Welcome to week eight of the high school football season, with a quintet of much-anticipated contests on the northwestern fringe of Tucson.
It will be interesting to see how three teams on a recent hot streak, Canyon del Oro, Ironwood Ridge and Pusch Ridge Christian Academy, fare this week.
The Dorados head to east Tucson to face off against a scrappy Sahuaro Cougars club that’s 5-2 this year, in what could be their toughest game to-date.
Ditto for fellow Amphitheater School District squad Ironwood Ridge, which hosts Marana (4-2) in what should be the game of the week in Tucson.
The Lions of Pusch Ridge enter their matchup against Sahuarita (4-2) with a two-game win streak on the line, with back-to-back tough games against the Mustangs and Sabino.
Mountain View looks to earn their second-consecutive win on Friday against Vail’s Empire High School (2-4), in what should be a back-and-forth affair.
The Catalina Foothills Falcons enter their home clash with Vista Grande High School (2-5) off a rough 33-21 road loss to CDO, looking to improve on their 2-4 record this season.
All of the above should be solid games to watch, with lots of action on both sides of the ball.
Without further ado, here’s how I see each game going under the blinding lights of Friday night.
[All games at 7 p.m.]
- Marana (4-2) at Ironwood Ridge (3-3), 2475 W. Naranja Drive
Who to Watch:
- Nathan Grijalva (Senior running back)
Stats: 119 carries, 694 rushing yards, 6 rushing TDs
- Drew Cook (Senior wide receiver
Stats: 16 catches, 335 receiving yards, 5 receiving TDs/24 carries, 199 rushing yards, 2 rushing TDs
- Octavio Audry-Cobos (Junior quarterback)
Stats: 28/58, 438 passing yards, 6 passing touchdowns (3 interceptions)/66 carries, 397 rushing yards, 5 rushing touchdowns
- Trenton Bourguet (Senior quarterback)
Stats: 87/123, 1,221 passing yards, 11 passing TDs (3 interceptions)/44 carries, 257 rushing yards, 3 rushing TDs
- Xoeius Ratliffe (Senior running back)
Stats: 93 carries, 529 rushing yards, 6 rushing TDs/14 catches, 158 receiving yards
- Diego Miranda (Senior wide receiver)
Stats: 24 catches, 375 receiving yards, 5 receiving TDs
Score Prediction: Ironwood Ridge 27, Marana 24
- Canyon del Oro (5-1) at Sahuaro (5-2), 545 Camino Seco
Who to Watch:
- Zach Eidenschink (Senior quarterback)
Stats: 50/79, 1,102 passing yards, 12 passing TDs (1 interception)/52 carries, 316 rushing yards, 3 rushing TDs
- Stevie Rocker (Sophomore running back)
Stats: 51 carries, 614 rushing yards, 7 rushing TDs
- Jose Cruz
Stats: 16 catches, 373 receiving yards, 4 receiving TDs/9 carries, 76 rushing yards, 1 rushing TD
- Cameron Williams (Senior running back)
Stats: 75 carries, 811 rushing yards, 15 rushing TDs/45 tackles, 1 sack
- Trayvion White-Austin (Senior wide receiver)
Stats: 32 carries, 321 rushing yards, 3 rushing TDs/3 catches, 49 receiving yards
- Jakob Goerke (Senior linebacker)
Stats: 57 tackles, 2 fumble recoveries, 1 forced fumble, 1 sack
Score Prediction: Sahuaro 33, CDO 27
- Mountain View (1-5) vs. Empire (2-4), 3901 W. Linda Vista Blvd.
Who to Watch:
- Calib McRae (Senior linebacker/wide receiver)
Stats: 48 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 forced fumble/20 catches, 359 receiving yards, 2 receiving TDs
- Varney Larson (Junior running back)
Stats: 25 catches, 346 receiving yards, 3 receiving TDs/18 carries, 72 rushing yards, 2 rushing TDs
- Aaron Logsdon (Junior running back/linebacker)
Stats: 63 carries, 325 rushing yards, 3 rushing TDs/48 tackles, 4 tackles for loss, 1 sack
- Wyatt Jeffries (Senior running back/linebacker
Stats: 115 carries, 734 rushing yards, 6 rushing TDs/10 catches, 104 receiving yards, 2 receiving TDs
- Alex Verdugo (Senior quarterback)
Stats: 70/150, 1,052 passing yards, 15 passing TDs (9 interceptions)/49 carries, 41 rushing yards, 1 rushing TD
- Jalen Smith (Senior wide receiver)
Stats: 22 catches, 380 receiving yards, 5 receiving TDs/9 carries, 37 rushing yards
Score Prediction: Empire 24, Mountain View 14
- Catalina Foothills (2-4) vs. Vista Grande (2-5), 4300 E. Sunrise Dr.
Who to Watch:
- Joaquin Holm (Senior quarterback)
Stats: 44/67, 617 passing yards, 4 passing TDs (3 interceptions), 13 carries, 49 rushing yards, 3 rushing TDs
- Dominic Bynum (Senior running back)
Stats: 64 carries, 515 rushing yards, 3 rushing TDs/2 catches, 101 receiving yards, 1 receiving TD
- Isaiah Bae (Senior running back)
Stats: 52 carries, 435 rushing yards, 3 rushing TDs
- Eddie Villegas (Senior quarterback)
Stats: 95/183, 1,283 passing yards, 13 passing TDs (5 interceptions)/42 carries, 119 rushing yards, 3 rushing TDs
- Brice Gay (Senior wide receiver)
Stats: 30 catches, 462 receiving yards, 5 receiving TDs/80 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, .5 sacks
- Aaron Landeros (Senior defensive end)
Stats: 37 tackles, 4 tackles for loss, 4 sacks
Score Prediction: Catalina Foothills 38, Vista Grande 20
- Pusch Ridge Christian Academy (3-3) vs. Sahuarita (4-2), 9500 N. Oracle Rd.
- Evan Lovett (Sophomore running back)
Stats: 48 carries, 540 rushing yards, 8 rushing TDs/4 catches, 83 receiving yards, 1 receiving TD
- Ryan Garcia (Junior running back)
Stats: 68 carries, 373 rushing yards, 7 rushing TDs
- Casey Way (Senior defensive end)
Stats: 35 tackles, 6 tackles for loss, 2 sacks
- Christian Gonzales (Junior slot back)
Stats: 4 catches, 223 receiving yards, 2 receiving TDs/21 carries, 196 rushing yards, 1 rushing TD
- RJ Ahumada (Junior defensive lineman)
Stats: 26 tackles, 7 tackles for loss, 2 sacks
- Osten Sherry (Junior safety)
Stats: 14 tackles, 2 interceptions
Score Prediction: Pusch Ridge 40, Sahuarita 21