Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun
Published Friday, Sept. 27, 2013 | 6 p.m.
Updated Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013 | 12:02 a.m.
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.
Las Vegas and Rancho, two of the first high schools in the area, have been playing this football game since 1957.
When the “Bone Game” rivalry is renewed at 7 p.m. tonight at Rancho, the teenagers on both teams know they won’t be playing for themselves. This is the one game alumni and other supporters of both schools desperately want to win, bringing a refreshing feeling to the Friday night schedule.
Plain and simple: This is Nevada’s most storied rivalry game. And that has nothing to do with the action on the field, which has been dominated by Las Vegas, which has won the past 17 games in the series — most by lopsided scores.
Despite Rancho struggling in recent years to field a competitive squad, the game will always be a marquee attraction.
Tickets are pre-sold and sold out. There is a buzz of energy inside the stadium unlike other weeks; the student councils decorate the bleachers in school colors and raise money for Make-A-Wish Foundation in competition with the other school.
Back in the day, when the schools were located about 2 miles apart, Las Vegas in downtown and Rancho a rock’s throw away, the rivalry seemed like the only game that mattered all season. Las Vegas moved its campus to East Sahara Avenue in the mid-1990s, but the rivalry has lived on. For most, it’s still carries a similar significance.
“Unfortunately, it’s not like this every week,” Las Vegas coach James Thurman said. “This is the one game we know the stands will be full. It doesn’t matter if we are bad or if they are bad, everyone will still be here.”
They are playing for possession of the large cow bone donated to the rivalry by a butcher whose son played for Rancho. It’s now bronzed. Here is a link to history of “Herkimer’s Bone.”
It’s not the lone game of interest tonight.
While it’s a slow week of games with Bishop Gorman, Centennial, Green Valley and Coronado on byes, there are some appealing games. Desert Oasis travels to Canyon Springs in a battle of undefeated teams, Palo Verde hosts Silverado, and Liberty plays at Durango.
We’ll keep you posted all night. Check back as scores become final. And remember to send fan photos and game information on Twitter to @lasvegassun using the hashtag #sunstandout.
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Stories about other high school football games around the valley: