Just two Tucson-area high school football teams played their seasons in sync with the rest of the state. Saturday, they were rewarded.
For the second consecutive season, the undefeated Salpointe Catholic Lancers (6-0) will represent Southern Arizona in the Open Division playoff, an eight-team field of the top big-school programs.
The sixth-seeded Lancers play at third-seeded Scottsdale Saguaro Friday at 7 p.m. Salpointe Catholic and Saguaro will face each other in the postseason for the fourth time in five years, with the Sabercats winning the previous three — including the 2017 and '18 Class 4A state championships.
Pusch Ridge punched its ticket to the Class 3A playoffs Friday night, routing Glendale Christian 49-7 in a play-in game. Fourth-seeded Pusch Ridge will host fifth-seeded Wickenburg Friday at 7 p.m.
The Lions have won six straight games ever since their 14-7 loss to Yuma Catholic in early October, and conclude the abbreviated season with a 7-1 record.
As private schools, Salpointe and Pusch Ridge were able to start their seasons without waiting for approval from a school board. The teams began their seasons on Oct. 2. Tucson's public schools, meanwhile, have played just a handful of games so far.
Here's a full look at the playoff brackets:
No. 8 Goodyear Desert Edge at No. 1 Chandler
No. 5 Peoria Liberty at No. 4 Peoria Centennial
No. 6 Salpointe Catholic at No. 3 Scottsdale Saguaro
No. 7 Tempe Corona del Sol at Chandler Hamilton
CLASS 3A PLAYOFFS
No. 8 Thatcher at No. 1 Yuma Catholic
No. 5 Wickenburg at No. 4 Pusch Ridge Christian
No. 6 Round Valley at No. 3 Gilbert American Leadership Academy
No. 7 Phoenix Christian at No. 2 Snowflake