Few high school football rivalries generate the hoopla of a Bishop Gorman-Palo Verde showdown.
And few gifts keep giving like Twitter, which in the age of social media has provided a glimpse into the uncensored thoughts of players leading up to tonight’s Sunset Region semifinal (7 p.m., Fertitta Field, Bishop Gorman).
The tweets are often enough to give any English teacher reason to get out a red pen, and many recruits under watchful eyes of college coaches should tone down the four-letter words before they hit send.
But the tweets also can add to a rivalry, as evidenced this week by the explosion of the “#PaloWeek” hashtag.
Gorman senior Tanner Britton summed up all of our thoughts when he tweeted: “After the election we can focus on something that is really important … #PaloWeek.”
Palo Verde sophomore Derrick ONeal pointed out: “Everyone’s saying #paloweek! Not one person said #gormanweek.”
That’s just the clever, fun stuff. There is plenty of unfit-for-print trash talk out there, along with a fascinating argument between Palo Verde students on whether they should organize a “white-out” or “black-out” of clothing in the crowd.
Look for me on the sidelines tonight at Gorman. I’ll be tweeting up a storm (@FielderNVP) about my Week 12 picks, including the added lines from NevadaPreps.com.
■ Palo Verde at Bishop Gorman – The real gauge on whether this game can be deemed close is whether Gorman backup quarterback Randall Cunningham enters the game late.
I don’t see starter Jarrett Solomon coming out, but it might cross coach Tony Sanchez’s mind after the Gaels open a big lead.
Palo Verde didn’t lose four games this season by accident. The Panthers will provide a game effort, but they just don’t have the firepower at every position to keep up. Gorman by 36.
■ Centennial at Arbor View – Arbor View won the regular-season meeting 31-18, but the Bulldogs were within 14-10 at halftime.
Centennial’s offense has improved significantly since, and the Bulldogs are capable of burning the Aggies with the run or pass.
Still, it’s hard to imagine the Aggies’ first loss coming here. Arbor View by 6½.
■ Basic at Canyon Springs – This is a virtual “pick ’em” spot, but the Pioneers get the edge because they have a far better defense. Canyon Springs by 2.
■ Las Vegas at Coronado – The best season in Cougars history will continue thanks to a Jason Warren-led defense that will limit the Wildcats’ big plays. Coronado by 7½.
■ Foothill at Green Valley – While the 3-6 Falcons backed into the playoffs with several skill-position stars on injured reserve, the Gators wrapped up an undefeated Northeast League slate last week with a 33-0 rout of Silverado. Green Valley by 21.
■ Silverado at Liberty – The Patriots have struggled to cover big numbers this year, but they’ll have little trouble outgunning a one-dimensional Skyhawks offense. Liberty by 22.
■ Lowry at Moapa Valley – Lowry has a history of playing the Pirates tough, but this Moapa Valley team looks different.
If the Pirates have a significant weakness, it’s not easy to find. Moapa Valley by 16.
■ Cheyenne at Truckee – The travel and weather involved present considerable challenges for the Desert Shields, but an even bigger hurdle to reaching the Division I-A state title game will be slowing a Wolverines rushing attack that features eight legitimate options. Truckee by 6½.
Last week: 12-1, 10-2-1 (with points)
Season: 60-13, 45-26-2 (with points)
Contact Fielder at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @FielderNVP.In-depth high school sports coverage