Outlook: Second place in the West Region is on the line for the Falcons, who make the four-plus hour trek to the Colorado River.
Both teams will fight hard for the second seed going into the playoffs because the third seed has a much tougher draw. In first round of the playoffs, the second seed from the West hosts the third seed from the South (most likely the loser of tonight’s Safford and Coolidge game). The third seed, meanwhile, must go on the road against the winner between Coolidge and Safford.
River Valley features the region’s top running back for the last two seasons, Chad Lucchino. So far this season, Lucchino is averaging 168 yards per game (1,310 total) and has scored 14 of his team’s 25 touchdowns. Last year, the Falcons were able to keep Lucchino in check with 134 yards, his second-lowest output of the season (he rushed for 2,196 on the year).
The Falcons could see the return of fullback D.J. Morris tonight after being out for four weeks with a fractured foot. If he is able to play up to par tonight, that will take some of the load off of Cameron Estes, who has gotten the majority of the carries at fullback the last four weeks as well as playing defensive tackle.
Fountain Hills at River Valley
Address: 2250 E. Laguna Road, Mohave Valley
Records: Fountain Hills 5-3, 3-1 West Region; River Valley 6-2, 3-1
Last year’s meeting: Fountain Hills 14, River Valley 9