Outlook: Just nine miles separate these two longtime rivals, but there has been a big divide in talent the last few years.
Coolidge used its loss to Seton Catholic two weeks ago as motivation in a 44-13 dismantling of previously unbeaten Globe.
Senior quarterback Jesse Wheeler continues to be a hard man to stop. Last week, he had 149 yards passing with three touchdowns and added 85 yards rushing with one score.
Florence, meanwhile, is coming off its third straight loss, a 38-23 setback to Safford. Turnovers have been the biggest reason for the Gophers’ three-game skid. They are averaging four giveaways a contest, something that they cannot do against a team like Coolidge.
“They are an impossible team to shut down; nobody will shut them down,” Florence coach Shawn Cluff said. “We just need to play a good, sound defensive game and on offense we need to take care of the ball. You can’t turn the ball over to them because they will turn those into points.”
Florence does have the kind of offensive balance that can give Coolidge trouble. However, the Gophers will need a better effort out of quarterback Cash Clemans, who completed just 10 of 27 passes against Safford.
Address: 800 W. Northern, Coolidge
Records: Florence 2-3, 0-2 South Region; Coolidge 4-1, 1-1
Last year’s meeting: Coolidge 41, Florence 14