Over the last five weeks, the average point differential involving Southern Arizona high school football teams has been 28.7 points per game.
Of the 76 games played, 21 finished with one team scoring at least 50 points, and 63 of those games have been decided by double-figures.
A week ago, final scores included 64-8, 55-6, 50-14, 50-7, 43-0, 62-0 and 53-0.
“Pretty soon,” said Catalina Foothills coach Jeff Scurran, who has been coaching Tucson prep football since the mid 1980s, “schools will have to make decisions whether to play football or not.”
This 28.7 scoring differential is growing by the years. Over the same mid-season, five-game span 25 years ago, in 1993, the average Southern Arizona scoring margin was 18.3. Only five games had scores in the 50s.
“The field is so uneven,” said Scurran. “Do you want it sugarcoated or do you want it straight? At a lot of schools, you can spend the week planning strategy and doing all the X’s and O’s, but ultimately the coaching staff knows they don’t have the kids to compete.”
This all changed the moment open-enrollment was allowed; the size of schools is no longer the deciding factor. It’s more like what type of feeder system a football-centric school can put into place to attract more difference-making players.
Those difference-making kids aren’t going to the lower-economic schools, even if they grow up next to one.
If 7-1 Flowing Wells finishes the season 9-1, as looks likely, the Caballeros will open the Class 5A playoffs as a potential underdog. They are in the same 5A field as Phoenix Centennial, which has won three of the past four 5A titles, and by double-figure margins.
Even though Centennial, with an enrollment of about 1,900, and Flowing Wells, with an enrollment close to 1,600, match up by the numbers, they don’t belong in the same 5A bracket. Not even close.
That’s also true of Flowing Wells’ opponents in the 5A Sonoran. Desert View, Cholla, Rincon and Empire have been outscored by an aggregate 1,116 to 502 this season.
The AIA’s system of determining state football champions — division champions — is so flawed that it’s sad.