Spanish Springs confirmed to the rest of the conference what they already knew Friday night – that they are the top team in the High Desert League. The Cougs proved as much with a 29-15 over Reno, the team that was tied with them atop the division standings heading into the showdown.
The victory assures them at least a tie for second place when the dust settles on the regular season this week. The only team standing between them and the top seed in the regional playoffs is the school they will meet tomorrow night, their longtime rival Reed.
Reed, who had a bye week, has a lot to play for themselves. The Raiders are tied with the Huskies at 2-1 in second place and a win over Spanish Springs would create chaos with three teams tied for first if Reno is able to knock off McQueen tomorrow.
The only team that can control its own destiny is Spanish Springs, and they proved why they were deserving of that after winning its fifth straight last Friday.
In his biggest game of the season to date, Cougs quarterback Tristan Szabo turned in a big performance for his team. The sophomore threw for 135 yards and two touchdowns in the win over Reno that saw the home team Cougs jump out to a 21-12 halftime lead. Trey Hummel was the recipient of one of those touchdown passes, while Colby Preston caught the other and ran for two more on 66 rushing yards.
But it was the defense that stepped up in a big way for Spanish Springs as the Cougs forced four turnovers. Michael Binnell recovered a fumble and caught an interception while Parker Luthy and Mason Bebout each picked off the Huskies quarterback as well.
The showdown between Sparks rivals will take place Thursday night at Reed High School where the Raiders are 2-1 this season.
The Railroaders finished out a tough season on Friday with a 38-30 loss at home, but they didn’t go down quietly.
After falling behind 8-0 early to North Valleys, Sparks got on the board twice in the second quarter and trailed 24-10 at the half. The two teams traded touchdowns in the third quarter before the Railroaders cut the lead to just eight points as time expired on their season.
Sparks finished 2-8 overall on the season and 2-7 in conference play.