Gila Ridge at Kofa poised to be an ex­cit­ing re­match

All other lo­cal teams also play at home tonight

Yuma Sun - - SPORTS - BY WARNER STRAUSBAUGH AND GRADY GAR­RETT

It’s a smor­gas­bord of foot­ball ac­tion tonight, as ev­ery lo­cal team is at home ex­cept Gila Ridge, which will still be in town play­ing at Kofa.

And while Braw­ley (Calif.) at Ci­bola and River Val­ley at Yuma Catholic have cases to be made, the Hawks-Kings show­down is the mar­quee matchup of the night.

Other games in­clude: South­west (Calif.) at Yuma High, San Tan Foothills at An­te­lope and Triv­ium Prep at San Pasqual.

7 p.m. tonight GAME OF THE NIGHT Kofa at Gila Ridge, 7 p.m.

After win­ning their sea­son-open­ers on the road, the Kings (1-2 AIA) and Hawks (1-2 AIA) have scut­tled in re­cent weeks.

They both played and lost to Cen­tral (Calif.), Kofa by 20 points on Aug. 25, and Gila Ridge by 12 a week later.

Last week, the run­ning game of South­west was too much to han­dle for Kofa in a 56-7 loss, and Gila Ridge fell to Ci­bola, 37-20.

But what makes this the game of the night — apart from it be­ing an in-town matchup — is the way in which last year’s con­test un­folded.

In what was ar­guably the most ex­cit­ing game of the 2016 sea­son, Kofa scored 36 points in the sec­ond half after go­ing into half­time los­ing, 14-0, and ended up with a 36-20 win. It was the Kings’ first vic­tory against

Gila Ridge since 2009, and run­ning back David Cas­taneda had 247 to­tal yards and three touch­downs.

You can bet Gila Ridge will want some re­venge for that one, mak­ing this a fun re­match for th­ese teams, both of which have plenty of re­turn­ing play­ers from last year.

REST OF THE SLATE River Val­ley at Yuma Catholic, 7 p.m.

This has been an awe­some non-re­gion matchup the past two years. The Sham­rocks over­came a two-score deficit in 2015 and scored two late touch­downs to beat the Dust Devils, 33-28. In Mo­have Val­ley last year, YC won, 19-14.

How­ever, this one may not have the fire­works — or the close score — of those meet­ings. River Val­ley went a com­bined 18-5 and made the play­offs in 2015-16. This year, the Dust Devils are 0-3 with losses to Coolidge, Mo­have and Lake Havasu, the lat­ter two by a com­bined score of 80-0.

Yuma Catholic (2-1 AIA), mean­while, is nearly un­beaten to start the sea­son in three games against schools and teams that are much larger. The Sham­rocks, in 3A, beat 4A team St. Mary’s and Im­pe­rial (Calif.), which blew out Ci­bola the week prior, be­fore los­ing by one point to Se­ton Catholic of 4A last week in their home opener.

Yuma Catholic is out­gain­ing River Val­ley in to­tal yards by 216.5 so far this sea­son.

Braw­ley (CA) at Ci­bola, 7 p.m.

The Wild­cats have dom­i­nated in their time against Yuma teams, go­ing 10-2 since 2012. How­ever, those two losses were to Ci­bola in the past two sea­sons.

The Raiders (1-3 AIA) have strug­gled in the early part of the sea­son, open­ing with losses to Hori­zon, Im­pe­rial and South­west be­fore beat­ing Gila Ridge last week.

The win against the Hawks saw the break­out of ju­nior wide re­ceiver Gabriel Ramirez. Ramirez went off against Gila Ridge, to­tal­ing 240 yards and three touch­downs on nine re­cep­tions. He also forced and re­cov­ered a fum­ble and ex­celled on spe­cial teams as a kick and punt re­turner.

On the other end of those passes was ju­nior quar­ter­back Ethan Arvizo, who had his best game (10-for18, 254 yards, four touch­downs) of 2017 against Gila Ridge, as well.

If the Raiders are to make it two straight wins, they’ll need the Arvizo-Ramirez con­nec­tion to be on again. Braw­ley beat Yuma High, 27-3, last week.

South­west had only two win­ning sea­sons from 200414, but have turned things around the past two years, go­ing 9-3 in 2015 and ’16. The lo­cal teams have seen the Ea­gles’ turn­around first­hand.

Since 2015, South­west is 8-0 with six of those wins be­ing by 24 or more points. This year, the Ea­gles steam­rolled Kofa and Ci­bola by a com­bined score of 97-7.

The Crim­i­nals (2-1 AIA) have a tough task tonight, but their sea­son has been off to a good start, as they al­ready have as many wins as they had all of last year. They beat Parker and Calex­ico (Calif.) in their first two games be­fore fall­ing in Braw­ley last week.

WARNER: KOFA over Gila Ridge, YUMA CATHOLIC over River Val­ley, BRAW­LEY over Ci­bola, SOUTH­WEST over Yuma High, SAN TAN FOOTHILLS over An­te­lope, TRIV­IUM PREP over San Pasqual

GRADY: BRAW­LEY over Ci­bola, KOFA over Gila Ridge, SOUTH­WEST over Yuma High, RIVER VAL­LEY over Yuma Catholic, AN­TE­LOPE over San Tan Foothills, TRIV­IUM PREP over San Pasqual

PHOTO BY RANDY HOEFT/YUMA SUN

GILA RIDGE’S DAKOTTA YI COMES DOWN with a pass in front of Kofa de­fend­ers An­gel Valtierra (left) and Isa­iah Lopez (34) dur­ing the first quar­ter of a Sept. 16, 2016, game at Veter­ans Memo­rial Sta­dium.

Gila Ridge at Kofa

Braw­ley (Calif.) at Ci­bola South­west (CA) at Yuma High, 7 p.m.

South­west (Calif.) at Yuma High

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.