Not to pat myself on the back or anything.
But if you paid attention to my big-school picks last week, you knew who would still be playing this week.
I went 3-0 in picking winners of the Sunset Region final and the Sunrise Region semifinals, but didn’t give the winning teams enough respect. Every game was a blowout.
My small-school picks weren’t so good. So we won’t talk about those.
We’re down to three games left in the season … and I’ll soon be looking for things to do. In the meantime, here’s a scouting report and my picks for the two state semifinals:
Basic (11-1) at Del Sol (11-1): Del Sol is used to playing in the Sunrise Region title game.
But the Dragons are used to seeing Las Vegas High on the other side of the field. Instead, they get another familiar opponent.
Del Sol handed Basic its only loss of the year on Oct. 2 when Jason Meuir blocked a field-goal attempt as time expired.
Both teams had several chances to win, but couldn’t make a finishing play as the defenses came through.
Del Sol gained only 194 yards in the game. Basic had just 184.
The key for the Dragons on offense is to find someone, anyone to take some of the load off running back Dezerick Reed. Teams want to key on him. Any other options make life easier.
Basic has good balance on offense, but could really help itself with long drives that end in some sort of points — kill the clock and score at the same time.
In all honesty, I didn’t expect either team to be here with everything both squads lost last year. But they’re here because they deserve to be.
This should be close. Del Sol’s been here. That can be a huge factor. Del Sol by 3.
Bishop Gorman (13-0) at Reed (11-2): When I think Northern Region champion, I don’t usually think Reed.
McQueen, yes. Bishop Manogue, that one, too. The Raiders, though, are a surprise to me and maybe a few others after starting the season 1-2.
Ten straight wins later (including two against McQueen) and the Raiders are in the state semifinals.
The Raiders have a good mix on offense with quarterback Tyler Pine throwing for 2,297 yards and 26 touchdowns, and Christian Thompson having run for 1,425 yards and 10 scores.
Pine is also the team’s second-leading rusher. When he’s throwing, his favorite target is Aaron Greenblat, who has 70 catches for 1,213 yards and 10 scores.
Reed isn’t quite a high-powered offense, averaging about 30 points per game.
Then there’s Notre Gorman, which averages close to 30 points per half.
Quarterback Jarrett Solomon might be the best freshman in the state. He’s thrown for 1,815 yards and 16 scores with only five interceptions.
Shaquille Powell has 25 rushing touchdowns and Victor Belen 23.
How good is Gorman? Kicker Collin Ditsworth has made 90 extra points.
Here’s a secret … the Gaels defense might be better than the offense.
Gorman has to make the trip up north. And has to play in the cold. And has to play an opponent it hasn’t seen.
And it won’t matter. Gorman by 24.
Last week: 4-2 (overall and with points)
Season: 95-25 (overall), 85-35 (with points)