Pima College at Scottsdale CC
When: 7 p.m. today
Where: Scottsdale Community College
Records: Pima (2-2, 0-2 WSFL); SCC (1-2, 0-2)
Last week: Eastern Arizona 26, Pima 10; Dixie St. 43, SCC 20
Outlook: Beginning with a WSFL debut in which it defeated the national champion (Ricks College) of a year earlier, Pima, the newest entry into the WSFL, has been rock solid over its two years, but is disappointing so far this season. A loss to No. 8 Snow College is understandable, but last week’s home loss to Eastern Arizona by a convincing 26-10 score comes off as a surprise, although Eastern figured to be improved after last year’s winless season. A week earlier, Eastern snapped a 16-game WSFL losing streak with a 19-17 win over SCC.
SCC then played one solid half against No. 3 Dixie State before crumbling badly in the second half.
Both teams have struggled on offense. Pima is second from the bottom in the WSFL in yards per game (261.5), one notch behind SCC (282.3). Pima balances a running and passing attack down the middle, but quarterback Kevin Jackson is second in the league in passing yards with 598. SCC is more pass happy, throwing for 692 yards, while running for 195. SCC sophomore quarterback Brian Giovando has shown much better poise this season (56-of-99, 589 yards) with five touchdowns and no interceptions. Running back Kenny Jenkins has been electrifying at times with 189 rushing yards (fifth in the league) on 36 carries. The game is critical to the host Artichokes, who already might need a win to keep their hopes of a trip to the Valley of the Sun Bowl alive.
Mesa CC at Eastern Arizona
When: 6 p.m. today
Records: MCC (0-2, 0-1), Eastern (2-1, 2-0)
Last week: MCC bye; Eastern Arizona 26, Pima 10
Outlook: MCC has fallen to two solid opponents on the road, at Air Force junior varsity in non-region play and at No. 3 Dixie State, so it has been difficult to get an accurate read on them. Things should clear up much more this week when the Thunderbirds travel to Eastern Arizona, a winless league doormat of a year ago that has surprised the WSFL this year with a 2-0 record, including a win last week at Pima. Eastern has the league’s top passer in Scott Martinez, a former Avondale Westview High standout. Martinez leads the WSFL with 767 passing yards (57-of-113). Receiver Jason Mangan (Gilbert) has gained 259 yards on 15 receptions. Mark Blair has 17 receptions for 148 yards.
New MCC coach Dan Dunn has used a two-quarterback system thus far, with Ryan Russler (12-of-19, 179 yards) and Greg Mortensen (12-of-29, 140). Mesa is second in the league in yards-per-game average (377). Eastern is third (371). Defensively, Eastern is in the middle of the pack in yards allowed (345.3) while Mesa is last (547) and has allowed the second-most passing yards (626) in the league.