FIELDER'S CHOICES: Look for rout, close game in region finals


I didn’t go to Bishop Gorman last week, but I got a full recap on the game from Shane Victorino, who I heard was in the crowd.

One day, I’ll have the Flyin’ Hawaiian write a column for me. Have your people call my people, Shane.

Only four Southern Nevada teams are left in Class 4A, and the Gaels’ showdown with undefeated Palo Verde highlights tonight’s region finals.

The Panthers needed a last-minute touchdown against Centennial just to make it to the Sunset Region final.

All that’s left after this week is a winner-take-all matchup between the Sunrise and Sunset champs for the right to visit Reno in December.

In case you were wondering (or even if you weren’t), the state title games for Class 1A, 2A and 3A are this week, too. Those are at Damonte Ranch in Reno, but you won’t see me breaking out the snow parka just yet.

I’ll give you the four local lines now so you can prepare for the weekend.

Palo Verde (11-0) at Bishop Gorman (13-1) — Parker Rost did just enough to rally the Panthers last week.

The Gaels haven’t had to rally against an in-state team yet, but there’s little doubt Jarrett Solomon could do it.

And if he can’t? There’s Shaquille Powell. Or Ryan Smith. Or Jamir Tillman. Or any other top prospect on Gorman’s roster.

This one should be closer than any game Gorman has played against a Nevada team yet. Except that 1-0 forfeit win over Western.

With the Gaels’ 46-point average margin of victory to date, it almost has to be ... Gorman by 20.

Foothill (9-2) at Liberty (10-1) — The Patriots and Falcons should be plenty familiar with each other. After all, they met in the last week of the regular season.

Liberty has been the team to beat on the right side of town all year, and Kai Nacua has had plenty to do with it.

But the real reason for Liberty’s dominance is its offensive line, led by P.J. Taeao.

Foothill’s achievement has been impressive, and even more so considering sophomore Drew Doxtator has started under center all year.

The Falcons lost to Liberty 49-41 three weeks ago. This should be close, too. But home field and Niko Kapeli will be the difference ... Liberty by 3.

Moapa Valley (10-2) vs. Truckee (11-0) — The Pirates have been in the 3A championship game every year since before I was in high school. This is their sixth straight trip.

Conner Mortensen has carried the banner of a long line of Moapa Valley running backs, but recently they have had one thing in common: an Achilles’ heel named Truckee.

The Wolverines are on a 35-game winning streak. Moapa Valley lost by 20 points in last year’s title game. With an improved defense, the result should be better.

Just so you don’t think I’m a homer ... Truckee by 9.

Pahranagat Valley (11-0) vs. Carlin (10-1) — The Panthers nipped Carlin 72-0 in September.

And this is your state title matchup in Class 1A.

Austin Poulsen and Tyler Higbee have already built another shelf in the trophy case. Pahranagat Valley’s five seniors have not lost a game ... dating back to two-hand touch in Kade Wadsworth’s front yard.

Only the Railroaders stand in their way. Chance Moen has 1,216 rushing yards. Pahranagat Valley has close to that many points.

The Railroaders had better bring a few freight trains. This won’t be close ... Pahranagat Valley by 30.

Last week: 4-0, 3-1 (with points)

Season: 66-19, 49-34-2 (with points)