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October 24, 2014

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high school football:

Henderson Bowl rivalry game will produce memorable celebration for one team

Basic, Green Valley continue one of Nevada’s most significant rivalries at 7 p.m. Friday at Basic

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Sam Morris

Green Valley players hoist the trophy after defeating Basic 36-33 in the annual Henderson Bowl game Friday, Sept. 16, 2011.

2011 Henderson Bowl

Green Valley running back Aaron Love grabs the Henderson Bowl trophy after their annual game against Basic Friday, September 16, 2011. After three consecutive losses to Basic, Green Valley won the game 36-33. Launch slideshow »
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Where's the defense?

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Upset over the outlandish scores posted around the valley last week, Las Vegas Sun sports reporter Ray Brewer loses his sanity on this week's podcast. Co-host Case Keefer tries to stay out of the way during his rant on defense, but has plenty to add on other topics — including impressive games from Arbor View and Bishop Gorman, "the hut drill" and the two highly-anticipated games in Henderson on Friday.

Imagine winning one of the most significant games of your life and having to wait to celebrate.

That’s the etiquette in the Henderson Bowl football rivalry game between Basic and Green Valley high schools. The two sides always shake hands at midfield following the game before players on the winning team race to the end zone to grab the trophy.

Players on the losing team are left to watch and think what could have been. That was the scene last year when Green Valley won 36-33 to break a three-game losing streak in the series.

When the teams renew their rivalry at 7 p.m. Friday at Basic, the veterans on Basic’s roster will surely remember the pain of watching Green Valley celebrate.

“It was tough, especially for the seniors,” said Jaylen Rose, Basic’s senior quarterback. “I don’t want that to happen to me.”

The game is one of Nevada’s most significant rivalries, continuing this year under different circumstances. For the first 21 years of the rivalry, the teams competed in the same league.

This year, with realignment, Green Valley was shifted from the Southeast League to the Northeast League. Clark County School District schedule makers kept their promise of keeping all significant rivalries on the schedule as regular-season games.

And when it comes to significant rivalries, there is no disputing the importance of the Henderson Bowl. Numerous players from each team tell stories of attending the game as elementary or middle school students and dreaming of one day playing in the game.

“We expect a packed house here on both sides,” Basic coach Jeff Cahill said. “It is a great experience for the kids to be part of. It is really what high school football should be about. The kids are actually getting that chance to play in front of a full stadium, a loud stadium, a stadium with two bands, a stadium with a crowd for each side.

“There is always excitement for this game. That is why we love it. We were really happy with all the changes that we didn’t have to lose the game.”

Basic was Henderson’s lone high school until Green Valley opened in 1991, creating a natural rivalry. In the early years, Green Valley dominated Basic in every sport, and while the two sides are equal in football, Green Valley still holds a 13-8 all-time lead in the series.

Basic could be considered a favorite despite the deficit.

Basic (3-0) is averaging 55 points per game this season, and Rose has passed for nearly 1,000 yards in just seven quarters. Last week against Bonanza, Rose passed for 350 yards in the first half alone, finding senior Devonte Boyd for 250 yards.

Stopping the high-scoring Basic attack has been a point of emphasis for Green Valley in its preparations.

“Our kids will be excited. Their kids will be excited. It’s the Henderson Bowl,” Green Valley coach Brian Castro said. “During the week, we focus on obviously who we are playing. But more than that, we focus on what we’ve got to do to win more than what we have to do to beat Basic High School. We focus on the fundamentals and playing the game right.”

Green Valley’s offense also has been effective. The Gators (2-1) scored 22 points in the fourth quarter last week to rally past Coronado and tallied 59 points two weeks ago against Del Sol.

But Green Valley’s most impressive performance came in its opener. The Gators trailed No. 3-ranked Arbor View 28-0 at halftime but didn’t surrender any second-half points in making the final respectable.

“They play hard. They play for the whole 48 minutes,” Cahill said. “Coronado had them down, and a lot of teams would have folded. Not Green Valley. Hats off to them.”

Considering Green Valley starts as many as eight underclassmen on offense, and other younger players at key spots defensively, their ahead-of-schedule progression could signal a domination in the Henderson Bowl for years to come.

The trophy, a bowl that rests on a wooden base, has the score from each of the past 21 years.

For the players, having the chance to win in the rivalry game is a moment they’ll cherish forever. The memories include racing around the field with the Henderson Bowl trophy.

“It was definitely something else. It was great to actually experience it and celebrate with your team, and bring that trophy back,” Green Valley senior linebacker Tyler Topham said.

As for the players at Basic: “You could definitely see the anger in their eyes,” Topham said. “I want to keep it that way this year. ... It is the history of the game. You want to keep what is rightfully yours.”

Ray Brewer can be reached at 990-2662 or [email protected]. Follow Ray on Twitter at twitter.com/raybrewer21.

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