SPOT­LIGHT

Yuma Sun - - SUN SPORTS | CLASSIFIEDS -

in that game.

“Ci­bola’s al­ways been the mind­set of, ‘We’re go­ing to run some­thing un­til you stop it,’” Franz said. “We’ve got to win the bat­tles within tack­les.”

Line play on both sides of the ball is where Franz sees much of the game be­ing de­cided. The Kings re­turned all of their skill play­ers from the 2016 team but had no re­turn­ers on the of­fen­sive line. Run­ning back David Cas­taneda, who eclipsed 100 yards five times last year, has not even hit 300 yards on the sea­son.

“We chal­lenged (the of­fen­sive line this week in prac­tice), es­pe­cially our in­te­rior three,” Franz said. “We just haven’t been 100 per­cent happy with how they’ve played, so we’ve tried dif­fer­ent things. Our of­fen­sive suc­cess is go­ing to ride on the in­te­rior. If they can’t get it done, we’re not go­ing to be able to move the ball.”

REST OF THE SLATE Youngker at Gila Ridge, 7 p.m.

The Hawks (2-5 over­all, 0-1 4A South­west) were blown out in their sea­sonopener last week against Buckeye Union. They gave up 47 first-half points, and wound up with a 54-10 loss at home. But Buckeye is the cream of the crop in the 4A South­west; it won the re­gion with ease a year ago.

Youngker (5-3 over­all, 2-0 4A South­west) looks much im­proved from a year ago, when the Roughrid­ers went 2-9 — only beat­ing Gila Ridge and Yuma High. But the Hawks played them tough last year, los­ing by seven points de­spite be­ing in the midst of an even­tual eight-game los­ing streak to end the sea­son.

If Gila Ridge is go­ing to get back in the win col­umn in a game be­sides the endof-sea­son meet­ing against Yuma High, this is the best bet.

Estrella Foothills at Yuma High, 7 p.m.

Of the big pub­lic schools’ games this week, this is the least winnable. But Estrella Foothills, which was not too long ago a power in Di­vi­sion IV (known now as 3A), looks to be hav­ing some­what of a down year. The Wolves (4-3 AIA, 0-1 4A South­west) lost to Youngker two weeks ago, but that is the same Youngker team that the Crim­i­nals (2-5 AIA, 0-2 4A South­west) just lost to by 45 points.

Yuma High is on a fiveg­ame los­ing streak af­ter start­ing the sea­son 2-0, and have lost four of those five by 24 or more.

North Pointe Prep at Yuma Catholic, 7 p.m.

There’s re­ally not much to say here as th­ese two are worlds apart in terms of qual­ity. The 3A Metro re­gion has a dis­tinct hi­er­ar­chy. Yuma Catholic (5-2 AIA, 1-1 3A Metro) is at the top with Cas­teel, and North Pointe Prep (1-6 AIA, 0-2 3A Metro) is at the bot­tom with ASU Prep. Last week, against mid-tier Val­ley Chris­tian, the Fal­cons lost, 62-6.

PICKS

WARNER: CI­BOLA over Kofa, YOUNGKER over Gila Ridge, ESTRELLA FOOTHILLS over Yuma High, YUMA CATHOLIC over North Pointe Prep, AN­TE­LOPE over Scotts­dale Prep

GRADY: CI­BOLA over Kofa, YOUNGKER over Gila Ridge, ESTRELLA FOOTHILLS over Yuma High, YUMA CATHOLIC over North Pointe Prep, AN­TE­LOPE over Scotts­dale Prep

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