The start of the high school football season has been far from normal as wild weather conditions have resulted in several cancellations in two of the first three weeks.
Ten games were canceled in Week 1, and another five were called off last week.
Coaches are looking forward to finding their rhythm with league play getting underway. Several teams celebrated their first wins of the new season Friday night after having previous games impacted by weather.
Mojave, which had two of its first three games canceled, picked up its first win in a 56-0 effort against Western.
“There were two weeks of cancellations, so our kids were antsy and chomping at the bit, and then they played really well on Friday,” Mojave coach Wes Pacheco said.
Other teams that picked up their first wins after having earlier games canceled were Bonanza, in a 36-0 home win over Cheyenne, and Chaparral, in a 28-0 win at Del Sol.
Legacy also picked up its first win, 49-6 at Cimarron-Memorial, in the Class 5A Division III opener. The Longhorns’ game last week against Canyon Springs was called off after the first quarter with a 7-0 lead. And their opening week game at Shadow Ridge, a 35-19 loss, ended around 11 p.m. after both teams waited out the lightning.
“We’ve preached mental toughness ever since we started in the weight room back in January, so we’ve stayed mentally tough and controlled what we can control,” Legacy coach Zach Monticelli said.
Along with dealing with the weather, Monticelli’s group was battle-tested after going through the rigors of 5A the last two seasons. Legacy was in the 5A Desert League the last two seasons with Arbor View and Bishop Gorman. The Longhorns played Desert Pines last season and Liberty twice in 2021.
“If you look at everybody’s schedules in town the last couple of years as far as in-state schedules, no way anybody has played a tougher schedule than we did,” Monticelli said.
Monticelli said playing the top competition has his team more mentally prepared as the Longhorns begin league play and look to be a contender in an open 5A Division III race. Legacy plays a nonleague game against 5A Division II opponent Foothill at 6 p.m. Thursday.
“We played tough opponents and we knew the games weren’t going to be easy, but we felt it was going to make us better, make us adjust, fix our weaknesses, and our kids have responded really well,” Monticelli said.
Pacheco said the Rattlers were looking forward to playing Palo Verde last week to test themselves against a 5A Division III opponent before the game was canceled. But in the new-look 4A, Pacheco said every week is a new “measuring stick” to assess where your team is at.
“Every week you can enter the game thinking we can win this game, but also you could lose it if we don’t play correctly,” Pacheco said.
In other sports
A pair of state title game rematches highlight the week of soccer. The Coronado and Faith Lutheran girls will meet at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday at Coronado, where the Crusaders won the 5A state title last year 1-0 in overtime.
Faith Lutheran won the lone regular-season meeting 1-0 and Coronado won 1-0 in overtime to win the Southern Region title last season. Entering Saturday, Coronado (8-1-2, 4-0-1) sits atop the 5A Southern League standings. Faith Lutheran (5-2-1, 3-1-0) is third behind Bishop Gorman (7-2-0, 4-1-0).
Bishop Gorman hosts Eldorado at 6 p.m. Thursday in a rematch of last year’s boys 5A state title match. The Gaels, a No. 5 seed in last year’s Southern Region playoffs, defeated the Sundevils to win the region and state titles.
In a competitive boys 5A Southern League, both teams sit near the bottom of the standings with Eldorado (5-5-1, 1-3-0) in eighth and Gorman (3-2-3, 0-2-2) in ninth. A tight three-way battle is emerging at the top of the standings between Palo Verde (6-1-1, 3-0-1), Coronado (6-1-0, 3-1-0) and Western (3-1-0, 3-1-0).
Up next: Short week
With the Rosh Hashana holiday beginning Friday evening, there will be no athletic competition for Clark County School District teams Friday. All football games will be played Thursday.
Bishop Gorman (4-0), a 56-28 winner over Centennial (California) on Friday, hosts Liberty (3-1) in its 5A Division I league opener at 7 p.m. Thursday. Another key 5A Division I league game pits Desert Pines against host Shadow Ridge at 6 p.m.
Faith Lutheran snapped a two-game skid with a 30-14 win over Green Valley, and the Crusaders continue 5A Division II play at Basic at 6 p.m. In a key 3A Southern League matchup, SLAM Academy plays at Moapa Valley at 7 p.m. in a meeting between the South’s two state semifinalists from last season.
Week 4 football scores
Basic 14, Sierra Vista 13
Arbor View 45, Shadow Ridge 28
Bishop Gorman 56, Centennial (Calif.) 28
Bonanza 36, Cheyenne 0
Boulder City 22, Mater East 13
Cactus Shadows (Ariz.) 54, Las Vegas 19
Canyon Springs 41, Cadence 9
Centennial 38, Somerset-Losee 28
Chaparral 28, Del Sol 0
Coachella Valley (Calif.) 30, Eldorado 26
Desert Oasis 20, Spring Valley 7
Desert Pines 35, Silverado 14
Eureka 14, Pahranagat Valley 6
Foothill 47, Durango 7
Faith Lutheran 30, Green Valley 14
GV Christian 53, Sloan Canyon 0
Lake Mead 70, Kingman (Ariz.) 3
Legacy 49, Cimarron-Memorial 6
Liberty 49, Coronado 7
Lincoln County 28, Rancho 21
Moapa Valley 51, The Meadows 7
Mojave 56, Western 0
Sandy Valley 42, Beatty 20
SLAM Academy 33, Pahrump Valley 6
Sunrise Mountain 46, Valley 6
Tonopah 70, Laughlin 12
Virgin Valley 35, Democracy Prep 6
Week 5 football schedule
All games at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted
Beatty at Laughlin, 5 p.m.
Legacy at Foothill
Coronado at Arbor View
Desert Pines at Shadow Ridge
Cimarron-Memorial at Spring Valley
Desert Oasis at Cheyenne
Green Valley at Las Vegas
Faith Lutheran at Basic
Eldorado at Canyon Springs
Centennial at Western
Palo Verde at Clark
Sierra Vista at Durango
Bonanza at Somerset-Losee
Del Sol at Valley
Rancho at Mojave
Cadence at Sunrise Mountain
Mater East at Democracy Prep
Liberty at Bishop Gorman, 7 p.m.
SLAM Academy at Moapa Valley, 7 p.m.
Boulder City at The Meadows, 7 p.m.
Virgin Valley at Pahrump Valley, 7 p.m.
Indian Springs at Beaver Dam, 7 p.m.
Round Mountain at Pahranagat Valley, 7 p.m.
Tonopah at Virginia City, 1 p.m.
Lake Mead at Hoover (California), 3 p.m.
Christian (California) at Needles, 4 p.m.