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Red Mountain at Skyline

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Red Mountain at Skyline: It’s the last of the Mesa schools’ round-robin tournament (which includes Desert Ridge at Mountain View this week). Thanks to Skyline’s surge this season (which likely will include a playoff spot win or lose here), this game has potential postseason implications for both schools. Red Mountain (No. 10) is trying to join Basha, Desert Mountain and Brophy has schools with a .500 record (or below) who make the top 16, thanks to brutal strength of schedules. The Lions put the hammer down on shorthanded Mountain View last week, and while the Toros being significantly hampered by injuries is a factor, so, too is the Lions’ defense and quarterback play. Both will come in handy this week against Skyline, whose leading rusher, Francisco Avitia, re-aggravated an injury last week against Mesa. Truman Tucker did an excellent job in relief (112 yards on nine carries, 66 yards receiving), but can the Coyotes stop a dual-threat QB in Caleb Murray-Thomas? The Lions best be prepared because Skyline is going to ready and are well-coached, so this won’t be like the past three of four meetings. As long as Red Mountain doesn’t turn the ball over and cuts down on penalties a little, the Lions can squeak this out. But the margin for error is nowhere near what it used to be.

Prediction: Red Mountain 24, Skyline 17

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