushing touchdowns 

3. Gabriel Castro (Pusch Ridge Christian Academy junior running back)

Stats: 16 carries, 171 rushing yards, 2 rushing touchdowns

Castro was a one-man wrecking ball in the Lions’ 63-0 trouncing of Tanque Verde on Friday, leading the team in rushing yards, on a night when nothing could go wrong on the offensive side of the ball. Castro and the Lions head to Sahuarita to face a 3-3 Mustangs team this week, in a contest that could come down to the road team’s rushing attack. Expect Castro to play a big part in the team’s offensive attack on Friday night. 

2. John Goodwillie (Pusch Ridge Christian Academy sophomore running back) 

Stats: 4 carries, 131 rushing yards, 3 rushing touchdowns

You know the field of contenders is stacked when someone that hits 100 rushing yards and three scores is this far down the list. Unfortunately for Goodwillie, his coming-out party against the Hawks happened on a week when rushing touchdowns were far from at a premium. That being said, the sophomore’s performance, in which he averaged an eye-popping 31 yards per carry, deserves attention, and thus earns him the number-two position on this week’s list. 

1. Brandon Barrios (Ironwood Ridge senior running back)

Stats: 32 carries, 313 rushing yards, 3 rushing touchdowns 

Barrios tore the Nogales defense apart limb-for-limb on Friday night, almost doubling his previous career high for rushing yards in a game. That personal record was set in the team’s previous contest, when Barrios ran for 168 yards and four scores against Desert View. Friday’s outing against Nogales, which the Nighthawks won handedly, 35-9, allowed Barrios to put up a career high in rushing attempts (32) and rushing yards (313), while also adding a career-long 75-yard rushing attempt in the process. Barrios’ senior season has included some eye-popping stats, as he’s rushed for 808 yards in six games, with 9 rushing touchdowns and four 100-yard games to his credit. Barrios might be the first Nighthawks since Mitch Fischer in 2012 to run for more than 2,000 yards in season, as he’s currently on pace to hit 1,500 yards in the regular season, not counting any playoff contests. Barrios’ hot start could pay dividends for the team as the playoffs approach, with the Nighthawks seemingly finding their form offensively over the past few weeks. 

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