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December 19, 2014

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high school football:

Desert Pines-Moapa Valley game could be a state championship preview

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Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

Moapa Valley High football players (from left) Sam Rebman, Jordan Grow and Mat McDermand before the 2013 season.

Prep Sports Now

Getting under center

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Las Vegas Sun sports reporters Ray Brewer and Case Keefer preview the two biggest games of the week, Desert Pines at Moapa Valley and Green Valley at Canyon Springs. Keefer also takes amusement at Brewer's yearning for the old days before spread offenses overtook the football landscape.

It’s rare when each high school football team in the Sun’s top 10 rankings wins in the same week.

That’s right, last week’s slate of games featured no upsets. And just one team faced a scare.

Desert Pines (8-0) trailed Chaparral 16-0 in the first half but fought back for a one-point win to remain undefeated and part of the rankings. Although barely beating a Chaparral team with three wins is nothing to celebrate, the Jaguars survived for a more important game.

This week, they play at perennial league power Moapa Valley in the Division I-A Sunrise championship game. Both teams are undefeated; they will likely face each other again in the state championship game.

Desert Pines clearly looked past Chaparral with the showdown with Moapa Valley on the horizon. Beating Moapa Valley will be easier said than done, but it’s the game the Jaguars have been waiting for all season.

Here are the rankings.

1. Bishop Gorman (6-2): Everything is back to normal for the four-time defending state champs. One week after a scare against Legacy, the Gaels posted a lopsided win against Cimarron-Memorial. Up next: Friday at Bonanza.

2. Liberty (5-3): Liberty is still the leader in the clubhouse in the Sunrise, where they last lost during the 2009 season. Up next: Friday vs. Basic.

3. Canyon Springs (7-0): Canyon Springs coach Hunkie Cooper says it best when talking about Friday’s game against Green Valley: “We’ll see if we are the real deal.” Up next: Friday vs. Green Valley.

4. Green Valley (5-2): Green Valleys’s high-scoring offense vs. Canyon Springs’ great defense. Game on. Up next: Friday at Canyon Springs.

5. Palo Verde (5-1): Could the Palo Verde passing attack be better than its rushing game? Up next: Friday at Sierra Vista.

6. Arbor View (5-1): Arbor View has given up 36 points in six games with three shutouts. Defense wins championships, right? Up next: Friday vs. Shadow Ridge.

Click to enlarge photo

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

7. Moapa Valley (8-0): This is the game we’ve been waiting for all season — undefeated Desert Pines against perennial power Moapa Valley for the league title. It could be a classic. Up next: Friday vs. Desert Pines.

8. Legacy (4-2): Legacy’s domination of Bonanza last week was arguably more impressive than hanging with Gorman two weeks ago. The Longhorns are the real deal and will be a force in next month’s playoffs. Up next: Friday at Desert Oasis.

9. Las Vegas (4-3): Is Wildcats running back Andrew Moreland the Sunrise Region’s top player? Maybe so. Up next: Friday at Valley.

10. Desert Pines (8-0): The Jags are still learning how to deal with success. They nearly lost last week to Chaparral, clearly looking ahead to this week’s league title game against Moapa Valley. Up next: Friday at Moapa Valley.

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

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