Thursday Night Lights Game
Valley at Eldorado — In a five-team league, the playoffs are wide open. Pencilling in Canyon Springs and Las Vegas to represent the Northeast League isn’t a stretch, but this game could still be huge in that the winner has the best opportunity to avoid Liberty in the first round.
Valley claimed the No. 4 seed last year and got walloped by the Patriots in the first round.
Both teams won just twice last season, but Eldorado got the upper hand in a 32-30 road victory over the Vikings. Keep an eye on this one, as it could have a big impact on the Northeast League playoff outlook.
Games of the Week
Las Vegas at Canyon Springs — The Wildcats’ lone league loss was to the Pioneers, and it earned them a date with Silverado in the playoffs. With the other three teams in the Northeast League combining for a 1-16 nonleague record, this could prove to be the league title game.
Both squads return studs, with the Wildcats handing the ball to running back Elijah Hicks, and the Pioneers receiving a full season of Diamante Burton at quarterback. They are two of the best returning players in Southern Nevada, hiding in a league that doesn’t get a lot of respect statewide.
Canyon Springs won last year’s game 21-13. Burton had a passing and a rushing touchdown, and Canyon Springs held Hicks to 29 yards on the ground.
Foothill at Liberty — The Falcons get their shot at knocking off the Patriots, who have not lost a league game since 2014. Liberty is the seven-time defending Sunrise Region champion, and does not plan on ending that streak this year.
But the Falcons had a knack for the upset last year. They beat Basic by two points in the regular season, then knocked off the Northeast League’s top seed Canyon Springs in the playoffs.
But Liberty is still Liberty. It had a national ranking last season, and beat Foothill 62-14.