Welcome to the final week of the high school football season, which came at us about as fast as a roadrunner zipping its way across the desert.
We were treated to a cavalcade of solidly-played football last Friday, with Canyon del Oro, Ironwood Ridge, Marana and Mountain View winning their contests, while Pusch Ridge came up one-point short against Safford and Catalina Foothills lost to Salpointe Catholic.
It was a week to remember for many of the student-athletes at the six programs, making it virtually impossible to pick out three players in the fray.
Those that just missed the cut include CDO running backs Stevie Rocker and Diego Munguia, who combined to rush for 219 yards and three scores in the Dorados’ 54-21 win over Vista Grande.
Ironwood Ridge junior quarterback Octavio Audry-Cobos also just missed the cut, after putting up a whopping 155 rushiung yards on 16 carries in the Nighthawks’ impressive 31-20 win over Buena.
Evan Lovett of Pusch Ridge had another incredible week in the Lions’ 35-34 loss to Safford, with 164 yards on 19 carries with a touchdown, showing once again how bright the future is for Jerry Harris’ team.
Finally, Xoeius Ratliffe of Marana barely missed the cut this week, after rushing for 97 yards and two touchdowns in the Tigers’ 47-17 thrashing of Sunnyside on Friday.
Without further ado, here are the three finest performances from the northwest corner of Tucson last Friday:
3. Isaiah Roebuck (Marana sophomore wide receiver)
Stats: 7 catches, 149 receiving yards, 2 receiving touchdowns
The future is bright for Louie Ramirez’s squad, who are currently 6-3 with a matchup on the border against Nogales this week. Roebuck has played a central role in the team’s offensive surge this season, with 596 receiving yards and five touchdowns in five games (he missed four games to a concussion). Roebuck put up what might be his finest effort to-date last Friday, with a career-high 149 receiving yards, including a 52-yard catch for a score in the team’s 47-17 destruction of Sunnyside on Friday. Roebuck’s future shines bright at the rural high school, as he’s back to 100 percent health at the perfect time for the Tigers.
2. Trenton Bourguet (Marana senior quarterback)
Stats: 22/23, 257 passing yards, 4 passing touchdowns (0 interceptions)/5 carries, 34 rushing yards, 1 rushing TD
Bourguet shined against the Devils on Friday, completing an unreal 95.7 percent of his passes in the team’s 30-point win. I would have given him and our number-one pick a tie atop the ranking this week if I could, but I decided to give it to our eventual selection based on the stakes that were at-play in the latter’s game. Bourguet has been a phenom for four years at Marana and should have a bright future, wherever he plays in college. He showed why he’s the best pure passer in Southern Arizona on Friday, dialing up beautiful passes all night long, with the Tigers looking ferocious as they enter the state playoffs. I do not pity whoever is tasked with stopping Bourget and his teammates come playoff time.
1. Nathan Grijalva (Ironwood Ridge senior running back)
Stats: 36 carries, 202 rushing yards, two rushing TDs
Grijalva slashed, dashed and crushed his way to a 200-yard performance in the Nighthawks’ 31-20 win over a solid Buena squad last week. The senior chewed up yards like nobody’s business in the win, averaging 5.6 yards per carry, with an eye-popping 36 rushing attempts in total. Grijalva has been an every-down workhorse for Matt Johnson’s squad this year, with 1,114 rushing yards on 192 attempts (21.33 attempts per game). That’s an unheard-of level of effort on the high school level, which deserves some serious respect. Grijalva probably would have broken the 250-yard plateau if he had picked up a few more blocks on the edge in the team’s win but did enough to warrant the top spot on this week’s list.