And then there was one.
The Reed Raiders are the only Northern Nevada team left playing football after a championship-deciding weekend of games Friday and Saturday.
Now, after sharing the High Desert League title and winning three rounds of playoff games, the challenge only gets bigger for Reed. The high-scoring Liberty Patriots from Henderson will be town Saturday afternoon for a Division I state semifinal game.
Reed’s big game Saturday is part of our weekly roundup of news and notes.
Different story, same ending
Although the final result was the same — a Reed win — Friday’s Division I North title game between the Raiders and Carson didn’t much resemble the first time the teams met.
In that first meeting on Sept. 27, Reed stunned the visiting Senators with a third-quarter barrage of big plays that turned a close game into a rout. The 64-26 final score was a reflection of how dangerous a team the Raiders were, but a less-accurate picture of Carson’s true potential. Heading into Friday’s D-I championship game, the feeling around both schools was that the rematch would be a better game.
It was better, for sure. So much better that Carson had the ball deep in Reed territory with a chance to tie late in the fourth quarter.
But the Raiders, as they have done all season, found what was needed to win. An interception in the end zone was the backbreaker, allowing the Reed offense to return to the field for a final bit of clock-killing and a 47-39 win.
Liberty will air it out
Here’s the first impression that Liberty, the Sunrise Region champion, is likely to make on Reed: the Patriots like to throw the ball.
And they do it really well.
The Reed defense will be tested for the third week in a row when it lines up against the Liberty offense on Saturday. Patriots quarterback Tyler Newman has completed 61 percent of his passes this season for 3,650 yards and 41 touchdowns. That includes a state-record-tying nine TD throws against Del Sol in October.
Right team, right time
It was going to take a special team to end Yerington’s long state title drought. The 2013 team was that group, as it made clear even in the early stages of the season.
The Lions didn’t disappoint Saturday on their biggest stage of the season, dominating every aspect of the game in a convincing 42-19 win over Mountain View Christian in the Division III state championship game.
Yerington looked to have something special going when it shut out its first four opponents, then got past rival Pershing County to all but clinch the Division III North title. The Lions kept rolling from there, counting on a roster of both seniors and younger players and combining a hardnosed defense with a power running game to finish the season as the only undefeated team from a Northern league.
Frustration for Fallon
Fallon certainly didn’t expect to get shut out in its final game of the season, but that’s what the scoreboard showed at the end of Faith Lutheran’s 17-0 win in the Division I-A state title game.
Few teams are going to win with eight turnovers, and the Greenwave turned out to be no exception. That number is both a credit to the Crusaders’ defense, which was fast and athletic, and Fallon’s willingness to throw downfield to try to make something happen in the second half.
Fallon really could have used one of its long fourth-quarter passes to come down in the hands of a player wearing green. The Wave came close at times, but it never happened on what turned out to be a frustrating night.
The streak keeps going
There’s not too many words left to describe what the Paharanagat Valley football program has done over the past few seasons.
The Panthers claimed their sixth straight state title Saturday with a 36-8 win over Spring Valley. It was their 69th win a row, the longest streak in the nation.
Here’s a scary thought for the rest of the state’s eight-man teams: only two of the 22 players on the Pahranagat Valley roster were seniors.