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September 16, 2014

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high school football:

High school football top 10: A new team breaks into the rankings

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Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

Desert Pines football players Eric Wilkes, Tim Hough and Malik Davis July 30, 2013.

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Who's the No. 2?

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Las Vegas Sun sports reporters Ray Brewer and Case Keefer are back with their weekly look at high school football. In this episode, they debate how to rank Arbor View, Palo Verde, Green Valley and Liberty.

Let’s shuffle the high school football rankings again.

After four-time defending state champion Bishop Gorman, there has been much parity this season — and much movement in the rankings, especially for Green Valley High.

The Gators were ranked No. 3 in the preseason but slipped all the way to No. 9 after being upset at Coronado. They earned some redemption last week, erasing a double-digit deficit in the second half against Palo Verde to rally for an overtime victory. Green Valley moves up four spots to No. 5.

Here are the rest of the rankings, including one team making its 2013 debut.

1. Bishop Gorman (4-1): After playing five nationally respected opponents in five straight weeks, Gorman gets a bye this week. They deserve the break. Last Saturday, the Gaels used an end-of-the-game scoring drive to rally past host Bergen Catholic of New Jersey in one of those notch-in-the-belt victories for the program. It’s extremely difficult to travel a high school team across the country, but Gorman proved to be road warriors. Up next: Oct. 4 vs. Booker T. Washington of Florida.

2. Arbor View (2-0): Arbor View left little room for debate last week — the Aggies are the clear-cut No. 2 team in Southern Nevada, completely dominating previously ranked Coronado. Up next: Thursday vs. Legacy.

3. Liberty (1-3): Liberty moves up one spot in the rankings. And the Patriots lost last week. But it was a good defeat, giving nationally ranked Hamilton High everything it could handle before losing late. Liberty missed two field goals and had two turnovers in the red zone, ultimately proving to be the difference. Up next: Friday at Durango.

4. Canyon Springs (3-0): Canyon Springs might have the top defense in the Sunrise Region. That’s a good thing considering the offense has about 20 turnovers in three games. Some feel the Pioneers’ defense is good enough to beat Green Valley and Las Vegas in Northeast League play. Regardless, the offense will eventually have to eliminate mistakes. Up next: Friday vs. Desert Oasis.

5. Green Valley (2-2): What loss against Coronado? Green Valley regains its footing, and places near the top of the rankings, with a gutsy come-from-behind win last week against Palo Verde. The Gators trailed by double-digits in the second and were on the verge of being a 1-3 team. Up next: Oct. 4 at Valley.

6. Palo Verde (1-1): Palo Verde drops from the No. 2 spot after losing an overtime game at Green Valley. The game could have gone either way — for the Panthers, that was wide left on an extra point. Up next: Friday vs. Silverado.

7. Las Vegas High (2-1): Let’s not judge the Wildcats on their six-touchdown defeat last week in California. They aren’t a bad team. They just faced a great opponent. Up next: Friday at Rancho in the “Bone Game.”

8. Moapa Valley (5-0): Another week, another win last Friday for the state-favorite Pirates. They easily handled Pahrump Valley and are well on their way to an undefeated season. Up next: Friday at Sunrise Mountain.

9. Legacy (2-1): Much has been written about Legacy running back Casey Hughes, who is one of the area’s top college prospects. But Damian Robinson-Stallings, DeMichael Walker and Zach Lugris proved last week in a win against Mojave that the Longhorns have more than one weapon. Up next: Thursday at Arbor View.

10. Desert Pines (4-0): Some might be shocked to see two teams from the lower Division I-A in the rankings. Don’t be. Desert Pines has defeated schools from the larger division in consecutive weeks and has some of the best skill position players in the state regardless of classification. Eric Wilkes, Tim Hough, Iquan Corsey, Malik Davis and Co. will likely be undefeated when they play No. 8 Moapa Valley in the regular season finale. The Jags are legit. Up next: Friday at Boulder City.

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

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