It began with wildfire smoke, much confusion and canceled and relocated games. It ended 14 weeks later with Bishop Gorman beating Reed to claim the Division I state title.
In between, the 2013 high school football season in Northern Nevada featured a number of memorable comebacks, upsets and season-defining games.
Here’s a look, in reverse-chronological order, at 10 of the best games played in the area during the just-concluded season.
REED 35, LIBERTY 31 (Nov. 30): A dramatic Division I state semifinal game lived up to its billing, with the teams exchanging the lead six times in the second half. The Raiders looked to be doomed late in the fourth quarter, but a pivotal fourth-down stop gave them the ball in Liberty territory and a leaping catch in the end zone by a double-covered Trae Wells sealed the win.
YERINGTON 42, MOUNTAIN VIEW CHRISTIAN 19 (Nov. 23): The Lions capped a once-in-a-generation dream season and finished unbeaten after dominating MVC in the Division III state championship game. Yerington was the only team from Northern Nevada to win a state football title.
REED 47, CARSON 39 (Nov. 22): Eight weeks after blowing out the Senators in the regular season, Reed had to battle to the end in the Division I North championship game. Carson had a chance to tie on its final drive, but a Reed interception in the end zone finally ended a back-and-forth game.
FALLON 34, MOAPA VALLEY 24 (Nov. 16): Playing its biggest home game in years, the Greenwave held off the Pirates to advance to the Division I-A state championship game. Moapa Valley had played in the previous four state-title games.
BATTLE MOUNTAIN 21, PERSHING COUNTY 12 (Nov. 8): Two weeks after a 26-point loss to the defending state champions, the Longhorns bounced back to win in the opening round of the Division III state playoffs. It was a season-defining win for the program, which endured much offseason and in-season turmoil, including the untimely death of its head coach during the summer.
CARSON 19, DOUGLAS 13 (Nov. 1): The turnaround was complete for the Senators after an overtime interception ended a valiant Douglas effort. One year after being embarrassed by a winless season in the Sierra League, Carson capped a perfect 4-0 league campaign by holding on to win against its biggest rival.
LOWRY 21, FALLON 14 (Nov. 1): The game that sent everyone scrambling for their calculators. The Buckaroos’ win forced a three-way tie at the top of a very competitive I-A North league, with Lowry, Fallon and Elko all finishing at 8-1 and splitting their games against each other. It also ended Fallon’s undefeated season.
RENO 29, REED 27 (Oct. 24): The Raiders opened the season with seven straight wins and came within a single play of making it eight. But the Huskies’ Brock Tsukamoto blocked a short field goal attempt to give Reno a key High Desert League win and hand a loss to the last remaining unbeaten team in the division.
COLEVILLE 50, VIRGINIA CITY 43 (Oct. 19): The teams had already established themselves, along with Mineral County, at the top of the Division IV standings, and their mid-October showdown was going to go a long way toward determining the eventual league champion. The game didn’t disappoint, with Coleville trailing entering the fourth quarter before finally holding off the Muckers by one score.
BISHOP MANOGUE 30, GALENA 20 (Oct. 12): The upset of the year in the area — along with North Valleys’ win over Reno — ended with the Miners scoring 23 second-half points to stun their south Reno rivals. Galena went on to reach the playoff semifinals; Manogue wound up one win short of a postseason appearance.