Here are five games to watch in Week 8 of the high school football season.
Green Valley (3-3) at Basic (5-1) – The Henderson Bowl is one the area’s best rivalries and despite the teams’ different trajectories, this year should not be any different. Playoffs aren’t out of the question for the Gators, who put together a 3-1 record in non-league play. They have had issues stopping the pass this season, which is a problem against the Wolves. Basic quarterback Aaron McAllister leads Southern Nevada in touchdown passes (27) and completion percentage (67.48) among quarterbacks with at least 25 passes. Basic will need to keep winning in order to set up a Southeast League showdown against Liberty on Oct. 27.
Desert Oasis (1-4) at Sierra Vista (6-0) – The Diamondbacks’ record may not be inspiring, but teams play hard in rivalry games. Desert Oasis has lost to the Mountain Lions just once in the last seven meetings, and relish the chance to end the Mountain Lions’ undefeated season. Throw in the fact that a victory keeps Desert Oasis in playoff position and there’s more than just pride on the line. Sierra Vista has five rushers with more than 100 yards this season, and cannot afford to look forward to next week’s clash with Durango that could determine first place in the Southwest League. Now the other undefeated team in the Southwest may have something to say about that later, but Bishop Gorman doesn’t play either Sierra Vista or Durango for two more weeks.
Centennial (2-4) at Shadow Ridge (4-1) – The Bulldogs’ struggles have been well-documented this season but anything can happen if they manage to sneak into the playoffs. A win Friday would put them into position to do just that. And as badly as Centennial needs a win, so too do the Mustangs. Shadow Ridge has made the playoffs each of the last four seasons and as strong as their non-league play was, they need wins in the hyper-competitive Northwest League. Five teams are battling for four spots, and Friday’s winner will put itself in strong position to return to the postseason.
Chaparral (4-3) at Virgin Valley (6-1) – Both teams come in with 2-0 records in the Class 3A Sunset League, and they’ve taken very different routes to get there. Chaparral struggled in non-league play, but have relied on quarterback Santiago Vialpando and his two receiving weapons, Kentrell Petite and Devin Gaddy, to win both its league games so far. The Bulldogs have yet to lose to a Nevada team, and have rushed up and down the field with Jayden Perkins, who leads Southern Nevada with 161 carries, which have totaled 848 yards. There were bound to be beneficiaries from Moapa Valley’s rebuilding year, and the Cowboys and Bulldogs have both rose to the occasion, with this game essentially playing the part of a league title game.
Desert Pines (6-1) at Sunrise Mountain (3-4) – The Jaguars have been good, as expected, and a win will clinch the Class 3A Sunrise League and send them to playoffs for the 11th consecutive year. But there have been holes in the armor. Desert Pines was only up 12-8 to Cheyenne in the third quarter last week and only beat Mojave by 20. It may be nitpicking, but the team may not be as dominant as it would have hoped, which gives the Miners an opening. They would need to play nearly perfect football, but a Sunrise Mountain upset is not as out of the question as last year, Desert Pines won 48-0.
Justin Emerson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter: @J15Emerson
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