Playoff spots set for high school football

Staff Reports

The regular season is over and the playoff seedings and spots were set Saturday morning. 



L. Scott Bennett Photo/Gila Herald: Safford junior Alyxx Garcia fights for every inch and goes down hard after a big gain.

The Bulldogs won the 3A South with a 28-6 victory over the Sabino Sabercats and as a reward the No. 7 Bulldogs will host the No. 10 Sabercats in the rubber match Friday, Nov. 8, starting at 7 p.m. The winner will play the victor of the No. 2 American Leadership Academy – Queen Creek versus No. 15 Payson game at the higher seed’s school on Nov. 15, starting at 7 p.m. 



Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Thatcher junior quarterback Mark Wren breaks free for a few yards against Morenci.

Defending 2A Champion Thatcher (6-4 overall) struggled a bit this year but finished strong with a 49-0 victory over the hapless Santa Rita Eagles. That gave them a No. 7 seed and a home playoff game against No. 10 Bisbee on Friday, Nov. 8, starting at 7 p.m. The winner will take on the victor of the No. 2 Trivium Prep versus No. 15 Morenci game and will be played Nov. 15 at the higher seed’s school, starting at 7 p.m. 

With a lot of pundits arguing Trivium Prep being overhanded and having handled Morenci handily already this year, the bracket favors the Eagles to likely get back to the semifinal game, where they could face a rematch with No. 6 St. Johns or have to battle No. 3 Phoenix Christian. 


Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Morenci sophomore Tony Roybal scores on a second-quarter Brandon Blair pass that went for a 24-yard touchdown against Pima.

It has been a drop-off this year for Morenci (4-6) overall, but they still made the playoffs as the No. 15 seed and will travel to Goodyear to face-off with the unbeaten No. 2 Trivium Preparatory Academy Crimson Knights (9-0) on Friday, Nov. 8, starting at 7 p.m. 

While Trivium Prep is undefeated, they really haven’t played any top competition. If it was ever a time to bet on a 15-seed knocking off a 2-seed, this is it. Morenci has been down this year, but they can pull off this victory. 

The winner will face the victor between No. 7 Thatcher versus No. 10 Bisbee, which could be a good game to watch. 

On the other side of the bracket, look for No. 1 seed Round Valley to make it into the championship game unless something very strange occurs. The Elks are playing on top of their game and nobody in their bracket has shown that they can hang with them this year. It could possibly be a rematch with No. 3 Phoenix Christian for the 2A title. Phoenix Christian is the only 2A team to beat Round Valley this year, 21-16 on Sept. 27. 


No. 6 Duncan fell to No. 11 Fort Thomas in the first round, 26-6, and Fort Thomas fell to No. 3 Superior on Friday, 48-0. 

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