YUMA, Ariz. – A loss by top-ranked East Mississippi last week shook up the latest edition of the NJCAA football poll this week. Thanks to that loss and a win over the weekend, the Arizona Western football team moved up to second and are one of two unbeaten teams in the top five.
The Mats have 192.93 points from a combination of votes from the football poll committee and the NJCAA Football Computer Rankings (FCR). AWC picked up two first place votes, and the Mats are only behind Iowa Western (6-1 overall, six first place votes, 197.4 points). Trinity Valley (6-1 overall, one first place vote, 184.32 points) is third, Hinds (6-0 overall, 170.00 points) is fourth. Blinn (6-1 overall, 163.42 points) is fifth.
AWC started slow against Phoenix College on Saturday night, but the Mats ripped off 34 points after halftime to win 46-13. The Matador defense didn’t allow a first down for the entire third quarter and half of the fourth quarter, and Phoenix only gained 52 yards of offense after halftime.
The Mats opened the season first overall, but they dropped to second on September 19. Once the NJCAA FCR was introduced into the poll in October, the Mats dropped to fifth. Last week, the team was third after beating Snow College.
Three teams from the Western States Football League are ranked in the poll. Snow stayed put at 11th this week, and Scottsdale dropped to 12th after suffering its first loss of the season.
The Mats take on Pima Community College this weekend in Yuma in a non-conference matchup. AWC won 34-17 on the road against Pima earlier in the season. Kick-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Stadium, and tickets are only $5 for adults and $3 for seniors and military members. Children 12 and under and AWC students and staff (with current school ID) get in for FREE!
Arizona Western College is one of the top community colleges in Arizona. The college boasts partnerships with all three state universities that include face-to-face classes in Yuma. AWC leads the state in enrollment growth over the past 10 years and handed out more than 2,300 certificates and degrees in 2016-17.