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FIELDER’S CHOICES: Regional reruns were predictable

I’m sure there was a point to playing the regular season and the first two rounds of playoffs on the east side of town.

I’m just not sure what it was.

We’re back in the same spot we were last year … and two years ago. Del Sol and Las Vegas will meet for the third straight year in the Sunrise Region title game tonight at Las Vegas.

It’s only slightly better in the Sunset Region, in which Palo Verde and Bishop Gorman meet for the second straight season. Palo played Cheyenne in the region final in 2006.

The fact that it’s always the same four or five schools can’t help but make you feel badly for a bunch of other teams. Then again, it shows those four or five are doing something right.

I didn’t do much right last week, splitting the four Class 4A games and barely creeping over .500 in the small-school games.
Check nevadapreps.com for a full scouting report on each small-school state final. Keep reading for a closer look at the two region finals.

Del Sol (10-2) at Las Vegas (11-1) — At least they’re switching sites this year, as Del Sol hosted last season’s final.

The Dragons come in after a monster game by running back Derek Eamon in a 42-27 win at Basic. Eamon rushed for 410 — seriously, 410 — yards and five touchdowns and helped the Dragons rack up 592 yards of total offense.

In two playoff games, Del Sol has 1,052 yards and 114 points. The Dragons also have given up 994 yards and 74 points, but who’s counting?

The Wildcats are no strangers to big offensive numbers, either. Emir Lopez, Reggie Bullock and Farrell Victor helped Las Vegas pile up 481 yards in a 45-32 win over Green Valley last week.

Since Sept. 20, the Wildcats have scored at least 40 points six times in eight games. Their defense hasn’t always been razor sharp, though.

Not that this should come as a major surprise or anything, but there could be a whole lot of points scored in this game.

Las Vegas, though, should score more of them. For the third straight year, Las Vegas moves on. Las Vegas, 48-40.

Bishop Gorman (12-1) at Palo Verde (12-0) — Gorman escaped last year with a late touchdown and went on to win the state title.

If you think Palo’s players have forgotten that, you’re dumber than the guy who used to copy off me in history class. (Dude should have at least copied off someone with the right answers.)

Chaz Thomas and the Panthers are three wins from a perfect season, but they’re not thinking that far ahead. Getting around Gorman’s big defensive line and through the Gaels’ linebackers is one of the few things on the Panthers’ minds this week.

With the exception of an overtime win over Cimarron-Memorial on Oct. 3, Palo Verde has won every game by at least 14 points. It really doesn’t get much better than that. Palo Verde has been the dominant team in the southern part of the state.

Gorman, though, is still the reigning state champion until someone knocks out the Gaels.

Gorman’s offense, sporadic at best early in the season, got fat feasting on some really, really bad Southwest teams. The Gaels finally impressed me last week when Joe Huber led the team to a 37-point effort against Cheyenne. Huber tossed two touchdown passes, including the winner with 66 seconds left.

Cheyenne’s defense is no slouch. Neither is Palo’s, which might be just a hair better.

Palo Verde seems to always play on Thanksgiving weekend. Roast the turkey and save me some pie. Palo Verde, 21-14.

Last week (including small schools): 5-5 (spread), 6-4 (straight up)

Season: 66-36 (spread), 77-25 (straight up)

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