Almost all the Northern 4A schools starting league play last week, with a few hold-your-breath finishes, as well as a few blowouts.
The biggest surprise was Hug, which gave undefeated Reno everything it could handle before the Huskies took a 27-18 win.
Reno remained the lone team without a loss in the North at 6-0, while Hug dropped to 0-4.
Next up for Reno is one of the most anticipated games of the year. The Huskies are at Reed at 7 p.m. Friday.
The Raiders, the five-time defending Northern champions, romped in a 58-0 win over North Valleys (0-5) last week.
Cameron Emerson was 8-of-9 passing for the Raiders for 186 yards and two scores. Trey Bussey carried eight times for 80 yards and three scores as many of the Raiders’ backup players got game experience. Nine players carried the ball for Reed in the win.
Coaches do not want to over state the situation, but there’s no denying it will be a high-profile game.
“It’s not just another game. When you’re playing the five-time defending Regional champion, it’s not another game. They’re the pinnacle of football in Northern Nevada,” Reno coach Dan Avansino said. “They’ve done a great job of being, not only good, but good over time, which is probably the hardest thing to do in athletics in general.”
Reed (5-1) beat Reno, 27-11 last season. This year, Reed’s only loss was to Clayton Valley in the season opener.
Spanish Springs (3-2) showed it will be a force this year. Coach Eric Borja, in his third season there, has his system firmly in place now — across all three levels — and the Cougars held off McQueen, 28-15. The Lancers were driving for the winning touchdown when Cougars’ senior Austin Cadenhead got an interception at the goal line and raced 100 yards for the score as the clock ran out.
The Cougars were hampered, a bit, by turnovers and penalties. But quarterback Korbin Marcum was spectacular, completing 29-of-40 passes for 368 yards and two scores. Junior Gabby Ordaz was solid running the ball, as he gained 85 yards on 22 carries.
Spanish Springs is at North Valleys on Friday.
McQueen (1-4) is at Hug in a game that could determine the fourth playoff spot in the High Desert League.
Hug senior Jalan Williams rushed for 70 yards and one score on 11 carries against Reno last week.
Reno coach Dan Avansino said the Hawks were the toughest team he’s seen this year.
“Hug is one heck of a physical football team,” he said. “To this point, that is by far the most physical team we’ve played all year. And I mean that honestly. … It took us everything we could do to pull out a win.”
In the Sierra League last week, Carson rolled over Galena, 40-13.
Abel Carter rushed for 163 yards and two scores on 11 carries in the Senators’ win. Carter also had a team-high 10 tackles in the game.
Sophomore Michael Dennis led the Grizzlies (2-4) in rushing with 70 yards on four carries.
Damonte Ranch (5-1) was the only team without a league game. The Mustangs romped over Shasta, 54-24, last week. Their only loss was to Cathedral Catholic in the opener.
Damonte is at Douglas (3-3) on Friday. The Tigers held on to take a back-and-forth game over Bishop Manogue, 32-28, as three Tigers rushed for more than 100 yards.
Quarterback Hunter Hickey rushed for 147 yards and a score on 11 carries. He also completed 11-of-16 passes for 12 yards. Dawson Coman rushed 12 times for 139 yards and one touchdown and Ryland DeSomber ran 28 times for 110 yards and a score.
For the Miners, sophomore Lincoln Hauck rushed for 116 yards and a score. He completed 7-of-16 passes for 127 yards.
Manogue (3-3) is at Carson (4-2) on Friday. Galena has a bye this week.
Friday: 7 p.m., 4A – McQueen at Hug; Spanish Springs at North Valleys; Reno at Reed; Carson at Bishop Manogue; Damonte Ranch at Douglas.
3A – Fernley at Wooster; Fallon at Sparks; Truckee at Spring Creek; Dayton at South Tahoe.