The Peoria Panthers are this week’s Tire Pros High
School Team of the Week after wrapping up a 10-0 regular-season with a 28-21 victory over rival Cactus.
Akeem Rutledge’s 4-yard touchdown run enabled the Panthers to rally from a 21-20 deficit and wrap up the Division III Section 1 championship. The victory capped a big turnaround for the Panthers, who were 4-6 a year ago.
“These kids wanted to finish what they had started and they kept battling all game,” Peoria head coach Will Babb told the Glendale Star. “This was a great game and to beat a team like (Cactus), this is just an amazing game to win.”
Peoria remains ranked No. 5 in the Varsity Xtra Division III rankings and enters the state playoffs at the No. 5 seed. The Panthers open the playoffs on Friday with a home game against Bradshaw Mountain
Other teams under consideration were Mesquite, Morenci, Northwest Christian, Cienega, Saguaro, Sunnyslope, Sahuarita, Tempe Prep and Bagdad.
The Tire Pros High School Team
of the Week is selected by a panel consisting of
Jason Skoda of MaxPreps
and the Ahwatukee Foothills News, Mark Heller and Kyle Odegard of the East