The Panthers (24-3, 9-0 Mountain League) have a two-game lead over Centennial, Rancho and Shadow Ridge with four matches remaining in the regular season.
Chaparral’s Dennis Perez make field goals of 24 and 33 yards in the game’s final three minutes, and the Cowboys claimed a 6-3 Southeast League victory over Basic.
Even with Centennial’s 17-14 win over Arbor View and Virgin Valley’s 14-7 victory over Boulder City factored in, the average margin among the 15 games was 34.5 points.
Marrion Macklin-Thomas ran for 163 yards and three touchdowns, and the Shadow Ridge defense forced four second-half turnovers in a road victory.
The Eagles will host a 20-team field in the Boulder City Invitational, a week after ranking as the highest valley finisher in the Durango Fall Classic.
The Patriots led 12-0 in the first half and twice after halftime but couldn’t hold on in a 36-33 loss to Libery (Arizona) at home Friday night.
The Durango Fall Classic, a 64-team event with a mix of schools from the valley and others from all over the country, will be played at four schools Friday and Saturday.
Centennial was the fourth straight team that the Patriots have faced to start the season that finished 2018 ranked in the top 40 nationally.
The Gaels, the defending Class 4A state champions, defeated Boulder City, the reigning Class 3A champ, 15-25, 25-8, 15-13 in the title match Saturday.
Charron Thomas scored three rushing touchdowns and added another on a punt return as Palo Verde rallied for a 43-27 road victory over Durango.