Anything can happen in the playoffs, and the Reed High football team proved just that last Friday night in their regional semifinal game. The Raiders marched into Damonte Ranch and knocked off the Mustangs 31-27 to advance to the 4A Northern regional championship game on Friday.
The win for Reed wasn’t as much of a surprise as the loss by Damonte. Not only did the Mustangs enter the game without a loss this season, but they were hardly tested up to that point. They had beaten every opponent in Northern Nevada by at least 20 points and also knocked off three California teams during the undefeated stretch.
But the playoffs are a different animal, and this night belonged to Reed and its senior leader who stepped up when his team needed him the most.
With the Raiders trailing by three with about 10 minutes left in the game, quarterback Cameron Emerson scrambled for a 20-yard touchdown run to give Reed a lead they would never relinquish. The Raider defense sealed the deal with two late interceptions by Champ Robertson and Jake Olson to send their team to the title game.
The game had about as much drama as one would expect in a playoff contest as both teams traded blows throughout the night. Damonte took a 20-17 lead in the locker room at the half, and each offense reached the end zone in the third quarter to set up the exciting finish.
Emerson was efficient all game and completed 8 of 10 passes for 180 yards and two rushing touchdowns. Josiah Schmidt also had a huge night and rushed for 123 yards and a score on 19 carries. The Raiders other touchdown came on an 89-yard kickoff return by George Moreno.
Now the Raiders turn their attention to another undefeated team in Reno, who is coming off a 42-6 semifinal win over Spanish Springs. The Huskies defeated the Raiders 39-0 in their matchup on Oct. 13 and have run over every other opponent that’s stood in their way since.
Kickoff is set for 2:10 p.m. on Friday at Damonte Ranch High School, with the winner moving on to the state championship game at Mackay Stadium in Reno on Dec. 2 to play the winner of the Bishop Gorman and Liberty game from the south.