Four 3A North teams in state playoffs
The 3A North Region managed to get four teams in the Arizona State 3A Conference Football Playoffs despite speculation that only three teams would qualify under the power point system. Winslow, Holbrook, Monument Valley and Chinle will all play on Saturday with Winslow the only team at home from the region and likely the only one favored to win its first contest.
The Winslow Bulldogs will begin the state playoffs by hosting the Tucson Empire Ravens at 7 p. m. at Nasser Stadium on Saturday. The Bulldogs finished the season with an 8-2 record and won the 3A North Region. The Bulldogs were seeded eighth in the Arizona Interscholastic Association power point system. Empire finished its season with a 7-3 record in the 3A South Region and was seeded ninth by the AIA.
Holbrook finished second in the 3A North Region with a 6-4 record and will open play in the state playoffs at Coolidge. The Roadrunners were seeded 12th and the Coolidge Bears, who were 9-1 for the season, were seeded fifth.
The Monument Valley Mustangs finished third in the 3A North Region and will open at Snowflake against the Lobos on Saturday. The Mustangs were seeded 13th and Snowflake was seeded fourth. These two teams met in the regular season with Snowflake winning 43-6.
The Chinle Wildcats were the surprise selection to the playoffs with a 6-4 record and a fourth place finish in the 3A North Region. The Wildcats will meet the Florence Gophers at Florence on Saturday. Florence was 9-1 for the season and seeded third by the power points system. Chinle was seeded 14th, surprisingly ahead of River Valley which had a better 7-2 record and Parker which was also 6-4 for the season.
The top seed in the playoffs was the Show Low Cougars of the 3A East Region. Show Low will meet 16th seeded River Valley which had a 7-2 record for the season. Amazingly, Show Low was 9-1 for the season and second in the 3A East Region, having lost to second seeded Blue Ridge 36-18. The winner of the Show Low-River Valley game will meet the winner of the Winslow-Empire game in the second round.
The Blue Ridge Yellowjackets, winners of the 3A East Region, were seeded second despite having beaten top seeded Show Low 36-18 and going undefeated at 9-0. The Yellowjackets will host the Parker Broncs who were 6-4 for the season and seeded 15th. The winner of the Blue Ridge-Parker game will play the winner of a game between Fountain Hills and Wickenburg.
Wickenburg will be at Fountain Hills to begin the playoff schedule. The Falcons of Fountain Hills were 7-3 for the season and seeded seventh. Wickenburg was seeded 10th with an 8-2 record and actually defeated Fountain Hills 10-0 in an early regular season meeting. This is one of several difficult to understand seedings along with the Show Low over Blue Ridge and Round Valley over Payson ratings.
Round Valley will host the Payson Longhorns on Saturday in a meeting of 3A East Region rivals. Round Valley was seeded sixth with a 6-4 record while Payson was seeded 11th. Payson defeated Round Valley 42-0 in the regular season.
Second round games will be played at either Williams Field High School or Desert Ridge High School on Saturday, Nov. 13. Third round games will be played at Paradise Valley High School on Saturday, Nov. 20. The Championship game will be played at the Walkup Sky Dome at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff on Saturday, Nov. 27.
Of the teams from the 3A North Region, only Winslow will be favored to win its first game ant that one may be competitive. The Bulldogs will likely meet top seeded Show Low in the second round with a likely tough third round game if they get that far.
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