By Greg Perkins
Just one of the four area prep football teams will be at home on Friday night, Sept. 8, with the other three schools hitting the road.
Joseph City plays host to NFL YET Academy in a match up of two 1-1 teams. The Wildcats are coming in off their first win of the season last week, while the Eagles limp in on the heels of a 60-6 blowout loss to Mogollon. If nothing else, this game will give Wildcat fans a barometer as to where they stand with their rival Mogollon. NFL YET Academy will travel up from the Valley to face a Joseph City team that seems to be finding its stride after dropping the first game. Playing on their home turf should be enough to get the Wildcats to 2-1 on the season.
Winslow has played well in its first two wins. The Bulldogs’ 40-20 win over Page last week was impressive against a Sand Devils team, which easily handled Blue Ridge in the opening week. The Bulldogs are 2-0, but haven’t yet played on the road. On Friday they get their first road test, albeit in Chinle. The 0-2 Wildcats fell to Show Low Tuesday night after a problem with the lights stopped the contest last Friday. The final score was 42-0. Chinle also lost in a big way to Snowflake in week one. The Winslow squad moves to 3-0 as it looks ahead to East Region play.
Snowflake was tripped up last week on its home turf, suffering a seven-point loss to Kirtland Central to drop from the ranks of the unbeaten. This week the Lobos travel to Thatcher to take on an unbeaten team which is coming off a last minute come from behind win over rival Safford. The question will be, who has the largest emotional hill to climb, the team coming off an unexpected upset or the team coming off such a big win over a neighborhood rival? Last year this game, played in Snowflake, may have hinged on a controversial call in the Lobos’ 13-12 win. Look for this contest to once again be very competitive. Despite the Eagles playing in 2A, these two schools are evenly matched. The outcome may tell Lobo fans where their team stacks up against what is apparently a solid 3A Safford unit.
Last year Holbrook entered week three searching for its first win. The Roadrunners found that win with a 36-0 victory over visiting Sedona. This year, both the Roadrunners and Red Rock are again searching for their initial win of the campaign. Holbrook looked great in the first five minutes last week, but couldn’t keep the momentum on its side. Sedona entered the fourth quarter last week with a nine-point lead over Chino Valley before giving up 10 straight points in the final 10 minutes to fall 28-27. Both teams need to win this week to give themselves a shot in the arm for confidence. Playing in Sedona will give Red Rock a slight advantage. Holbrook has shown the ability to run the ball with Zakhari Waits rushing, for more than 150 yards last week. The Roadrunners need to find balance in their offensive attack, though, and maybe Sedona will provide them with the opportunity. The Birds will have to battle a long bus ride and most likely a warm evening in Red Rock Country to come home with their first win.