Thursday Night Lights Game
Silverado at Canyon Springs — A special Saturday version of Thursday Night Lights, as two Sunrise Region playoff teams from last season play their last games before league play begins.
The Skyhawks didn’t do themselves any favors with their nonleague scheduling, with matchups against Arbor View, Desert Pines and Canyon Springs, each of which won at least eight games. But Silverado won eight games too, and a strong nonleague schedule will set the Skyhawks up to try to knock Liberty off its perch once Southeast League play gets going.
Canyon Springs will use this as a final tuneup before Northeast League play, where the Pioneers figure to battle Las Vegas for the crown.
Games of the Week
Centennial at Legacy — Once Northwest League play begins, pick any game on the schedule and it just might be the game of the week.
The Bulldogs had high expectations last season and fell flat, then lost quarterback Jamaal Evans and receiver Savon Scarver to Utah State. Centennial lost to Legacy by just a touchdown in their meeting last year, and the Bulldogs will need every win they can to qualify for the postseason in a brutal league.
Legacy lost one of the top running backs in the state in Samuel Turner, and he basically was the offense. Turner ran for 1,934 yards last season. Without him, the Longhorns will need to find a different way to win in 2017.
Palo Verde at Faith Lutheran — Both made the playoffs in the Northwest League last year, and both may have taken a few people by surprise.
It’s not as if Palo Verde isn’t used to playing after the regular season. But the Panthers started the year 0-6, then won their last three league games to sneak into the playoffs. Centennial and Shadow Ridge each finished a game behind the Panthers last year, so getting off to a better start will be paramount for Palo Verde.
The Crusaders earned the No. 2 seed in their first season back in Class 4A, and this year they are primed to be even better. Keep an eye on Saundre Spiller, a senior who could step into the starter’s role vacated by Christian Marshall. Faith Lutheran will need a strong running game to open the passing game, which will be led by junior signal-caller Sagan Gronauer and senior receiver Elijah Kothe.