Football games of the week — Week 9

Thursday Night Lights Game

Virgin Valley at Chaparral — Last year’s Class 3A Sunset League champion against a team that reached the state semifinals.

The Cowboys booted the Bulldogs from the state tournament with a 34-16 victory in Mesquite, but Chaparral loses 2,417 passing yards from quarterback Santiago Vialpando, 1,218 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns from Kentrell Petite and 859 yards and 14 touchdowns from receiver Devin Gaddy.

The Cowboys lose arguably their three best players, and Virgin Valley returns arguably its best. Jayden Perkins rushed for 1,369 and 16 touchdowns last year, and is ready to avenge last year’s loss in the playoffs. Virgin Valley won the regular season game between these two 13-7.

Games of the Week

Foothill at Basic — The two met twice last year, with the Falcons pulling one of the best upsets of the regular season, then the Wolves got their revenge in the playoffs.

Foothill stunned Basic on Oct. 21 with a touchdown with 1:03 left in the game. It was Basic’s second league loss, and helped catapult the Falcons into the playoffs, where they placed as the Southeast League’s No. 4 seed.

Basic clearly did not like that loss, and routed Foothill 45-6 in the second round of the playoffs. The Wolves will have home-field advantage in this year’s regular season meeting, and will have last year’s result fresh in their minds.

Las Vegas at Rancho — It doesn’t matter how much better one team appears on paper than the other, the Bone Game always draws eyes.

Las Vegas has won the last 21 contests, including a 51-0 drubbing last season. Unfortunately for Rancho, the odds are not on their side this year. The Rams went winless last season and averaged 5.0 points per game and their highest scoring game was 12 points against Moapa Valley.

Meanwhile the Wildcats went 7-3 last season and return Elijah Hicks, who rushed for 769 yards and 10 touchdowns. Las Vegas has reasons to feel confident that Sir Herkimer’s Bone will reside with the Wildcats for at least one more season.