THURSDAY NIGHT LIGHTS GAME
Durango at Valley — The Trailblazers and Vikings each went 0-9 last season, and both have similar losing streaks they would love to break.
Valley hasn’t won since November 1, 2013 — a 74-15 victory at Rancho — and holds an 18-game losing streak. The Trailblazers aren’t far behind at 16 games, and last won on Sept. 12, 2014 with a 33-25 win at Bonanza.
Valley presumably will lean on senior Iyen Medlock, who led the team in passing, rushing and scoring a season ago.
Durango appears to have three of its top four receivers back in senior Byron Simmons (14 receptions, 133 yards) and juniors Tai Foster (six receptions, 126 yards) and Marquelle Diggs (four receptions, 100 yards).
GAMES OF THE WEEK
Arbor View at Liberty — Sunset Region powerhouse vs. Sunrise Region powerhouse.
Two of Southern Nevada’s perennial top teams, each having longtime coaches, will face off for the first time in five years. Arbor View won the last meeting 47-26 in 2011.
“I think us and Arbor View, and most people probably would agree, have been the best two pubic schools the last five years,” Liberty coach Rich Muraco said. “It’ll be a highly-anticipated game. They’re a great program, and (coach Dan) Barnson does a great job. They’re physical and we don’t see many teams that run a double-wing (offense). It’s definitely going to present a tough matchup for us, but we look forward to the challenge.”
Liberty arguably has the area’s top offense, which features quarterback Kenyon Oblad and wide receivers Darion Acohido, Ethan Dedeaux and Marquez Powell, a transfer from Green Valley.
Arbor View has the state’s best player, according to ESPN.com, in defensive lineman Greg Rogers, a transfer from Centennial.
“If there was no Bishop Gorman, who knows how many times we would’ve met in the state championship,” Muraco said.
Centennial at Desert Pines — The Class 4A Bulldogs have one of top dual-threat quarterbacks in Southern Nevada in Utah State commit Jamaal Evans and also one of the top receivers in Savon Scarver.
Desert Pines, which plays in Class 3A, will have its hands full. But the Jaguars, who have the most Division I talent of any team outside of Gorman, aren’t backing down.
Look for seniors Tony Fields, Jalen Graves, Marckell Grayson, Randal Grimes, Isaiah Morris and Poutasi Poutasi all to make impacts.
“Centennial is usually a top 5 program in town,” Desert Pines coach Tico Rodriguez said. “Another program with a lot of bodies. They’re well coached, they’re big and they have playmakers.”