High school football
Unbeaten Desert View faces winless Sahuaro with shot at best start since 2009
Not many people saw this matchup coming.
An unbeaten Desert View squad travels to play at winless Sahuaro on Friday night, with a chance to move to 4-0 for the first time since 2009.
These two programs have met 10 times and possess very different backgrounds. Sahuaro, which holds an 8-2 advantage in the series, has a state championship to its name and qualified for the state playoffs in each of the last five seasons. Meanwhile, Desert View hasn’t posted a winning record in 16 years and last reached the postseason in 1996.
A win Friday night would keep the Jaguars on track to change all that. Desert View won its first four games in 2009 and went on to finish the season 5-5, marking the only time since 2000 the team didn’t post a losing record.
Now fifth-year coach Robert Bonillas has his team out to a 3-0 start for the second year in a row. That’s not bad considering the Jaguars went winless in 2014, after losing their first three games by a cumulative score of 135-6.
If Desert View can pull off the road win this week, and beat Sahuaro for the first time since 2009, it would set up a massive showdown against district rival Sunnyside next week. The Jaguars are hoping to snap a 27-year drought against the Blue Devils.
But, before we get ahead of ourselves, here’s a look at what else to watch Friday night around Tucson:
Will Grigsby and the Rangers make it two straight?
Rincon/University senior accounted for more than 350 yards of offense and scored a state-record eight touchdowns last week to lead the Rangers to a 56-34 win against visiting Sierra Vista Buena.
The victory snapped Rincon’s 10-game losing streak dating back to last season. Now, for the first time since 2012, the Rangers have a chance to win back-to-back games. They travel to play at Rio Rico on Friday night.
If Grigsby can come up with another big outing, it’ll be a fun bus ride back to Tucson for him and his teammates.
Two postseason contenders collide
Tucson High of the 6A conference is riding high coming off their first win against Salpointe Catholic since 1993. Meanwhile, Mountain View of 5A has won back-to-back games by a combined score of 114-8.
The two programs meet up Friday night at Tucson High, in what might be the most entertaining games in town and certainly one of the most important.
This continues a tough five-game stretch for Tucson, which opened up with last week’s road win at Salpointe. The Badgers play at Cienega next Friday night and then host rival Sunnyside and Ironwood Ridge over the following two weeks.
Things don’t get any easier for Mountain View either, as they face San Tan Valley Poston Butte and fellow unbeaten Ironwood Ridge over the next two weeks.
Amphi hosts district foe CDO
Amphitheater used to dominate district rival Canyon del Oro for years, beating the Dorados 49-7, 55-13 or 28-3. But things have been reversed lately, and CDO has been the one dishing out the beatings – seven straight to be precise.
Amphi hosts the Dorados on Friday night, with a chance to beat them for the first time since 2003. More importantly, it’d keep the Panthers above .500 and in contention with Pueblo and Douglas in the 4A Gila Region.
CDO, on the other hand, is hoping to bounce back from last week’s loss to their other district rival, Ironwood Ridge.
Who will bounce back after a tough loss?
Both Salpointe Catholic and Sunnyside want to move on from last week and forget about it as quickly as possible. But only one of the two old-school rivals will be able to do so, as they face off on Friday night.
Sunnyside hosts Salpointe, with a chance to bounce back big after a 52-8 loss at Mountain View last week. At the same time, longtime coach Dennis Bene and the Lancers are hoping to rebound from their first loss of the season and perhaps even get some revenge for last year, when the Blue Devils notched a rare win at Salpointe.