Arizona Western College is proud to announce that the Matador Football team has officially taken over the top spot in the latest NJCAA Football Poll. It's the highest the Matadors have reached in the poll since winning the national championship and finishing #1 at the end of the 1972 season.
The announcement comes just three days after the Matadors defeated 15th-ranked Snow College, 14-7, in Ephraim, Utah Saturday afternoon to remain undefeated on the season. The Matadors spent a total of 399 days continuously ranked in the NJCAA Top 10 before reaching the top rank. They have been out of the top five just once in the last calendar year.
They spent the last five weeks ranked 2nd behind the team they faced in last year's C.H.A.M.P.S. Heart of Texas Bowl, Blinn College from Texas. Things came to a head this past weekend as the Matadors struggled in the freezing Utah temperatures, but eventually prevailed, 14-7, over Snow, while Blinn faced unranked Tyler College in the Southwest JC Football Conference Semifinals, went to overtime and lost, 37-34.
The defense of the top ranking for the 10-0 Matadors could be a historic one, since they'll take on a struggling Mesa Community College (1-9) in WSFL play. A Matador win would make them the first team in AWC Football history to reach the 11-win plateau in a single season.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7PM at John D. Riggs Stadium in Mesa.
Fans that can't make the trip to Mesa (1833 South Southern Avenue) can catch all the action on the Matador Sports Network's radio (SportsRadio 560 KBLU in Yuma) and internet audio legs (www.azwestern.edu/athletics & www.kbluam.com) beginning with the Matador Football Pregame Show at 6:30PM Saturday night.
It's the second time this season that a nationally recognized football poll has honored the Matadors with the top spot after JCGridiron.com's ëDirty 30' preseason poll placed the Mats on top as of last week.