All four games in the Northern 4A football Regional playoffs are rematches.
The big questions are how much has changed since those September games and whether the teams that lost can figure out a way to win this week and advance to the semifinals.
The games, all at 7 p.m. Friday, feature Carson at Reno; Spanish Springs at Douglas; McQueen at Damonte Ranch; and Bishop Manogue at Reed.
Reno beat Carson, 34-17, in the second week of the season (Sept. 2); Spanish Springs beat Douglas, 51-27, on Sept. 9; Reed beat Bishop Manogue, 62-27, on Sept. 23; and Damonte Ranch beat McQueen, 56-17, on Sept. 23.
Regional titles have become a way of life for the Reed football program. The Raiders have won 24 straight games against Northern 4A teams and are vying for their sixth straight Regional championship.
But there is no expectation to win for the Raiders. Reed coach Ernie Howren said the success comes because the Raiders work hard and prepare to win titles.
Reed coach Ernie Howren said the success comes because the Raiders work hard and prepare to win titles.
“We don’t have that kind of attitude like we expect things to happen,” Howren said. “We try to make things happen. Coming out preparing and working hard and we hope that good things happen.”
He said the lopsided win earlier is not an indication of how this week’s game will go.
Howren said Manogue is a different team than it was five weeks ago. And so are the Raiders.
“We’re coming out preparing like we’ve never played them before,” Howren said.
Reed senior running back Tre Bussey will return after missing last week’s game. Bussey injured his shoulder two weeks ago and sat out the Raiders’ win over Spanish Springs last Thursday.
Bussey has rushed for 1,217 yards and 21 touchdowns.
Another big part of the Raider’s success is its passing game.
Junior quarterback Cameron Emerson has thrown for 1,747 yards and 23 touchdowns, most of those to a pair of senior receivers,. Robert Ferrel has 53 catches for 759 yards and 10 touchdowns. Michael Spivack has 36 catches for 623 yards and eight touchdowns
“We’re just taking advantage of our opportunities, just making the best of them,” Spivack said.
For Spanish Springs, senior quarterback Korbin Marcum has been cleared to play this week after being injured in the Cougars loss to Reed.
Reno will have Brandon Kaho back also. Kaho suffered a concussion two weeks ago and sat out the Huskies win over McQueen last week.
Damonte sophomore quarterback Cade McNamara leads the Northern 4A with 2,637 yards and 34 touchdowns. He threw for 367 yards in the Mustangs’ win over McQueen.
The winner of the Manogue-Reed game will play the winner of the Douglas-Spanish Springs game; The winner of the Damonte-McQueen game will play the winner of the Reno-Carson game.
Semifinals will be on Thursday, Nov. 10, due to the Veteran’s Day holiday on Nov. 11. The Northern 4A championship is at 7:10 p.m. Nov. 18 with the winner earning the North’s bid to the state playoffs.
Northern 4A Football Seedings
1. Damonte Ranch 9-1 4-0
2. Douglas 5-4 3-1
3. Carson 5-4 2-2
4. Bishop Manogue 4-5 1-3
1. Reed 9-1 5-0
2. Reno 9-1,4-1
3. Spanish Springs 5-4 3-2
4. McQueen 3-6 2-3
Football: 4A Regionals, 7 p.m. Friday: Carson at Reno; Spanish Springs at Douglas; McQueen at Damonte Ranch; Bishop Manogue at Reed.