Unlike my friends in Class 4A, the small schools need only three weeks to go from the end of the regular season to crowning a champion.
And the even more fun part for the small schools is they’re given their own day to shine.
Good or bad, they’re also given their own version of my choices. (Settle down, T.A. Don’t hyperventilate.)
All of the games in Class 1A, 2A and 3A are scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday.
Even better, everything this week is a rematch of an earlier meeting this season.
It’s also a chance for me to get these games right this time. I missed too many the first time around.
Faith Lutheran (5-4) at Moapa Valley (7-2)
First time: Brad Weiss rushed for 209 yards and three touchdowns in a 42-14 Moapa Valley win on Oct. 10.
What might be different: Wind was an issue in the first meeting, leading Moapa to go to a run-oriented attack and hurting Faith’s passing game.
Faith Lutheran has to throw the ball to be successful. It’s not that the Crusaders can’t run; they just can’t do it well.
What might not be different: Moapa Valley is red hot as evidenced by its win over Virgin Valley last week. Faith hasn’t played well in more than a month.
Fielder says: Moapa Valley by 17.
Boulder City (5-4) at Virgin Valley (8-2)
First time: Jonathan Gleave ran for a touchdown and caught a touchdown pass from each team’s quarterback (yes, one was an interception … very good) in a 42-16 Virgin Valley win on Oct. 17.
What might be different: Boulder City managed only 20 rushing yards in the first meeting. Spencer Sasarita got only six carries. Boulder City wants to run the clock. Running the ball equals running the clock.
What might not be different: Colton Teerlink and the Bulldogs dominated the first time, running 66 offensive plays to Boulder City’s 41.
The Bulldogs are an angry bunch knowing they’ll have to head north for the second round. Expect them to take out their frustration.
Fielder says: Virgin Valley by 12.
Mountain View (4-6) at Lincoln County (7-3)
First time: In a season full of near misses, Mountain View couldn’t connect on a 2-point conversion pass with 2:05 to play and lost 20-18 in Panaca on Sept. 19.
What might be different: After losing five games by five or fewer points, Cortland LeBoeuf and the Saints have figured out how to win, posting back-to-back blowout victories.
What might not be different: OK, so it’s not against great competition, but the Lynx have scored 207 points in the last three weeks. The offense is clicking. Mountain View might not be able to keep this game in the 20s, which is a must.
Fielder says: Lincoln County by 10.
Needles (7-2) at The Meadows (8-2)
First time: Gerard Martinez threw three touchdown passes to Nate Gord in a shocking 41-0 home rout by The Meadows on Oct. 24.
What might be different: For one, the score. Neither team should win this game by 14, let alone 41. Darra Russell and his Needles teammates will be ready.
What might not be different: The Meadows has put up more than 40 points in four of its last five games. It took a while for the offense to get going, and it should with a freshman quarterback. The Meadows is a hard team to pick against.
Fielder says: The Meadows by 6.
Indian Springs (5-4) at Pahranagat Valley (9-0)
First time: Taylor Poulsen ran for two touchdowns and threw for two more in Pahranagat Valley’s 46-0 win at Indian Springs on Sept. 19.
What might be different: Since being blanked by the Panthers, Indian Springs is averaging more than 50 points per game in its last six. In short, the Thunderbirds at least should score.
What might not be different: The good news for Indian Springs is the Thunderbirds were the only 1A Southern League team to hold Pahranagat Valley to fewer than 50 points. But it didn’t come close to mattering. Pahranagat has outscored league opponents 366-69 in six games. Brady Whipple, Chase Leavitt and Poulsen all have scored more than 69 points individually this year.
Fielder says: Pahranagat Valley by 24.
Round Mountain (5-4) at Tonopah (6-3)
First time: Scott Thibodeaux had 257 rushing yards and five touchdowns and returned a kickoff for a score in a 66-24 home win over Round Mountain on Sept. 19.
What might be different: Round Mountain has spent the week focusing on trying to stop Thibodeaux. There’s not a lot to do in Round Mountain, so it’s not too hard to focus. The Knights must make someone else beat them.
What might not be different: Tonopah was held to fewer than 65 points in a league game twice all year — once by Pahranagat Valley and the other time by itself when it substituted liberally in a 55-16 rout of Sandy Valley.
The Muckers have Thibodeaux, way, way, way too much playoff experience and a really cool nickname.
Fielder says: Tonopah by 20.