YUMA, Ariz. – Thanks to its biggest win of the season thus far, the Arizona Western football team jumped two spots in the most recent NJCAA poll. The Mats (4-0 overall) are now third after beating then sixth-ranked (now 11th) Snow College 29-27 on the road over the weekend.
AWC is behind East Mississippi (6-0, eight first place votes) and Iowa Western (5-1). The Mats did have one first place vote. The poll combines a poll committee vote with football computer rankings to determine the top 20.
The Mats won on a 20-yard field goal by Gabriel Claudio with seven seconds left after chewing up five minutes on a 74-yard drive. AWC possessed the ball two times longer than Snow (40:02 vs. 19:58) and piled up 510 yards of offense.
Quarterback Bryce Perkins and kicker Gabriel Claudio were named the Western States Football League Offensive and Special Teams Players of the Week earlier today. Perkins went 32-45 for 376 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. Claudio kicked a pair of field goals and hit all three of his extra points.
The Mats were the preseason number one team and stayed in the top spot through the first two weeks of the polls. AWC then dropped to second for two weeks before sliding to fifth last week when the computer rankings were factored into the poll.
Trinity Valley (5-1) and Blinn (5-1) round out the top five in the poll. AWC and East Mississippi are the only unbeaten teams in the top five, although there are two more unbeaten teams in the top 10.
Two other teams from the WSFL are also ranked. Scottsdale (6-0) moved up one spot to eighth this week, and Snow dropped to 11th. Mesa is also receiving votes.
The Mats host Phoenix College on Saturday night at 7:00 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Stadium. 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.