East Rivals May Head To Second State Showdown


The East region's top-two seeded teams have earned the right to play in the Class 3A Arizona State Football Championship semifinals.

Top-ranked Blue Ridge (11-0) will take on West Division champion Wickenburg (9-2) in one of two clashes to be played Friday.

East runner-up and defending state champion Show Low (7-4) will challenge the West's Parker (9-2) in the other final four games. Both contests will be played at Mesa College.

Blue Ridge advanced to the state championship by whipping second-ranked Chandler Seton 55-6 Nov. 10 at Mesa. Show Low reached the semis by thumping South representative and fifth-ranked Globe 27-7 Nov. 9 at MCC.

Parker is in the semifinal game by virtue of Thursday's 27-20 victory over East regular season bronze medalist Round Valley.

Wickenburg earned a berth Friday evening by edging East fourth-seeded Snowflake 28-19.

The Rim country irony in the playoffs is that Payson which didn't qualify for the state tournament out-played Show Low 10-0 during the regular season finale.

With that victory and a strong showing one week earlier against Blue Ridge, Payson has been tagged the best 3A team not in the state tournament.

If both Show Lowand Blue Ridge emerge victorious Friday and advance to the state championship, it would mark the second consecutive year the two teams have met for the title.

After losing handily to Blue Ridge during the 1999 regular season, Show Low rebounded in the tournament finale to earn the Cougars their first state football championship.

The two White Mountain-area schools housed only 10 miles from each other along Highway 260 are longtime rivals.

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