In what will be their final game under the Friday night lights of Cromer Stadium, the Coconino Panthers will host the Mingus Union Marauders.
Seekers of a Grand Canyon Region title, the No. 19 Marauders sit atop the region standings going into Friday with a 4-1 record. Meanwhile, Flagstaff High, Bradshaw Mountain and Prescott all enter their games with 3-1 region records.
Coconino, which holds a 1-7 overall mark and is the 36th-ranked team in the 4A Conference, is still searching for its first region victory. Moreover, at 0-4 in the region standings, the Panthers have just two games remaining on the schedule to avoid going 1-9 for the first time under fourth-year head coach Jeremiah Smith's direction.
The Marauders, who went 5-1 last season in region games to finish as the runner-up behind Bradshaw Mountain, are led by three threats on the offense and the state's best kickoff return specialist.
Marauders junior quarterback Antoine Zabala, a signal caller who doesn't rely on his legs nearly as much as his arm, has had his shares of ups and downs this season, having thrown six touchdowns to go with as many interceptions. But he's had plenty of help from running backs Alex Nelson, a junior as well, and senior Tyler Kelly, who averages 50.4 yards per kickoff return -- the best in the state.
After giving up 78 points last season to Mingus, Coconino's defense, which has shown improvements from prior years, will get a chance to see just how far it's come as it has kept opponents under 25 points in five of its eight games.
Friday's kickoff is set for 7 p.m.