Fielder decided to take a break this week and concentrate on eating leftover turkey, so you’ve got me, Eric.
He doesn’t want me to say this, but it’s really because his picks last week were um, well, unappetizing.
OK, they were brutal. You’d think he’d get better at this stuff as time goes on. Ah, well, there’s probably a reason it took him so long to graduate.
Enough about the turkey-gobbling chicken. On to the picks.
BISHOP GORMAN (12-1) AT REED (10-3)
Remember last season when Reed allegedly had the best team anyone in Northern Nevada had ever seen ... and then got pasted by Gorman 72-28 in the title game?
It’s hard to forget, because it really got people in the North jumping on the get-rid-of-Gorman bandwagon, and it led to meetings and committees. Those are two things the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association doesn’t do well.
So they meet again, and I can’t help wondering if the Gaels are angry about people trying to push them off the cliff or if they don’t want to rock the boat again.
How Reed can win — The Raiders have quarterback Mark Nowaczewski, who has thrown for 3,366 yards and 31 touchdowns and run for 11 scores. They’ve got a 1,500-yard running back in Ty Shepard and two 1,000-yard receivers (Devin Gray, doubtful because of a broken collarbone, and Brett Chaney). And it won’t matter.
Yes, Gorman’s defense will give up points, and that won’t matter, either.
Short of the Gaels’ bus breaking down or getting bad directions, I’ve got nothing.
Why Gorman will win — Did you see last week’s game against Centennial?
Gorman has scored 280 points in the past four weeks, with a running clock in three of the games.
They might not get to 70 here just because they’ll play nice, but it won’t be close. Gorman by 38.
CORONADO (9-2) AT LIBERTY (10-1)
All those who expected Coronado to still be playing, raise your hand.
First-year coach Brad Talich will have the field or a street or something named after him after getting the Cougars to the Sunrise Region final for the first time.
Liberty has been there, done that a couple of times.
How Coronado can win — The Cougars have great balance, with quarterback Kevin Lucero throwing for 2,363 yards and 10 touchdowns, and the running game adding 1,800 yards and 23 scores.
That balance will be important against Liberty, which shut down the Cougars’ running game when the teams met in October. Lucero threw for 295 yards and three touchdowns and gave Coronado a chance to win the game.
Forcing him to lead them back from a deficit again is not a good idea, and Coronado has to approach this like it’s just another game.
Why Liberty will win — The Patriots have been in these types of games before and know what it takes to win.
Liberty really still hasn’t put together a good offense and a good defense in the same game, so it has to be due.
Running back Niko Kapeli had a big game last week, rushing for 135 yards against Canyon Springs. He hung 117 yards and a touchdown on Coronado in Liberty’s 35-29 regular-season win.
Kai Nacua will throw and run just enough to keep Coronado honest.
In the end, the Cougars come out too amped up, and Liberty takes advantage. Liberty by 8.
Last week: 4-2 (3-3 with points)
Season: 75-16 (55-33-3 with points)