By Greg Perkins
Closing out the first month of the regular season we find Winslow and Joseph City traveling to the same town Friday night, Sept. 15, while Holbrook and Snowflake will play on their home fields. Winslow travels to Tuba City to take on the Warriors. Joseph City will also be in Tuba City, taking on the Greyhills Academy Knights.
Last year the Wildcats opened their season against Greyhills, easily handling the Knight 38-2. This year the Cats enter this game sitting at 2-1 after winning their past two games. Greyhills comes in at 1-2, sandwiching a week two win between two losses. Joseph City has appeared to have fixed some problem areas in recent weeks, and facing a Knight team which typically is not a football powerhouse will give the Wildcats another week to find their stride and move their season record to 3-1.
Winslow is 3-0 through the first three weeks and has not been tested. Tuba City sits at 3-1 after playing in zero week, and has also won three straight after losing the opener to Snowflake in a big way. Winslow’s three-game win streak is a little more impressive than Tuba City’s. This game will definitely go Winslow’s direction and should give the Bulldogs an idea of how they may stack up against Snowflake with the Warriors as a common opponent.
Snowflake comes into this week on the heels of back-to-back losses. The Lobos’ opponent, Safford, is in the same boat, bringing in an identical 2-2 record with the losses coming in the past two weeks. Both teams fell to Thatcher this year, but Safford lost 42-41 while Snowflake was soundly beaten last week 27-6. Based on that number alone it appears Safford may have the edge. However, the Lobos will be on their home turf, and playing at some altitude may give them a slight advantage. This game could go either way. Regardless of the outcome, one of these two very good teams will leave Lobo Stadium with a losing record at 2-3 and will see their initial power ranking lower than pre-season expectations may have been, while the other can hope to build on the momentum of returning to the win column after two straight losses.
Holbrook’s Roadrunners will come into Roadrunner Stadium with their first win under their belts, thanks to last week’s 67-59 double overtime victory in Sedona. They will host Arete Prep. The Eagles are a 2A school this year, and are playing the season as an independent team. Their first three opponents have been 1A level schools playing eight-man football. Friday will be their first venture into 11-man football. Arete Prep comes in with a 2-1 season. Holbrook enters at 1-2, but if the Roadrunners can show the running game that netted seven touchdowns last week, they will cruise to a 2-2 record. Arete Prep does have some good skill position players, so don’t expect a shutout, but look for the Birds to win their second straight.
All ofthese teams will kick off at 7 o’clock on Friday night.