Thursday Night Lights Game
Spring Valley at Sunrise Mountain — The Miners were probably better than their 3-7 record indicated last season, but losing quarterback Stephen Wright could be a big blow for them.
Wright threw for a 2,174 yards and 22 touchdowns, including two in last year’s 26-13 loss to the Grizzlies. Week 3 will be the second crack at a Class 4A team for the Miners (Eldorado in Week 2), and could be a sign of how they will do once league play starts in Week 5.
As for the Grizzlies, it is the last game before league play, and the last tune-up before hosting Southwest League rival Sierra Vista. They did just enough to make the postseason last year, and a strong performance against the only Class 3A team on their schedule could be the confidence boost they need.
Games of the Week
Alta (Utah) at Liberty — The Patriots’ brutal non-Nevada schedule ends at the home of UNLV, hosting Alta at Sam Boyd Stadium on Saturday.
Liberty will be coming off a Florida road trip to play American Heritage, and get an extra day to rest. The Patriots scheduled as tough a schedule as they could, in part to regain their national ranking. The Hawks rolled through an 9-1 regular season before falling in the state semifinal game.
“They’re one of the top four, five teams every year in their division,” Liberty coach Rich Muraco said. “It should be a good game. We match up well with them. Hopefully, we can gain a little advantage (playing at Sam Boyd Stadium).”
Miami Central (Florida) at Bishop Gorman — Another week, another nationally ranked team for Gorman.
The Gaels will either be riding high off a signature win at Mater Dei (California) in Week 2, or they will be angry coming back home. The Rockets are the lowest ranked of the Gaels’ nonleague opponents, coming in at “only” No. 18 in the country.
The Rockets missed the playoffs for the first time in seven seasons last year, and won five of six state titles in that span. It won’t be easy for the Gaels, but if they scheduled easy opponents they would not have three national championships in their pockets.
Silverado at Arbor View — There is one league game in Week 3 (Legacy at Palo Verde), but the best nonleague contest to watch will be when Skyhawks they travel to the Aggies.
Silverado will be coming in with a new coach after dismissing former NFL quarterback Randall Cunningham, and also lost running back Keikiokalani Misipeka, who rushed 212 times last year for 1,601 yards. Still, the Skyhawks won eight games last year, including once in the playoffs, so their first road game of 2017 will be one to watch.