Friday, November 15, 2013
And then there were four.
The 2013 high school football season began way back on Aug. 23, when defending Division II champion Ironwood Ridge played Peoria Liberty on a Friday night that saw the game go until midnight because of delays caused by our trusty monsoon weather.
Ironwood Ridge was one of more than 30 schools from Southern Arizona to play football this season, with 14 of them making the playoffs that began last week.
Now, only four remain. And three of them face a very tough road this weekend.
Only Salpointe Catholic (11-0), the top seed in Division II, is playing in town for the state quartefinals. The Lancers get ninth-seeded Peoria Liberty (8-3) — which knocked Mountain View out last week — at 7 p.m., with a win over the Lions putting them into the state semifinals for the second year in a row.
Salpointe would face either Glendale Deer Valley or Peoria Centennial (the team it lost to in the semifinals in 2012), and as the higher seed it would be considered the "home" team in a neutral site game presumably played in Tucson. I say presumably, because we're talking about the Arizona Interscholastic Association, which may determine the game needs to be in south Phoenix.
(For the record, last year's Salpointe-Centennial game was played at Amphitheater HS)
Salpointe is the only one of six local Division II teams to survive the first round, while two of three area Division III playoff participants are still alive but have to travel north for quarterfinals tonight.
No. 7 Sabino (9-2) is at No. 2 Scottsdale Saguaro (10-1), while eighth-seeded Canyon del Oro (10-1) is at No. 1 Gilbert Williams Field (10-1).
Neither CDO or Sabino could end up playing in Tucson for the semifinals because all of their potential opponents are seeded higher. But if either made the state final, that would be down here at Arizona Stadium, on Nov. 29. Same for the Division II title game.
Lastly, Pusch Ridge Christian (10-1) is still going strong in the Division V, and plays Saturday at 6 p.m. at Phoenix's Arizona Lutheran Academy (10-1), the top seed.