Just two weeks remain in the regular season for Northern 4A football and the playoff seedings are taking shape.
Damonte Ranch is firmly atop the Sierra League after knocking off Carson last week.
In the High Desert, Reed and Spanish Springs are both 3-0 and tied for first, followed by Reno at 2-1.
Which brings us to the most intriguing game this week, Reno (7-1 overall, 2-1 High Desert) at Spanish Springs (5-2, 3-0).
The Cougars have won four in a row after losing to Damonte last month.
Reno got back on track in beating North Valleys, 63-15, on Friday and Spanish Springs blanked Hug, 33-0.
The Cougars held Hug to 11 total yards in the win. Quarterback Korbin Marcum was 16-of-243 for 226 yards and three scores.
The Huskies have one of the top defenses in the Northern 4A and the Cougars are also very solid defensively.
“They’re sound in what they do, and they’re physical,” Spanish Springs coach Eric Borja said of the Huskies. “Those two characteristics, that’s a recipe for success. They definitely do a good job defensively. And they’re strong. They have a scheme and they perfect it.”
The importance of Friday’s game is not lost on Spanish Springs’ senior Austin Cadenhead.
“We want to get this league championship. We’ve never had it here,” Cadenhead said. “If we beat Reno, we’re on to play Reed for the league championship, so it’s a big, huge game for us. So we’re just trying to stay focused and do what we do.”
Bishop Manogue ran all over Galena in a 34-8 win on a rainy Saturday night. Manogue sophomore Peyton Dixon rushed for 210 yards and three touchdowns in the game.
Damonte Ranch took a convincing win over Carson, 34-14, last Friday to improve to 7-1, 2-0, The first-place Mustangs are at Bishop Manogue on Friday.
Damonte quarterback Cade McNamara continues to excel. The 6-foot-1 sophomore completed 20-of-27 passes for 250 yards and five touchdowns against the Senators.
Reed (7-1, 3-0) is coming off a 68-21 win over McQueen in which Tre Bussey rushed for 150 yards and five touchdowns on nine carries. Reed quarterback Cameron Emerson was 11-of-14 passing r 190 yards and three scores.
The Raiders play at Hug (0-6, 0-3) on Friday.
North Valleys (0-7, 0-3) is at McQueen (2-5, 1-2) in a game that will likely determine the fourth playoff spot in the High Desert League.
Douglas (3-4, 1-1) is at Galena (2-4, 0-2). The Tigers are coming off their bye week. They had a close loss to Damonte, 47-42, on Oct. 7.
Carson has a bye this week and hosts Douglas on Oct 27.
It’s rivalry week in the Northern 3A. Sparks (2-6) is at Wooster (2-6 ) on Friday in a meeting of two of the oldest schools in Reno/Sparks.
First-place Spring Creek (8-0) is at Elko (6-2). Truckee (7-1) is at South Tahoe (7-1) Friday in a game that will determine second place.
Also on Friday, Fernley (3-5) is at Dayton (0-8) and Fallon (4-4) is at Lowry (1-7).
In the Northern 2A, a big game is on tap Friday when Yerington plays Pershing County in Lovelock.
Both are 7-0. The winner will take first place and be the top seed for the state tournament.
Yerington is the defending state champion.
Michael Monahan, senior, has rushed for 753 yards and 10 touchdowns on 53 carries this season for the Lions.
Since a season-opening 33-14 win over Bishop Union, Yerington has given up just 14 points total in its six ensuing games.
Pershing County beat Mt. Shasta, 34-28 in the opener. The Mustangs have given up 16 total points in their six games after that.
Tad Milich has rushed for 450 yards and eight scores on 30 carries for Pershing County.
Virginia City improved to 7-0 overall, 5-0 in league with a 60-6 win over Coleville on Saturday.
The Muckers host Sierra Lutheran (1-6, 1-4) on Saturday and end the regular season at Pyramid Lake (1-6, 0-5) on Oct. 27.
Virginia City senior Sam Strahan has rushed for 800 yards and 14 touchdowns on 46 carries this season.
Second-place Whittell (6-1, 4-1) hosts Excel Christian (5-2, 3-2) on Friday.
Sierra League Standings
Damonte Ranch 7-1 2-0
Carson 5-3 2-1
Douglas 3-4 1-1
Manogue 3-4 1-2
Galena 2-4 0-2
High Desert League Standings
Reed 7-1 3-0
Spanish Springs 5-2 3-0
Reno 7-1 2-1
McQueen 2-5 1-2
Hug 0-6 0-3
North Valleys 0-7 0-3
Friday: 7 p.m., Reed at Hug; North Valleys at McQueen; Reno at Spanish Springs; Damonte at Manogue; Douglas at Galena; Carson bye.
3A – 7 p.m., Spring Creek at Elko; Truckee at South Tahoe; Sparks at Wooster; Lowry at Fallon; Dayton at Fernley.