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December 9, 2016

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high school football:

High School Football Top 10: Which team do you think will win the Sunrise Region?

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Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

Liberty running back Niko Kapeli spins away from Palo Verde defensive back Devin Finn during their game Thursday, Sept. 13, 2012. Liberty won the game 42-28.

The Sunrise Region football champion will be?

Which team is going to win the Sunrise Region football title?
Liberty — 36.9%
Coronado — 21.7%
Green Valley — 21.2%
Basic — 11.7%
Canyon Springs — 5.8%
Other — 2.7%

This poll is closed, see Full Results »

Note: This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Prep Sports Now

When basketball coaching fails, it's back to football talking

Las Vegas Sun sports reporters Ray Brewer and Case Keefer recount their experience coaching the Las Vegas All-Star team against Findlay Prep in basketball and move on to football talk in the 11th Prep Sports Now of the year.

It’s safe to assume the players on the Liberty High football team are looking in the rearview mirror.

Although the No. 2 Patriots are the two-time defending Sunrise Region champions, and extended their Southeast League winning streak to 20-plus games last week by beating No. 9 Basic, the general consensus is they will be challenged come next month’s playoffs.

If last week’s games were any indication, as many as four teams are more than capable of taking the title from the Patriots. Basic, for instance, had a 22-14 lead against Liberty in the second half before losing on the last play of the game. Coronado and Canyon Springs also had second-half leads earlier this year against the Patriots before losing late.

And, let’s not forget about Northeast League champ Green Valley. The fifth-ranked Gators have rallied in the fourth quarter to beat Coronado, Basic and, last week, Canyon Springs on a field goal as time expired.

The parity creates much debate when rankings the teams. But later in the month, there will be no debate — the results will be decided on the gridiron.

Here are the rest of the rankings, which are complied weekly by the Sun’s Ray Brewer. With the Sunrise beginning its playoffs next week, this is the last week of the rankings.

1. Bishop Gorman (8-1): Three-time defending state champion Gorman has scored 49 or more points each game against local competition. The Gaels host Shadow Ridge on Friday in the Sunset Regional quarterfinals.

2. Liberty (7-1): Let’s give credit where credit is due. Liberty has played with a target on its back all season and still walked away victorious against local competition each week.

3. Arbor View (9-0): Last week’s win against Palo Verde was the most significant in Arbor View’s seven-year history. It also gives the Aggies the No. 1 seed in the playoffs, meaning they won’t have to face Gorman until the Sunset finals.

4. Centennial (7-2): Centennial is one win away from its third straight Sunset semifinal appearance. Yet, if the Bulldogs don’t advance deeper in the playoffs, the season will be a disappointment. That’s the product of a winning program — higher expectations.

5. Green Valley (7-1): With the exception of a nine-point loss to Arbor View in the opener, Green Valley has been perfect in winning the Northeast League title. Could this be the start of a dynasty?

6. Palo Verde (6-4): Palo Verde has lost to Liberty, Centennial and Arbor View this fall despite having fourth-quarter leads in every game. Expect another close contest Friday against visiting Legacy in the Sunset Regional quarterfinals.

7. Moapa Valley (10-1): Moapa Valley is the lone Southern Nevada team with double-digit wins. It’s also the lone Division I-A team in the rankings. This week, the Pirates host Mojave with a spot in the state semifinals on the line.

8. Coronado (6-2): The Cougars will consider Friday’s regular season finale against visiting Basic a playoff game. If they win, they will host a playoff game next week. If they lose, it’s likely off to Canyon Springs and trying to contain running back Donnel Pumphrey.

9. Basic (6-2): Moral victories will never register in the standings, but Basic earned its stripes for battling Liberty play-for-play. The Wolves arguably should have won the game in proving they’ll be a threat in the postseason.

10. Canyon Springs (5-3): Surrendering a double-digit fourth-quarter lead against Green Valley complicates Canyon Springs’ postseason chances. Instead of hosting Foothill in the Sunrise opener next week, the Pioneers will have their hands full against Basic or Coronado.

Ray Brewer can be reached at 990-2662 or ray.brewer@lasvegassun.com. Follow Ray on Twitter at twitter.com/raybrewer21.

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