Most postseason spots might be settled, but there’s still a lot to play for as the high school football season enters its final weekend on Friday.
For many schools, it’s rivalry week, and that’s reason enough to get excited. If it’s a true rivalry, it doesn’t matter if the teams are each 9-0 or 0-9 — the desire to beat that one certain team trumps everything else.
A survey of some of the area’s better rivalry games is one of our five notes worth knowing this week.
The schedule doesn’t always work out perfectly — and rivalries themselves can often change over time — but there are a number of good “my school is better than your school” games this week (all games are 7 p.m. Friday):
* Spanish Springs at Reed: It’s funny to think of Reed as an “older” school, but that’s the case here. It’s Spanish Springs that needs to prove itself against its older, more-established rival.
* Hug at North Valleys: North Reno’s rivalry. Ideally, the teams would also be fighting for a playoff spot, but that wasn’t how this season played out.
* Carson at Douglas: You used to hear, “Arguably Northern Nevada’s best rivalry” a lot when these teams were discussed. But it can’t be argued any longer. This is the area’s best pure rivalry.
* Elko at Spring Creek: There’s not that many high schools in Elko County, and there’s no particular reason for these two to like each other.
* In the “getting there” category, for rivalries that are beginning to blossom (or for those that need some sort of push), I’d add: Wooster at Sparks and South Tahoe at Truckee.
Three teams will attempt to complete unbeaten regular seasons this weekend.
In Division I-A, Fallon (8-0) has a tough matchup against Lowry (7-1) in a game that will, in some way, determine the league champion.
In Division III, Yerington (7-0) will be heavily favored against West Wendover (1-7). Likewise for Coleville (7-0) in Division IV: the Wolves should be too much for Pyramid Lake (0-8).
Dodging a big mess
It’s probably fair to say that no one really wanted to see a five-way tie for first place in the Sierra League.
But it came within two games of happening.
Galena did its part, edging Damonte Ranch last Friday to put both teams’ league record at 2-2. But when Carson pulled away from Bishop Manogue on the same night, it guaranteed that all five teams in the league couldn’t finish 2-2.
The worst part about such a finish is that one team, through no real fault of its own, would have been left out of the playoffs while the other four advanced. Arriving at that conclusion only after applying complicated tiebreaking formulas just wouldn’t have seemed right.
In 75 words or less:
* Reed will earn a No. 1 seed in Division I if it beats Spanish Springs;
* Fallon will win the Division I-A title with a win over Lowry; a Lowry win could create a three-way tie;
* Fernley plays at Dayton. The winner is in the I-A playoffs; the loser is out.
* Virginia City will reach the Division IV playoffs with a win over Smith Valley on Saturday.
Turning it around
When Reno gave up a touchdown on the opening drive of its game against Spanish Springs on Oct. 11, it looked like the Huskies might be in danger of letting an entire season slip away.
They were already 0-2 in league games, having been pounded by North Valleys and McQueen. And now they were down six points to a dangerous Cougars team, staring an 0-3 league start in the face.
But Reno rallied to win that game, 31-21 — and has kept right on rallying. The Huskies are on a three-game winning streak, including Friday’s monumental upset at former No. 1 Reed, and firmly in the Division I playoffs.