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Prep football cancellations could have impact on playoffs

A week after no games were canceled for the first time this season, COVID-19 reared its ugly head again Friday.

Two games were canceled — a Class 5A Desert League matchup between Arbor View and Foothill and the 4A clash between Chaparral and Sunrise Mountain.

There have been 35 games canceled this season in Southern Nevada, but only three have been league games. Along with the two from Friday, the 4A Mountain League opener between Durango and Del Sol was canceled two weeks ago.

This is the third cancellation for Foothill, and this one came on the day the game was scheduled after positive test results at Arbor View.

“We’ve been a victim of this three times,” Foothill coach Vernon Brown said. “The first time, Desert Pines had problems. Against Basic, it was us, and then Friday. It’s been tough on us. It’s hard on the kids. They were really excited about this game and had a great week of practice.”

The cancellation keeps Foothill 2-0 in league play, a half-game behind 3-0 Bishop Gorman, with games against Canyon Springs and Gorman left. Arbor View is 1-1, with games against Legacy and Canyon Springs remaining.

Should the teams finish with the same record, the first tiebreaker normally would be a head-to-head result. Without that, the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association would have to be creative, because there isn’t enough time to allow for any games to be made up.

An NIAA spokesperson said Saturday the association has “criteria in place,” and that some of its procedures already have been used because of COVID-19 cancellations during the spring.

The teams’ records against common opponents and the point differentials in those games are among factors that could be used to break the tie. If all else fails, and it is deadlocked in every conceivable way, a coin flip could decide it.

“It was tough losing Friday’s game being that it was a league game, but at the end of the day, we’re still undefeated in league play at this point,” Brown said. “If we can win next week, we’ll definitely have a playoff spot, and we’ll be in a good position going into the Gorman game.”

It’s likely Foothill is already in the playoffs, and Arbor View should be one win away. The cancellations could hurt Chaparral, Del Sol, Durango and Sunrise Mountain more than the 5A teams, since none of them has won a league game and chances are running out.

Game of the night

Two teams that don’t have to worry about their playoff fate are Coronado and Shadow Ridge. They entered Friday’s showdown at Coronado with 2-0 4A Sky League records and with the league title in mind.

Shadow Ridge used its powerful running game to pull ahead 21-10 in the third quarter, when there was a power outage that delayed the game. Coronado coach Fred Biletnikoff Jr. said he didn’t think the outage had any impact on the game, but his team was ready to pounce when it resumed.

The Cougars scored quickly on a 75-yard pass from Joseph Andrade to Jaylen Garrison with 6:46 to play and converted the 2-point pass to pull within three, then drove 70 yards in three plays for a Mohammad Maali 1-yard TD run with 2:02 to go. The Mustangs couldn’t answer, and the Cougars had their biggest win of the season, 25-21.


Bishop Gorman will look to run its shutout streak to four when it hosts Palo Verde. Foothill will play at Canyon Springs, and Arbor View goes to Legacy for a rivalry game in 5A Desert League play.

In 4A, Coronado can clinch the Sky League title with a win at Spring Valley, and Las Vegas can claim the Mountain League with a home win against Durango. Silverado (at Sunrise Mountain) and Desert Oasis (hosting Cheyenne) will look to set up a Week 10 showdown for the Desert League title.

Moapa Valley, a 3A team, puts its undefeated record on the line at home against 4A Clark.

Contact Jason Orts at jorts@reviewjournal.com. Follow @SportsWithOrts on Twitter.

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