Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun
Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2012 | 2:05 a.m.
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.
The Green Valley High football team starts a sophomore quarterback among eight underclassmen on the first-team offense.
The Gators, while getting those younger players comfortable with the pace of varsity football, fell behind twice in their first three games. Each game they fought until the end, including last week when they scored 22 points in the fourth quarter to knock off then No. 9 Coronado.
In the opening week, they trailed No. 3 Arbor View by four touchdowns at halftime but didn’t surrender any points in the second half of a respectable 28-19 defeat.
When Green Valley plays No. 5 Basic on Friday in the annual Henderson Bowl rivalry game, they will no longer be an underdog. That’s because the core group of younger players is enjoying success much faster than expected, leading Green Valley to a spot this week in the Sun’s rankings at No. 9.
“They are just hardworking kids,” Green Valley coach Brian Castro said. “They want to be successful. They trust each other and they don’t have a whole lot of quit in them.”
Sophomore quarterback Christian Lopez accounted for five touchdowns in the second half two weeks ago in a victory against Del Sol and passed for 401 yards in last week’s victory against Coronado.
But Castro will be the first to give credit to more than his younger players. Defensively, seniors such as Sam McAloon, Rashawd Montgonery and Tyler Topham have frequently dominated the competition.
“We have a lot of heart. We have a lot of seniors,” Topham said. “This is their last season to go out there and shine.”
Here is the rest of the rankings, which are complied weekly by the Sun’s Ray Brewer.
1. Bishop Gorman (3-1): Three-time defending state champion Bishop Gorman High hasn’t lost a regular-season game to a local opponent since 2006. Can you remember who defeated the Gaels? Spring Valley and Sierra Vista. Don’t expect that to happen Friday when Gorman plays Legacy in the Southwest League opener.
2. Liberty (2-1): The one-two offensive punch of Niko Kapeli and Kai Nacua, and the Patriots' physical offensive line, makes Liberty a threat to score each possession. It faces Canyon Springs on Friday in a potential preview of the late-November Sunrise Regional game.
3. Arbor View (4-0): Arbor View gets more out of its underclassmen than any other program in the valley. This week, they play Spring Valley to open Northwest League play.
4. Centennial (3-1): Centennial struggled offensively in being overpowered by Arbor View, but remains at No. 4 in the rankings. After all, the Bulldogs already beat No. 6 Palo Verde, and No. 5 Basic has played an easy schedule. Plus, is losing to a top-five team in the first month of the season that bad?
5. Basic (3-0): Basic is averaging 55 points per game in three contests, and quarterback Jaylen Rose has nearly 1,000 yards passing in playing just seven quarters. The Wolves will face a stiff challenge Friday when they host No. 10 Green Valley in the Henderson Bowl rivalry game.
6. Palo Verde (2-3): Palo Verde’s challenging nonleague schedule left them with a losing record, but the Panthers are battled-tested heading into this week’s Northwest League opening against Shadow Ridge. They likely won’t be challenged until the league finale against Arbor View in late October.
7. Canyon Springs (2-1): Canyon Springs gave up one pass completion last week in a close loss to Palo Verde — a 97-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter for the game-winning points. This week, they’ll get their chance for redemption against No. 2 Liberty.
8. Las Vegas (2-1): The Wildcats contained Cimarron’s strong rushing attack last week in a victory. This week, they’ll be tested in defending the pass when they take on Foothill and junior QB Drew Doxtator.
9. Moapa Valley (5-1): The Pirates are giving up less than 10 points per game in six contests and appear to be the team to beat in the Division I-A.
10. Green Valley (2-1): A 22-point fourth quarter against Coronado last week for an upset victory gives Green Valley a spot in the rankings for the first time this year.