SBLive Arizona Top 25: This week’s 25 teams that have our attention in Arizona high school football

By Brittany Bowyer 

This week’s Top 25 teams that have our attention in Arizona high school football …

1. Chandler Wolves (4-0)

Chandler remains at the top of the list after their outstanding performance against Liberty on Friday, keeping the win streak alive and showing the Lions they’ve still got some work to do if they want to be the next Open Division champions.

2. Hamilton Huskies (4-0)

The Huskies had another strong performance Friday night against the Centennial Coyotes, defeating them 33-15 to improve to 4-0 in hunt of the Open Division championship.

3. Basha Bears (4-0)

Basha played another lights-out game Friday to remain undefeated, downing the Shadow Ridge Stallions. They’ll prepare to take on another West Valley team this weekend in Valley Vista.

4. Mountain View Mesa Toros (4-0)

The Toros are off to a hot start, defeating the Mesa Jackrabbits to advance to 4-0 on the season. The Toros will take on Dobson this week at home, where the defense will have a challenge in stopping Dobson’s offense.

5. Horizon Huskies (3-0)

For first-year Horizon coach Andy Litten, it’s been a great start to the season. After defeating Desert Edge 31-30 before their bye week last week, the Huskies are preparing to take on a solid 3-1 Millennium team, which likely will be an exciting game.

6. Liberty Lions (3-1)

Liberty fell to 3-1 last week with a loss to Chandler, one of the top teams in the nation. While the Lions suffered a loss, they’re still remaining optimistic in search of an Open Division playoff spot. They’ll face a solid test in Red Mountain on Friday, which is sure to have intensity and mixed feelings still stemming from the 2019 state championship game. 

7. Queen Creek Bulldogs (3-0)

Queen Creek has started with three solid wins, making some noise in the far East Valley. Most recently, the Bulldogs stomped Perry 27-7. They’ll be up against another tough test this weekend in Williams Field, a team strongly known for its defensive discipline.  

8. Cactus Cobras (4-0)

Cactus is once again becoming a powerhouse program on the west side, continuing to make the climb toward the top. After making it to the semifinals in 2019 and the final in 2020, the Cobras clearly have their eyes set on more. As of now, they’re arguably the top team in 4A and could be in contention for one of the coveted Open Eight playoff spots. After blowing out Sunrise Mountain 50-7, they’re looking toward Poston Butte this weekend.

9. Red Mountain Mountain Lions (4-0)

It’s another big game for Red Mountain as they’ll look to prove their power against the Liberty Lions. As mentioned above, these two teams met in the 2019 6A state championship game, where Liberty was able to walk away with the win. The Lions were also victorious in last year’s meeting.   

10. Highland Hawks (3-0) 

After getting their first taste of what it’s like to play in a state championship game last year, the Hawks are looking to return this year and are off to a good start. Last week, the Hawks had a statement 40-14 win over Desert Ridge. They will look to continue their excellence on the field against Desert Vista this Friday. 

11. Salpointe Catholic (3-0)   

The Lancers are preparing for a huge road game this week that could really have implications on where they end up toward the end of the season. After a strong 3-0 start against teams who mostly didn’t play last year, they’ll be up for a true test against the Saguaro Sabercats, who are going to be hungry for a win after last week’s upset.  

12. Chaparral Firebirds (3-1)

After dropping the first game of the season to the Queen Creek Bulldogs, the Firebirds have bounced back in a big way, especially with their 27-26 come-from-behind win over rival Saguaro. The Firebirds will play host to Sandra Day O’Connor this week. 

13. Casa Grande Cougars (4-0)

A forfeit by Seton Catholic last week helped the Cougars easily improve to 4-0 while resting their bodies leading up to this week’s game against Douglas on Thursday. 

14. Marana Tigers (4-0)

It’s been absolute lock-down defense for the Tigers, who have given up 26 points total in the first four games. They’ll have a good test this week when they take on the Desert View Jaguars, who are also undefeated at 3-0. 

15. Saguaro Sabercats (2-1)

The Sabercats will be looking to heal from last week’s loss to Chaparral when they take on the Salpointe Catholic Lancers at home. Historically, Saguaro owns Salpointe Catholic on the gridiron. A win for Saguaro in this game is a must if they want to remain in talks for the Open Division playoffs. 

16. Willcox Cowboys (5-0)

The first small school to make the list, the 2A Cowboys are 5-0 as a young squad playing on both sides of the ball the duration of the game. In five games, the defense has allowed 20 total points. Willcox will be up against a bit of a tougher test at Tombstone this week.

17. Desert Edge Scorpions (3-1)

After dropping a close one to Horizon two weeks ago, Desert Edge bounced back with a 34-6 victory over Canyon View last week. The Scorpions travel to Fairfax this week, where they should be able to notch another win.

18. Millennium Tigers (3-1)

Millennium’s lone loss was in Week 2, 13-12 to 6A Centennial. Since then, the Tigers have come back to win the next two in impressive style, earning them a place on the list of top teams. Millennium will have another big test against Horizon on Friday. 

19. Shadow Ridge Stallions (3-1)

Shadow Ridge dropped a few spots on the list this week following a loss to the Basha Bears. This week, the Stallions will face Centennial on the road. While Centennial is 1-3, the Coyotes have played quite a schedule thus far. A win here would be big for Shadow Ridge, despite it being a down year for the Coyotes.  

20. Williams Field Blackhawks (3-0)

Another team known for its defense, the Blackhawks are 3-0 after shutting out their past two opponents. They’ll be up against a big challenge in the red-hot Queen Creek Bulldogs on Friday in another big matchup.

21. ALA – Gilbert North (5-0)

After making it to the 3A semifinals last year, the Eagles are looking like a strong contender to win it all. ALA Gilbert-North will be up against a big test in ALA-Queen Creek on Friday.

22. Show Low Cougars (5-0)

The Cougars have allowed 20 points all season, with three of their five games ending with a goose egg on the scoreboard for their opponent. They’ll be on the road against Combs this week.  

23. Central Bobcats (3-0)

Central is another Phoenix Union school having a stellar start to the season. While Trevor Browne isn’t on the list this week following a loss to Verrado, it will be a solid test for the Bobcats and the Bruins to find out where they stand overall and where they still need to improve. 

24. Cesar Chavez Champions (3-0)

Expectations for the Champions were low entering the season given the sheer number of things the program has dealt with in the past two years, but they’ve gotten off to a great start and shown they’re still here and fighting. The Champions defeated Valley Vista last week and will look to keep the victories continuing this week when they take on Desert Ridge in what will be a good litmus test for where they stand. 

25. Snowflake Lobos (4-1)

After opening the season with a loss to Valley Christian, the Lobos have bounced back to win the next four. This Friday, they’ll be up against a tough test in 4A Coconino. A win would be huge for the program and the standings. 

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