FIELDER'S CHOICES: Short week presents challenges

I hope everyone stretched well, because this is a really short week.

Most Class 4A schools are coming off Saturday games, and they all have to turn around and play Thursday. Add to it a modified practice schedule for some teams thanks to this week’s thunderstorms, and preparation time is pretty limited.

As always, I’m not worried about pulling any hamstrings. I’ve been doing calisthenics every morning on my way to the bus stop, and my weight-training regime is stacked after carrying around my history books.

I could use a little more cardio work, but climbing the stairs every night to go to bed has to count for something, right?

I had a rare push last week on Bishop Gorman’s three-point win over Servite (which I called to the number; that’s gotta be worth something). Since it’s Yom Kippur, I’m sure I’ll be absolved of it by next week.

Get warmed up with a few picks here. Then go to for the full workout.

Cheyenne (4-1, 3-1 Northwest) at Arbor View (5-1, 3-1)

Since being held to a touchdown by Palo Verde, the Aggies have averaged 43 points per game behind a ground attack led by Roderick Eason and Donnie Gaskin.

Last year’s matchup with the Desert Shields saw four overtimes before Arbor View’s win, so there’s plenty of chance for a tight game — if Cheyenne had Kenneth Counts on the field.

Counts was ejected from last week’s game, meaning he should miss this one. If that’s the case, the Desert Shields will look to Myloe Lewis early and often.

You don’t get much closer than a two-point difference.

Double that this time ... Arbor View by 4.

Canyon Springs (3-2, 3-0 Northeast) at Rancho (2-3, 2-1)

Cody Hafen and Will Gosse-Gardet seem to have the Rams straightening course with back-to-back wins.

But the Pioneers’ Donnel Pumphrey provides a challenge Rancho hasn’t seen in Chaparral or Sunrise Mountain.

Not many defenses have been able to stop Pumphrey. Canyon Springs’ opponents have been reduced to limiting his damage if they hope to pull off a win.

Pump it up, Pumphrey ... Canyon Springs by 13.

Desert Oasis (3-2, 3-1 Southwest) at Durango (3-3, 3-2)

Between Durango’s Arie McQuaig and the Desert Oasis duo of Brandon Andrew and Devin Fortenberry, it’s wise to take the “under” on pass attempts.

There’s still plenty of chance for scoring, though. But a football game featuring so many running plays is limited in minutes.

The team with the ball last wins here.

And that team is ... Desert Oasis by 7.

Silverado (1-4, 0-3 Southeast) at Coronado (2-3, 0-3)

One team is getting its first league win, and what better way to do it than in a rivalry game?

The Skyhawks might want to think about spotting the Cougars an early lead, though, after four come-from-ahead losses.

Still, Izaiah Thurman has shown he’s capable of a devilishly good game, having rushed for 666 yards and eight touchdowns for Silverado.

A note to fans: When rushing the field, tear down the slide first ... Silverado by 4.

Foothill (4-1, 1-1 Southeast) at Del Sol (3-2, 1-1)

Nobody thought the Falcons would go undefeated. Except maybe Kyle Keplinger.

The Gators finally knocked Foothill from the ranks of the unbeaten, but the Falcons have had plenty of time to recover from it.

Now, they face a Del Sol team that may be short on confidence after losses to Moapa Valley and Liberty.

The Dragons’ Chris Marshall may still be the best running back on the field.

But he’ll need a little help ... Foothill by 3.

Cimarron-Memorial (4-2, 3-2 Northwest) at Centennial (2-3, 2-2)

The Bulldogs are likely to have their confidence back after two straight wins.

But the Spartans will also be riding high after Demaryae Williams led them to a big win over Legacy last week that put them back in the playoff hunt.

Both teams will find their chances at making the postseason suffer an enormous hit with a loss.

That leaves more on the line for Centennial ... Bulldogs by 3.

Moapa Valley (5-1) at Legacy (2-3)

Conner Mortensen has 660 rushing yards after only six games for the Pirates, and quarterback Dakota Watters is no slouch either.

Balance is a major reason Moapa Valley is off to a 4-0 start against 4A teams. The Pirates are starting to gain respect at all classifications.

The Longhorns have struggled recently, but part of that may be due to the depth of the Northwest League this year.

Still, D’Andre Hughes is the type of athlete every high school coach dreams of having.

He may be all Legacy needs. Barely ... Legacy by 2.

The Meadows (4-1, 3-0 2A Southern) at White Pine (5-0, 3-0)

Someone keeps e-mailing me to remind me that the Bobcats are the only Southern Class 2A team that hasn’t dropped a game yet, and a win over the Mustangs gives them the fast track to the league’s top seed at state.

Josh Ashby has thrown 10 touchdowns to five receivers — and no interceptions. Let that sink in for a minute.

Joshua Groben rushes for 8.8 yards per carry and has three touchdowns in a crowded backfield, giving White Pine a solid run game, as well.

Garret Gosse and Chase Marrs have The Meadows back on track with a three-game winning straight. It’s looking like another playoff year for the Mustangs.

Just not a league title ... White Pine by 10.
Last week: 7-1, 5-2-1 (with points)
Season: 34-14, 26-21-1 (with points)