The third time was definitely a charm for Class 3A's top-ranked team.
After dropping frustrating games to Fountain Hills each of the past two years, host Wickenburg (7-0, 4-0) remained unbeaten Friday with a 26-12 win over the Falcons that put the Wranglers' hopes for a West Region title on solid ground.
Fountain Hills came into the game hoping that an extra week's worth of rest for several starters — including tight end Ernesto Romo and center Shea Ruppert — would pay off.
Instead, the Falcons find themselves mired in a two-game losing streak that they must recover from quickly to still earn a 3A playoff berth. Fountain Hills still faces key region games against Chino Valley and River Valley.
The Falcons (4-3, 2-1) played the game without running back D.J. Morris, who is expected to miss another two weeks with a fractured foot.