YUMA, Ariz. – An unexpected bye week gave the Arizona Western College football team a surprise break early in the 2018 season. The Mats (1-1 overall) were scheduled to play Arizona Christian University’s JV team, but it was canceled. Despite the bye, the Mats stayed ninth in the latest NJCAA poll. East Mississippi, Iowa Western, Snow, Northeastern Oklahoma A&M and Northwest Mississippi make up the top five.
The Mats beat Georgia Military 10-7 in a defensive struggle in a true road game over Labor Day weekend. That week, Tobias Gilliam was named the Western States Football League Defensive Player of the Week. At the beginning of the year, AWC lost 32-30 after a late touchdown against New Mexico Military Institute.
AWC is one of four teams in the top 10 from the WSFL. Snow is third with a 2-0 record. The Badgers are scheduled to play ASA Miami this week. Eastern Arizona (2-0) made a huge jump from 15th to eighth after taking out Air Force Prep 34-30 over the weekend. Scottsdale (3-0) also jumped nine spots from 19th to 10th after winning at Mesa 52-35 over the weekend.
The Mats and Eastern Arizona tangle this weekend in a non-conference game. It is the first time since 2009 that the matchup has been between two top 10 teams. AWC was seventh and Eastern Arizona was fifth in 2009.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. on Saturday night 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 AWC 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.