Prep football teams in Northern Nevada finally begin league play Friday night after dabbling in non-league action the last five weeks.
High Desert and Sierra League teams will go at it for the next month. But as far as determining who will take the two No. 1 seeds into the postseason, Friday night is it.
On the HDL side, Reed hosts Reno.
The Raiders and Huskies have finished 1-2 the last two seasons. This year will likely make it three.
At 5-0, the Raiders are the only unbeaten team left in Northern Nevada. At 4-1, the Huskies have won four-straight, including a gut check win at Damonte Ranch two weeks ago. Both squads are ranked in the top 10 in the state by Maxpreps.com.
Behind Reed and Reno, the only other possible candidate to make a push for the league title would be McQueen. That would be a longshot, however. The Lancers meandered through non-league play and sit at 2-2.
Spanish Springs, Hug and North Valleys (the rest of the HDL) all have losing records.
On the Sierra side, Carson hosts Damonte Ranch.
The Senators have looked every bit the part of a legit DI North title contender with the exception of their first two quarters of the season, which cost them in a season-opening loss to Reed. Carson, 4-1, has outscored its opponents 190-27 on its four-game winning streak.
Damonte Ranch (2-3) enters the pivotal matchup with a losing record but all losses were narrow to quality opponents. The Mustangs pushed Reed, Placer (Calif.) and Reno but were unable to get over the hump in either contest. Those three squads have a combined record of 14-1. They call that strength of schedule.
The Mustangs have one of the best offenses in the region—one that is certainly capable of hanging with Carson.
Behind Carson and Damonte Ranch, Galena (3-2) is building momentum with a new-look offense and sneaky good defense and will no doubt be in the mix for one of the top spots in the Sierra. After winning one game a season ago, though, it’s hard to imagine Galena sneaking past both Carson and Damonte.
Douglas and Bishop Manogue play Friday night. The loser will likely be the lone Sierra League team watching the playoffs from home.
The schedule says this is the first week of league contests.
This is playoff football.