BENSON — On to Phoenix and Veritas Prep Friday for the Bobcats in Round One of the 2A State Football Championship Tournament.

The tournament game will pair two section winning teams. The No. 9 Bobcats, 7-3 overall, claimed another San Pedro Section title while No. 8 Veritas, 8-2 overall, won the Salt Section.

Friday’s playoff game puts the Bobcats on familiar turf, marking the fifth time in six seasons Benson is in the postseason.

And if the Bobcats are to be successful on the road, it’s going to take an all-around solid game, said coach Chris Determan.

“Obviously we’re in the playoffs and will need to play well on both sides of the ball,” said Determan. Veritas is a very good team and we’ll need to bring our A Game with us on Friday.”

The coach said the Bobcats will have to be up to task defensively. He described Veritas as a “... a very balanced team with a young, good quarterback and backs that run hard. Their line is big and physical. Focus this week is to keep improving on what we do and continue to play Bobcat football and get better.”

Should the Bobcats prevail in the first round, the road to a state title will more than likely go through Round Valley and the top-ranked Elks who will face No. 16 Miami on Friday night.

Both teams enter the state postseason off big wins in their respective regular season finale, including the Bobcats’ 56-12 win over rival Willcox to keep the Senney-Lohman Trophy.

But all that matters little now as the Bobcats embark upon their task of advancing to the next round of the playoffs.

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