Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017 | 2 a.m.
Las Vegas Sun's Ray Brewer and Case Keefer shift to playoff mode, looking closely at the best matchups in the first round.
The high school football playoffs start Friday with few surprises — especially if you read our preseason league previews.
Of the 24 teams to reach the playoffs, we projected 22 would be qualifiers.
Some were easy: Arbor View, Bishop Gorman, Canyon Springs, Desert Pines and Liberty were defending league champions and again went undefeated in league games. They are No. 1 playoff seeds.
We also correctly picked the four playoff participants in the Southeast but had the order of finish wrong. Green Valley, not Basic, took second. Same in the Northeast, where we had Eldorado third and Valley fourth — opposite of how they finished.
Others weren’t so easy: In the Southwest League, which aside from perennial power Gorman is arguably the most balanced division in Las Vegas, not only did we successfully predict all four playoff qualifiers, we had them pegged in the correct order. Sierra Vista finished second, Durango took third and Spring Valley was fourth.
Some we barely missed. In the Northwest, we had Arbor View, Faith Lutheran and Legacy projected in order of finish but had Palo Verde missing the playoffs. The Panthers, though, grabbed the No. 4 seed.
Also, we had Mojave finishing fifth in the 3A Sunset League, but the Rattlers took second and lost just one game (our worst prediction). We had Cheyenne, not Mojave, making the playoffs.
In the 3A Sunrise, we projected Moapa Valley would win the league and Virgin Valley would finish second. Turns out, Virgin Valley was the league champ and Moapa Valley was second, but only on a tie-breaker after each team — and Chaparral — finished with 2-1 league records. There were just four teams in the Sunrise and each made the playoffs.
So, who’s going to win Friday? Check out our picks of each game.