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Friday Night Lights Week 10: Crucial games in the final stretch, several teams primed for playoffs

The Imperial Valley League title hangs in the balance, Yuma inching towards playoff berth

YUMA, Ariz., (KYMA, KECY) - It all started with a premiere matchup in the Imperial Valley on Thursday, and ended with many teams churning their way into playoff form.

Some of the big winners included Palo Verde which improved to 9-1 for their best regular season record since 2004, heading into a bye before the CIF Division 4 playoffs; along with the Yuma Criminals who improved to 6-3 on the season, matching their highest win total since 2005.

In the Imperial Valley League, Brawley handled Calexico to stay unbeaten in league play, but so too did the Spartans with a win at Imperial - setting up the classic Bell Game next week with the title on the line again.

FINAL SCORES:

BRAWLEY - 42 CALEXICO - 8

The Wildcats were just too much to handle offensively for the Bulldogs, who started the year 5-0 but have dropped three of their four IVL games heading into their season finale in the Battle of the Border game against Vincent Memorial next week.

Brawley now stands atop the league with Central again, looking to take out the Spartans in the biggest rivalry game in the area for the second straight year.

CENTRAL - 34 IMPERIAL - 0

Speaking of those Spartans, they looked good again Friday night in a trip to Shimamoto-Simpson Stadium in Imperial to take on a fierce Tigers squad.

The Tigers kept them in check through the first 18 minutes in the first half before a Charlie Sullivan 52 yard touchdown run opened the game to 14-0.

The Spartans would open it up even more as time expired in the first half with a 36 yard touchdown pass from the IVL passing leader, Damian Rodriguez, to Jared Martin to go up 20-0.

Sullivan would then tack on two more rushing touchdowns to put it out of reach and shutout Imperial on their Senior Night.

PALO VERDE - 48 SOUTHWEST - 0

The Southwest Eagles came out in slick, custom-made gold jerseys for their Homecoming night but that wouldn't be enough juice to slow down the hottest team in southern California.

The Yellow Jackets used their lethal rushing attack again to put the game out of reach in the first half after two touchdowns from both Markus Macon and Xzavier Bejarano.

The big man Jonathan Crowe also added two touchdowns to the stat sheet.

The Yellow Jackets now end the regular season at 9-1, which is the program's best regular season record since 2004 as they get a bye before the playoffs - aiming to repeat at CIF champions.

HOLTVILLE - 14 VINCENT MEMORIAL - 21

Ground attack versus the air raid.

The Holtville Vikings came in with five straight losses but gave the Scots a tough test, with both teams airing it out quite a bit.

In the end, Jacobo Elias and company were a bit too much as the Scots improve to 6-2 heading into the Battle of the Border game against Calexico - trying to avenge a last second loss in 2021 where what looked to be the game winning touchdown was ruled a half-yard shy of the endzone.

WESTVIEW - 15 CIBOLA - 25

The Raiders came through with their second win of the year in a good defensive showing, only allowing two scored from the Knights of Westview.

Carter Rutledge threw for 152 yards and two touchdowns, while Ty Stout led the way on the ground with 101 rushing yards.

The four touchdowns on the night went to Andrew McNair, Leo Aguilar, Jonathan Turner and Isaiah Arriola.

Cibola hosts Valley Vista next Friday night.

WICKENBURG - 0 YUMA - 33

It's been 17 years in the making - the Yuma Criminals have a football team that can turn some heads across the AIA with a shutout victory, notching their sixth win of the year for the first time since 2005.

After many years of struggle, Head Coach Bo Siebel and the rest of the staff has turned this program into a winning culture and finds themselves just a few spots out from the top 16 to make the playoffs in Division 3A.

The Criminals host the 3-5 Chino Valley Cougars at Curley Culp Memorial Stadium at Doan Field next week with a chance to go 7-3 and try to sneak into the playoffs.

YUMA CATHOLIC - 35 GLENDALE - 20

The Shamrocks open the year at 6-1, coming off a special night last week when QB Richard Stallworth broke the state passing touchdown record.

Friday night, Stallworth had a shot at breaking the state passing yards record, as well as the school passing yard record.

School passing yard record: check. He only needed seven yards to do so to surpass former Shamrock Gage Reese.

State passing yards record: just 180 yards away.

Stallworth and the Yuma Catholic offense got off to a hot start going up 21-0 at the half - all three touchdowns going from Stallworth to Jace Seale-Brown.

Thye let Glendale back in but then closed the door with a fourth touchdown pass to Seale-Brown with just 1:50 to play, giving him five TD's on the night.

Sir Stokes caught the other touchdown pass, and Rocky Stallworth led the way on the ground with 62 yards on 11 carries.

The Rocks get a big test at home with Northwest Christian from Phoenix coming into town.

OTHER SCORES:

ST. MARY'S - 28 GILA RIDGE - 0

SANTA CRUZ VALLEY - 62 SAN PASQUAL - 0

KOFA - 10 INDEPENDENCE - 26

CALIPATRIA - 27 MARANATHA CHRISTIAN - 49

RIVER VALLEY at ANTELOPE - CANCELED

Article Topic Follows: Friday Night Lights
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