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The second-seeded Marcos de Niza Padres face another tough test on Friday night as they host the 10th-ranked Buena Colts from Sierra Vista. The Padres made a jump in the latest Maxpreps rankings following last week's thrilling 56-45 win over then second-ranked Chaparral. They took over the second spot in Division II and are now seventh overall in the state. The Padres trail only top-ranked Salpointe Catholic, which will host Marcos on September 27th in Tucson.

Marcos de Niza (2-0) is off to a terrific start this season, putting up 112 points in the first two weeks. The Padres are averaging 520 yards of offense per game, led by senior quarterback Josh Eckley.

Eckley has been terrific in the first two games, throwing for 557 yards with nine touchdowns and two interceptions. He also has racked up 246 yards and three scores rushing. Last week against Chaparral, Eckley threw for 340 yards and six TD's and also ran for 106 yards and a score.

Buena, from Sierra Vista which is south of Tucson, comes in ranked 10th in the division and 39th in the state. The Colts, who moved down to D-II as part of the realignment, are 1-and-1 on the season following last week's 65-13 home loss to Division-I power Chandler. That followed a 61-46 season-opening win over Corona del Sol.

This is the second of a tough three-game stretch for Buena, which travels to fifth-ranked Tucson Ironwood Ridge next week. The Colts are trying to put together back-to-back winning seasons for the first time in school history. They are also seeking their second ever trip to the postseason after last year's first round playoff exit.

Buena is led on offense by senior running back Dominique Drake, who has rushed for 284 yards in the first two games. He piled up 211 yards and five TD's against Corona in Week One. Junior Deonte Williams has 11 catches for 294 yards to lead the receiving corp.

This is the first ever meeting between the school's. Kickoff Friday in Tempe is at 7 pm.

 

Thomas Jenkins

 

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