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Cibola, Yuma Catholic holding the torch for Yuma football

September 26, 2011 by Les Willsey, AZPreps365


Cibola is on pace to match or better its regular-season football performance from last season. Yuma Catholic is doing the same. The two are carrying the torch for the area as they did a year ago.

Cibola, one of Yuma's three Division I schools, is punishing its sister schools to date, which comprises two-thirds of its schedule. Two wins each over Yuma and Kofa so far and perhaps a bigger win in the scheme of things was a season-opening triumph over Lake Havasu. Lake Havasu is a former region foe that dealt the Raiders their only two defeats last season. One came late in the regular season;  the other in the first  round of the 5A-I playoffs.

This Friday Cibola plays host to Corona del Sol, its only East Valley opponent this season. Last year Cibola had one crack at an East Valley school and stunned Basha, which ended up as the No. 2 seed in 5A-I. Coach Lucky Arvizo and his squad would like nothing better than to duplicate an EV triumph. They get a shot at one of Tucson's better programs two weeks from now when the Raiders visit Sunnyside. Corona del Sol and Sunnyside are both 3-2 in 2011 and still in the chase for postseason berths in Division I.

Running back Jordan Mitchell isn't as prolific as last year. The junior has rushed for 613 yards and 9 touchdowns and fullback Steve Mitchell is playing a complementary role in the ground game. Jordan Mitchel  piled up nearly 2,200 yards last year and tallied 29 TDs. One of his best games was against Basha. He rushed for 321 yards on an astounding 42 attempts in helping fuel the upset of the Bears.

Cibola played without both Mitchell's  last week so Adam Razo stepped in and rushed for 219 yards in a thumping of Yuma.

Yuma Catholic, the 2A runner-up last season, continues to roll in Division V. That's the equivalent of 2A this season. The Shamrocks are 4-1 and the four wins have come against Division IV opponents -- River Valley, Buckeye, Estrella Foothills and Wickenburg.

Yuma Catholic's kryptonite is Northwest Christian. The Crusaders handed Yuma Catholic its only two losses last year, including the 2A title game. And NWC beat YC in the 2011 season opener by a touchdown.

Yuma Catholic has received leadership from veteran quarterback Tommy Pistone, who has passed for 1,324 yards and 12 touchdowns to date. Running back Kody Hazlett  leads the team in rushing with 280 yards. Linebacker-fullback  Ryan Gill leads the team in tackles (63) and touchdowns (6) as its power back. Receiver-defensive back  Everett McKinney is tops in receptions (23 for 480 yards) and interceptions (3). McKinney was a backup last year and opened the season as a backup. He's a starter now and a productive one for coach Rhett Stallworth. The Shamrocks seek their fifth straight win Friday against Santa Cruz, just the second Division V opponent they've faced this season.