FIELDER'S CHOICES: Moapa Valley-Truckee: a November tradition


Football rivalries reach a fever pitch of intensity when two teams who dislike each other meet on the biggest stage.

The New England Patriots have the New York Giants, Alabama has Louisiana State and the Las Vegas Locomotives had the Florida Tuskers.

Somewhere beneath the glitz of the United Football League’s marquee rivalry, another game became a rite of November in recent years: Truckee vs. Moapa Valley.

The Wolverines and Pirates will meet in the Division I-A state title game at 6 p.m. Saturday at Bishop Gorman High School.

Just to recap, it’s the fifth year in a row the teams have met for a Nevada state title, even though Truckee is located in California. And the game will be at Gorman, even though the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association is allegedly out to get the Gaels.

You’ll have to read ahead to get to my prediction for the game. The Pirates are hyped to make a statement, and I hope for the same with my Week 13 picks.

I strive to set lines one day like one of my Twitter followers: LVH SuperBook boss Jay Kornegay. Then I’d really be in business.

Centennial at Bishop Gorman —
The Bulldogs gained respect when they played Gorman within 49-20 on Oct. 19, but this isn’t some regular-season game in October.

It’s the Sunset Region final at Fertitta Field, where the Gaels will throw their weight around and exploit weaknesses they learned from the first meeting. … Gorman by 34.

Canyon Springs at Liberty — The Patriots are 2-3 against the spread in their last five games, and the Pioneers come to Freedom Field being called a live ’dog by Uncle Lefty.

But you have to beat the Sunrise Region champ to become the Sunrise Region champ. … Liberty by 3.

Coronado at Green Valley — One of the sharps I listen to suggested that Green Valley could end up playing Gorman in the state title game.

That, along with the fact the Cougars’ Cinderella slipper is about to be yanked off by a nasty Gators defense, was all I needed to hear. … Green Valley by 2½.

Truckee vs. Moapa Valley — Allow me to stand on a stool and channel my inner Knute Rockne. After all, the game is being played at Notre Gorman.

The Pirates must believe that if they execute each play as their coaches have designed, they will win.

They must believe that redemption is their destiny. They must believe that the wounds of the past three state finals will be healed on Fertitta Field for all to see.

And they must believe that the baddest defense in the state can declaw any Wolverine. … Moapa Valley by 6.

Pershing County vs. Mountain View — The Saints have an 11-game winning streak, but also a bit of a psychological hurdle to get over here.

That and a Pershing County offense that runs the ball like the 1972 Miami Dolphins. … Pershing County by 13.

Pahranagat Valley vs. Spring Mountain — Pahranagat Valley will be shooting for its 57th straight win and fifth straight state title.

Other than that, the Panthers lack experience.

Pahranagat Valley quarterback/cornerback/running back/receiver/special teamer Austin Poulsen is among the nation’s best all-around players.

He’ll put on a show in his final game. … Pahranagat Valley by 40.

Last week: 11-1, 7-4-1 (with points)

Season: 71-14, 52-30-3 (with points)