16 Hopi @ 1 Benson: The Hopi Bruins look to play spoiler, with 16 of the 20 players listed on their roster as seniors. QB Will Howard and ATH Isaah Wy-Panana are the heart and soul of this team. Benson has great depth, size and speed. They dominated 7 of the 10 opponents they played, with their closest games being against Empire (12 point win), Pusch Ridge (14 point win), a division 4 playoff team and Bisbee (6 point win) a division 5 playoff team.
9 Tonopah Valley @ 8 Miami: Coach Nick Gehrts has done an outstanding job creating a winning culture at Tonopah Valley. The Phoenix only loss was to Scottsdale Christian, and they are playing at a high level with a pair of sophomore QB’s. Miami counters with a dual threat sophomore QB of its own in Zabriel Saenz. The Vandals’ pass rush has been relentless with 43 sacks on the season.
12 Santa Cruz Valley @ 5 Monument Valley: Monument Valley is the true definition of a team that will distribute the ball offensively. The Mustangs have over 2,100 yards rushing, but the leading rusher has 398 yards. They also have over 1,800 yards receiving, but the leading receiver has 473. Santa Cruz Valley has played well this season, challenging some of the top teams in the division and winning a close game against American Leadership Academy.
13 Paradise Honors @ 4 American Leadership Academy: A matchup between two up and coming programs. Both teams are well coached, and play hard. American Leadership has junior dual threat QB Dallin Edwards handing off the ball to junior RB Jermiah Boyd, and throwing the ball to sophomore Bujon Boyd. Paradise Honors runs the Wing-T offense behind a massive line featuring 6’4 290 pound Josh Kratzer. The winner of this game has a chance to make a run to the championship game.
14 Morenci @ 3 Round Valley: Two solid programs that are always in the hunt. Round Valley proved skeptics wrong and simply reloaded after massive graduation losses from last season. Junior QB Kyron Woolf has over 1,000 yards rushing and passing with 29 total touchdowns. He is complemented by junior RB Sullivan Udall who has over 1,000 yards as well. Morenci is big in the trenches and has built their reputation of tough hard-nosed football based upon line play.
11 Tempe Prep @ 6 Scottsdale Christian: Tempe Prep completely surpasses expectations year after year because of their no excuse attitude instilled by Head Coach Thomas Brittain. They are not flashy, but rarely make mistakes and execute every play soundly. Scottsdale Christian is much improved in year 2 under Head Coach Chuck Gibbs. Senior DB Jacob Marten is a threat to score on offense or on defense, and has talent to play college football.
10 Chinle @ 7 Bisbee: The Pumas have senior WR Spencer Schuller, who has 20 receiving touchdowns on the year. Talent can be found throughout Bisbee’s senior laden roster, including RB Tony Chavez and QB Danny Barrow. Chinle played 2 teams who finished their season with winning records, going 1-1 in those games. The Wildcats must play stingy defense like they did during the regular season in order to win this ball game.
15 St. Johns @ 2 Joy Christian: Joy Christian boasts an extremely talented group of seniors; several of whom are likely to continue their football careers collegiately. Head Coach Brian Cole has the Eagles scoring at will, with their lowest point output of the season being 40 points. Defensively, the Eagles are stout, giving up only 10 points per game. St. Johns has carried on well following the hall of fame career
of former Head Coach Mike Morgan. Look for St. Johns to play ball control and keep away from Joy Christian’s explosive offense.