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February 1, 2015

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high school football:

High School Football Top 10: Ranked teams will square off against each other this week


Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

Canyon Springs running back Donnel Pumphrey is lifted into the air by lineman Alonzo Pittman after a touchdown run against Valley Friday, Oct. 19, 2012 at Canyon Springs. Canyon Springs won the game 46-0.

Prep Sports Now

Is the short week unfair for playoff teams?

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Las Vegas Sun sports reporters Ray Brewer and Case Keefer are pumped up for all the high-stakes games going down Thursday night. But why can't they be played on Friday?

There will likely be a shake-up next week in the Sun’s top-10 high school football rankings.

That’s because Thursday night’s slate of games features three contests pitting ranked teams against each other — No. 3 Arbor View at No 5 Palo Verde, No. 2 Liberty at No. 9 Basic and No. 6 Canyon Springs at No. 7 Green Valley.

The three games can literally be won be either team, serving as a perfect preview to next month’s playoffs. This is the last week of games in the Sunset Region before the postseason begins; the Sunrise Region playoffs start in two weeks.

Here is the rest of the rankings, which is complied weekly by the Sun’s Ray Brewer.

1. Bishop Gorman (7-1): Bishop Gorman is six victories away from winning a fourth straight state championship. They’ll face Desert Oasis Thursday in the regular season finale.

2. Liberty (6-1): Liberty’s 19-game winning streak in the Southeast League will be on the line Thursday when the Patriots play host Basic for sole possession of first place.

3. Arbor View (8-0): The Aggies, which are the lone undefeated team in the Division I, look to complete a perfect regular season Thursday against rival Palo Verde. Coach Dan Barnson’s team knows history isn’t on their side — Arbor View, which opened is 2005, has never beat Palo Verde.

4. Centennial (6-2): Centennial might have lost its game last week, but by scoring 20 points against three-time defending state champion Bishop Gorman, the Bulldogs proved they belong among the city’s elite programs. Despite the loss, they remain at No. 4 in the rankings.

5. Palo Verde (6-3): This Northwest League title might be the most satisfying for the players at Palo Verde High. Despite losing three of their first four games, the Panthers can win yet another league crown Thursday if they beat Arbor View.

6. Canyon Springs (5-2): After beating up on Rancho and Valley in the past two weeks, Canyon Springs will have its hands full Thursday against Green Valley in a game that will likely determine the Northeast League champion.

7. Green Valley (6-1): Raise your hand if you had Green Valley winning the Northeast League title at the beginning of the season? Outside of the school’s 89014 zip code, there weren’t too many on the Gators’ bandwagon. That’s not the case anymore. Green Valley is primed for a lengthy playoff run.

8. Moapa Valley (9-1): The Pirates have won nine straight games and won’t have to leave the their home stadium in Overton until the Division-IA state title game. They open playoffs Thursday by host Pahrump Valley.

9. Basic (6-1): When Basic hosts Liberty Thursday night, it will be playing on Thursday for the third straight week. They’ve beat Foothill and Del Sol the past two weeks.

10. Coronado (5-2): With its win last week against Foothill, Coronado official clinched a playoff berth for the first time since 2005. Yes, this is not an error, Coronado will play in the postseason.

Ray Brewer can be reached at 990-2662 or [email protected]. Follow Ray on Twitter at

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  1. 1 Gorman
    2 Liberty
    2.5 Arbor View
    4 Centennial
    5 Palo Verde
    6 Canyon Springs
    7 Moapa Valley
    8 Green Valley
    9 Basic
    10 Coronado

    Moapa made another big statement this weekend, Div IA playoffs are going to be fun. Between Palo vs Arbor View and Canyon vs Green Valley I wish I could be at two places at once this Thurday. After Basic's uninspired first half against Del Sol I was tempted to drop them to #10 and move Coronado up to #9 but then Coronado did the same against Foothill. Next week's Basic/Coronado game will be doubly meaningful as the loser gets the winner of Canyon/GV in first round.

    1 Gorman
    2 Liberty
    2.5 Arbor View
    4 Centennial
    5 Palo Verde
    6 Canyon Springs
    7 Moapa Valley
    8 Green Valley
    9 Reed
    10 Basic

    *Coronado, Spanish Springs.
    After the absolutely whooping Reed put on a solid Reno team there's too much going for them not to make the rankings. A similar win against another northern front runner Spanish Springs this week and I will likely move them up a bit more.

  2. Hey LVfootballfun: What if Las Vegas High beats Canyon Springs? It is a long shot, but crazy things have happened.

  3. thanks lvfootballfun, was just a typo putting winner instead of loser. I've had my brackets filled out for a couple weeks and only real question mark on mine would be if GV can pull off the upset at home against Canyon.

    You're saying Moapa couldn't beat more than 2-3 of of which teams? Top 10 Div I teams? That would make sense since they're ranked only about 2-3 teams. But those bottom 3-4 are pretty interchangeable. GV vs Basic vs Coro could all play each other 10 times and split the wins, they're pretty close.

    I don't think 12-14 Div I teams could beat Moapa. I think the top ten all could. Games against the 7-10 teams would be very close to call. But outside the top ten who? Vegas, Durango, Silverado etc.. I don't see any of them beating Moapa, even with the numbers advantage.

    Remember last year 3A Moapa shut out 4A Silverado, was up 49-27 on 4A Del Sol before pulling their starters at Del Sol's homecoming and only lost to 4A Legacy by 3 points. While those were all under .500 teams they didn't just beat them they whooped them. I know last year and this year or years past aren't necessarily the same or comparable for a lot of teams but in this case I think it shows they've been able to not just compete but whoop up on higher classification teams.

    Put Moapa in Div I this year and i'd be willing to bet the farm they would finish 3rd or 4th in every league. Cheyenne maybe 4th or just miss out.

    That said, even if they were to win IA state over Cheyenne/Truckee by 1,000 points I wouldn't rank them any higher than 7 or 8 because I don't think they could beat any of the top 6 teams.

    But in Moapa's defense, the top 5-6 teams would beat the majority of the bottom 30 teams by at least a handful of touchdowns.

    We will never know though that's what makes speculating fun.

  4. Didn't see Ray's comment earlier...with all due respect Brewer there's no way in hell Vegas beats Canyon unless Canyon benches all their starters and punts on first downs.

    They were lucky to beat Silverado. All year long I've been calling them out for being grossly over ranked then Green Valley proved me right. Vegas beating Canyon would be the upset of the year and it won't happen. Canyon by 20+

  5. lvfootballfun I agree 100% with this on you: . "I'm just saying, top 3A team doesn't make you a top 10 4A team"

    I haven't been ranking Moapa Valley in my top 10 simply because they're the best top IA team. Simply being best in IA would not mean you're deserving of ranking in top 10. I'm certain there will be years where I wont have any IA team in my top ten and likewise there'll probably eventually be a year when maybe 2 IA teams make the top ten. Ranking them has been a direct result of their performance on the field.

    As for the playoff team thing, not all playoff teams are created equal. Last year in the the best from the SE couldn't stay withing two TD's from the 4th in the SE so you throw Moapa in there and they might not make playoffs in on league and get #2 in another.

  6. lvfootball....Cheyenne's always been good enough to get 4th seed or just miss out of the playoffs in the toughest league the NW. Even after the realignment and dropping 1/3 of teams the quality of football being played outside of the top ten or contenders for top ten isn't hard to keep up with.

    The bottom 3 teams of most leagues aren't that good either, so correct Cheyenne isn't that overall good, take away Myloe and they don't even make it to Truckee. But neither are the teams it would be competing with for last playoff spot. You're talking about Chey-town competing with Del Sol, Rancho, Eldog, Sierra Vista, Foothill, Silverado etc.. to either steal 4th or get 5th and finish one above the bottom and just miss the playoffs, not that hard to do.

    In theory Chey-town shouldn't be ranked in top 20 overall but schools 13-20 in Div I are pretty poor.

    As for this year, I would be willing to bet the house Moapa beats anyone outside the top ten down south except Durango and Cim-Mem. Cim-Mem and Durango would be a closer matches, not comfortable enough to bet the house on. Games against #6-10 would be a toss up, but that goes for every team in #6-10.

    It won't be like this every year for Moapa but it sure is this least I think so.

  7. Cheyenne beat Cimarron this year, so a div 1A team can play with the big boys. Everyone is pointing out the teams at the bottom of 1A , lets look at the bottom teams of Div1. Rancho, Eldorado, Sierra Vista, Bonanza, Spring Valley,Valley, Del Sol,Desert Oasis.
    These 8 schools are a combined 9-51. So there are bad school in each. Shadow Ridge, Foothill, And Cimarron will most likely get the 4 seed with losing records.
    There are Five to Six teams in Div1A that would have made the playoffs in Div1 , Moapa, Boulder, Desert Pines, Cheyenne, Mojave and Faith.

    Moapa could beat most schools in the Valley with exception to the top 7. They and others could possibly take Basic and Coronado.

    What separates the top teams is the bigs up front.
    The power of the top few teams would be too much. Athletically, they and others could keep up. They cant match up with the O and D lines. The overall size will win out.
    Dont sleep on these Div 1A schools. I guarantee you next year Div 1 will stay away from these top div 1A teams. Watch them play, you'll see what I'm talking about.