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October 21, 2014

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High school football rankings: Back at No. 2, let’s consider Liberty on upset alert

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Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

Liberty High School football head coach Rich Muraco talks to his players before their game against Salpointe Catholic in their Sollenberger Classic matchup Saturday, August 24, 2013 at Bishop Gorman High School.

Prep Sports Now

Tornadoes and tirades

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Las Vegas Sun sports reporters Ray Brewer and Case Keefer open this week's show by discussing the top-ranked high school football team in the nation, Florida's Booker T. Washington, coming to town Friday to take on Bishop Gorman. They then work their way into other pertinent topics, highlighted by a discussion of the definition of "athlete" and whether Green Valley can match Canyon Springs' "quickness".

This is far from the Sports Illustrated cover jinx, but the Liberty High football team definitely needs to be on upset alert Friday when it plays Coronado.

The Patriots are ranked No. 2 in the Sun’s top 10 this week — the third time in as many weeks we’ve had a new team in the second slot.

Last week, Arbor View was upset 7-0 by Legacy in its first week at No. 2. And two weeks ago, then No. 2 Palo Verde was knocked off by Green Valley in its second game of the season.

So, let’s give Liberty, which was ranked No. 2 all of last season, a chance to thrive — or get beaten — at No. 2.

As usual, the rankings are open to much debate. Looking forward to hearing from everyone.

1. Bishop Gorman (4-1): Buckle your seat belts, boys and girls. Bishop Gorman hosts No. 1 Booker T. Washington Friday in one of those games that has instant classic potential. Up next: Friday vs. Booker T. Washington (Fla.).

2. Liberty (2-3): Playing a national schedule appears to have worked wonders for the Patriots, which easily handled Durango last week in a return to local competition. Up next: Friday at Coronado.

3. Canyon Springs (4-0): Canyon Springs is the lone undefeated team in the Sunrise Region. Its defense has given up 36 points in four games despite two of its top players — Rayshawn Henderson and Diamante Luna — shelved with injuries. And, more important, the Pioneers are one of the most hard-hitting and aggressive teams in town. Still, some say having them ranked at No. 3 is a stretch. With Northeast League play starting this week, they can prove they belong. Up next: Friday at Silverado.

4. Green Valley (2-2): Green Valley was idle last week. Up next: Friday at Valley

5. Palo Verde (2-1): One week after giving up seven touchdowns in losing to Green Valley, the Palo Verde defense responded last week in holding Silverado to six points. Up next: Thursday vs. Centennial.

6. Arbor View (2-1): Being blanked in an upset loss to Legacy exposed some Arbor View weaknesses. It also makes the Aggies hungry to show they deserve to be considered one of the Las Vegas area’s top teams. Up next: Friday at Las Vegas.

7. Las Vegas (3-1): The Wildcats have scored 56 points in each of their three victories. The competition significantly improves, however, starting Friday. Up next: Friday vs. Arbor View.

8. Legacy (3-1): The Longhorns are still ranked behind Arbor View, but that should take nothing away from their upset victory last week. In a televised game locally, Legacy showed it is more than a one-player team. And that Longhorn defense is downright legit. Up next: Oct. 11 vs. Bishop Gorman.

9. Moapa Valley (6-0): Moapa Valley struggled early last week against Sunrise Mountain — yes, Sunrise Mountain — in showing there are no easy games on the schedule. For any team. Up next: Friday at Chaparral.

10. Desert Pines (5-0): The early success hasn’t made the Jags complacent. They continue to win convincingly each week. Up next: Friday vs. Sunrise Mountain.

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

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