Top Ten 3A Football Teams According to Derek Simmons from SportsZone123.com

1. Casteel Colts

2. Florence Gophers

3. Pusch Ridge Christian Academy Lions

4. American Leadership Academy Patriots

5. Yuma Catholic Shamrocks

6. Northwest Christian Crusaders

7. Snowflake Lobos

8. Show Low Cougars

9. Sabino Sabercats

10. Winslow Bulldogs

In the mix - Safford, Ben Franklin, Blue Ridge Fountain Hills, Empire, Catalina Magnet, Page, Ganado.

Video - Snowflake Prepares for Kirtland Central (NM)

Listen to The Hatch Toyota Friday Night Football Show at 5 p.m on the Sports Zone Radio app or on 98.5 FM, KRFM. Listen at 6 p.m to the Game of the Week, Snowflake hosting Kirtland

Video - Controversy clouds Snowflake's 13-12 win over Thatcher

Video - Show Low picks up third win of the season at Window Rock, 65-19

 

Video - Cougars go far, win big at Espanola, NM

The Show Low Cougars opened up their 2016 football season with a long road trip to Espanola Valley High School in Espanola, New Mexico, and the 10 hour bus ride was repayed with a 55-14 win.

Sloppy field conditions, created by days of heavy rain preceding the matchup, did not slow down the Cougars' potent offense. The starting offense was a perfect five of five in possessions that lead to touchdowns, and they added a special teams score as well as points from the backups.

Despite the score, Show Low managed only 291 yards of offense due to their average starting field position - the Espanola 45 yard line.

Still, the starters were effective throughout their limited time with QB Rhett Ricedorff throwing two touchdowns and RB Jayson Brown rushing for a pair.

The defense was like a steel trap, especially in the first half where they held the Sundevils to just 17 yards of offense. In fact, Espanola did not cross midfield until late in the 3rd quarter.

The Sports Zone Radio Player of the Game went to Sr. OL/LB Dylan Gabbard, who exemplified the intensity of his teammates. In one stretch of four plays, Gabbard had three outstanding highlights. First, he sacked Espanola quarterback Joerey Manzanares for a five yard loss. Then, he blocked a Sundevil punt that his teammate Westin Keim scooped and scored on. Finally, he outraced his coverage teammate on the ensuing kickoff the make an text book open-field tackle on the Espanola returner.

Next for Show Low is a home tilt on Friday, September 2nd versus Chinle.

Video - Page shocks Blue Ridge, 28-22, in Jackets' football home opener

The Blue Ridge Yellow Jackets don't often get beat at home. It's even more rare for them to lose a football game to a North region team, but that's just what happened Friday when the Page Sand Devils visited Lakeside and left with a 28-22 win.

The Jackets struck first, capitalizing on a Page turnover on the second play of the game. Blue Ridge recovered a fumble, then quickly marched 43 yards for the score, a 1 yard plunge by Trayson Entrekin. The score put BR on top, 28-22.

Page came ready to battle, however, and put together three successive scoring drives, including a 12 play 80 yard drive and another that took 13 plays and covered 84 yards.

The Sand Devils converted on all three 2-point conversion attempts and took a 22-6 lead into the half.

Blue Ridge is famed for their ability to make halftime adjustments, and they changed up their defense for the second half, opting to switch out their four-man front in favor of a three linemen, five linebacker set. The change worked and Blue Ridge was able to turn the tide and comeback to tie the game at 22 with 8:30 remaining. Quarterback Spencer Wilkening, who was 7 of 19 passing for just over 100 yards and led BR in rushing, scored on an 11 yard run to make it 22-20, Page still leading. The 2-point try was good, and the Jackets tied it at 22.

The Yellow Jackets got the ball back with 5:32 remaining by forcing a Page punt, and moved the ball to the Sand Devil 25 yard line with just over two minutes left. Page's Cheyenne Richardson then stepped in front of a short pass and intercepted the ball. The lumbering defensive end took the ball to the Blue Ridge 20 yard line, where the Page offense set up with 1:55 to play. Five plays later, Hayden Garcia scored the go-ahead touchdown on a three yard run and put Page up 28-22 with :24 second left.

Blue Ridge was unable to score following the kickoff and Page finished with an interception to seal the win.

The Jackets next go to Window Rock, next Friday, while Page has a home tilt with Coconino.