Derek Simmons Top 16, Week Three

Wednesday, September 4th

Everyone has officially played as we already enter week three. Some surprises this week included Snowflake and Yuma Catholic getting beat up. Show Low cruised past 4A's Mingus and PJ London of Blue Ridge rushed for nearly as many yards than he passed for.


16. Fountain Hills (0-2) - After dropping their first two games, the Falcons may be in danger already. Looking ahead, Payson will be no slouch before facing Wickenburg, Pusch Ridge and ALA Gilbert and Valley Christian will end their schedule in week 11. Could be a good team who fails to make the playoffs - Ftn Hills Schedule

15. Florence (1-0) - Gophers are out of the gate with a win over Page and get their first real test this week at Snowflake. They don't necessarily need a win to prove they are good. RB Josua Maignon is as good as they come has three touchdowns already through one game.

14. Safford (0-1) - They spent their precious BYE week in the second week of the season and after Wickenburg this week will see 3x defending 2A champion Thatcher, then red hot Show Low followed by Florence. In a months time we will know who Safford really is.

13. Coolidge (2-0) - Chances are good that the Bears will start their season 4-0 with Paradise Honors and Sahuarita coming up before the fun begins and they host Ben Franklin.

12. Pusch Ridge (1-0) - Another odd decision to schedule the BYE in week two could have late season impact. This week will be the first test against 4A Walden Grove.

11. Odyssey Institute (2-0) - Chris Weaver leads all rushers with over 244 yd/gm and eight touchdowns. They'll spend their BYE this week and in three weeks will play Florence which will prove to be the biggest challenge on the schedule in their first four games.

10. Blue Ridge (2-0) - Blue Ridge has started 2-0 for first time since 2015 led by quarterback PJ London. 2A's St. Johns, Florence then Sabino are who the Jackets contend with in the following three weeks.

9.Valley Christian (2-0) - The Trojans outscored their first two opponents 89-0. They weren't the best offenses but no one else in the 3A can say they haven't allowed a point through two games.

8. Show Low (2-0) - Keegan Clark and the Cougar offensive line are the biggest surprise of the season so far. The Cougars are already one win away from matching last year's total. They have the challenge of Thatcher this week and look to get back some pride after last year's 60-6 loss in which the Cougars didn't score on offense.

7. Snowflake (1-1) - What was clear after the 43-21 loss at Ben Franklin is that the Lobos have much work to do, but the potential to do it. QB Ethan Ramage to WR Welcome Chapman is one of the most dangerous combos in the 3A.

6. ALA Gilbert (2-0) - The Ricedorffs know how to throw. Jack Ricedorff leads the 3A in yardage after two games with nearly 700 and nine touchdown passes.

5. Ben Franklin (2-0) - Physical play will take this team to the semifinals this year and possibly beyond. Transfer RB from Texas, Ammon Warby, is as good as they get in Arizona's 3A and linebacker Cade McAfee is nasty. If they make a run to the title game, don't be surprised to see McAfee named the Defensive Player of the Year.

4. Yuma Catholic (1-1) - BYE Week following big loss vs. Northwest Christian.

3. ALA QC (2-0) - It has been a couple years since the Thatcher Eagles have lost at home and ALA worked them, 54-25. Circling the Yuma Catholic/ALA game on September 20th.

2. Sabino (1-0) - Quarterback AJ Skaggs led Sabino to win in season opener against Casa Grande of 4A. This week could be tough against Sahuaro (Tucson) of the 4A. Blue Ridge and Ben Franklin lurk on the schedule in the next few weeks.

1. Northwest Christian (2-0) - Friday was a monster 45-17 win over rival Yuma Catholic and following a BYE this week will face one of the toughest teams in the 3A, Ben Franklin. There are other challenges ahead but the toughest ones will be done after next week.

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