Regardless of what happens the rest of the way, it would be hard to rule Spanish Springs’ season anything other than a success.
The Cougars (5-2, 3-0) got over the hill and beat McQueen, at McQueen, and have rattled off four straight wins for the first time since the start of 2010. With just two weeks left in the regular season, they are tied with Reed for first place in the High Desert League.
They can only beat the teams on their schedule. On Friday night, Spanish Springs can prove itself.
The Cougars host Reno (7-1, 2-1), which alone has won more games than the collective total of their last four foes.
Reno has one of the best defenses in Northern Nevada and runs a ground-and-pound offense that presents a number of challenges, particularly for a Spanish Springs defensive front that doesn’t boast much size.
It will be power against finesse.
The advantage in similar matchups typically leans towards power, but Spanish Springs quarterback Korbin Marcum is completely capable of keeping the Cougars in this one.
Marcum has completed 63 percent of his passes this year for 1,861 yards and 17 touchdowns compared with just four interceptions. He’s averaging nearly 266 passing yards a night.
All things considered, this is the biggest game for Spanish Springs football in years. A win would guarantee at least a second-place finish and a home playoff game. It would also mean avoiding Damonte Ranch or Carson in the first round.
The Cougars have shown they can beat up on the lower tier of the 4A North. Now, it’s time to prove they can play with the big boys.
Spanish Springs (volleyball) can grab sizeable lead in High Desert League
The Cougars are going to be busy this week. They play three games in three days.
Tonight, they go to North Valleys. On Wednesday, they go to McQueen. And on Thursday, they host Hug.
The contests against the Panthers and Hawks sandwich the biggest game of the year to date.
Spanish Springs can grab a two-game lead atop the High Desert League with a win on Wednesday. The Cougars swept the Lancers at home a couple weeks ago.
A win would also give Spanish Springs the regular-season sweep of McQueen with a game at Reno remaining the largest obstacle before the postseason. Reno won in three sets at Spanish Springs two weeks ago.
The Cougars can’t wrap up the league title this week. But they can get pretty close.
Nevada football left to reset aspirations after another Mountain West loss
The Wolf Pack is not going to play for the Mountain West championship this year.
While not mathematically eliminated, Nevada would likely need to win out and get a lot of help after falling to 3-4, 1-2 in the Mountain West with a rain-soaked 14-10 loss at San Jose State on Saturday night.
After two straight 7-6 seasons, coaches and players preached this offseason that it was time to break through the seven-win ceiling. Now, seven wins needs to be the target. The Pack would have to win four of its final five to get there.
Nevada is one of four non Power Five teams in the nation to play in 10 bowl games the last 11 years.
Polian’s squad will have to do something special down the stretch to make it 11 in the last 12 years. It starts Saturday night at Mackay Stadium against Wyoming.
Nathan can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. His weekly column, ‘Shoup Shots,’ was named the best column in the state of Nevada (community division) by the Nevada Press Association. It runs in the hard copy of the Sparks Tribune every Tuesday morning.