Here’s a look at what happened during Week 7 of the high school football season.
What we learned
1. High school sports, and especially Friday night football, can play a tremendous role in community healing following a tragedy such as the one Las Vegas faced this week.
The games gave us a chance to honor those who were killed and injured in the mass shooting with moments of silence or pregame ceremonies where those in attendance remembered someone dear to them who was taken away.
They gave us a chance to help support those in need by purchasing T-shirts with the proceeds going to the victims.
But most importantly, the games gave us a chance to feel normal, at least for a few hours.
There’s little doubt that the minds of many players and fans went back to the tragedy after the final whistles blew. We should never forget what happened.
But we also must remember to live our lives and do the things we love, like playing or watching football games. Things aren’t back to normal yet, but it’s a start.
2. Aubrey Nellems has emerged as the area’s top running back. The senior had 215 yards on 25 carries in Shadow Ridge’s 37-7 win over Centennial on Friday night, giving him an area-best 1,047 yards.
Nellems is more than 200 yards ahead of the next rusher, and he’s done it in five games after sitting out one week for religious reasons. He’s also done it on just 89 carries, averaging 11.8 yards per rush.
“What we do is pretty simple and straightforward, but we tend to complicate it at times,” Shadow Ridge coach Travis Foster said. “But when we simplify it and do what we’re supposed to do, he’s as good as there is.”
3. Maybe this is the year that Palo Verde misses the playoffs.
The Panthers dropped to 0-3 in the Northwest League after a 27-7 loss to Arbor View. Palo Verde has made 17 consecutive playoff appearances, but has tough road to make it 18 straight.
The Panthers have league games remaining with Cimarron-Memorial (3-2), Shadow Ridge (5-1) and Centennial (0-6). On the other hand, Palo Verde opened the season 0-6 (0-3 in the league) last year, and managed to win the final three games and earn a postseason berth.
Upset of the week
Moapa Valley 28, Chaparral 14 — The Pirates entered the game ranked No. 4 among area Class 3A teams, while Chaparral was No. 2. But the most impressive thing about the win wasn’t knocking off a higher-ranked team. It was the way Moapa Valley did it.
The Pirates scored 21 unanswered points — all in the final 7:41 — to rally past the Cowboys.
Braeden St. John had a 16-yard TD catch to tie the game at 14, then added a 26-yard TD run with 1:44 left to give Moapa Valley a 21-14 lead. The Pirates even added an insurance touchdown in the final minute.
This was a huge win in terms of potential playoff seeding in the Sunrise League, especially with the Pirates taking on rival Virgin Valley next week.
Sagan Gronauer, Faith Lutheran — 11-19 passing, 296 yards, 4 TDs
Kenyon Oblad, Liberty — 14-24 passing, 221 yards, 3 TDs
Paul Myro, Basic — 13-16 passing, 215 yards, 2 TDs
A.J. Barilla, Green Valley — 18-26 passing, 208 yards, 3 TDs
Tyree Hayes, Sunrise Mountain — 7-11 passing, 190 yards, 3 TDs
Aubrey Nellems, Shadow Ridge — 25 carries, 215 yards, 3 TDs
Thorston Balmer, Boulder City — 13 carries, 208 yards, 4 TDs
Michael Lofton, Desert Pines — 21 carries, 208 yards, 4 TDs
Trayvon Ward, Sunrise Mountain — 10 carries, 206 yards, 4 TDs
Bryce Jones, Valley — 26 carries, 197 yards, 1 TD
Xavier Kyles, Sunrise Mountain — 5 catches, 133 yards, 1 TD
Kazonte Thomas, Canyon Springs — 4 catches, 113 yards, 1 TD
Briggs Huxford, Boulder City — 3 catches, 108 yards, 2 TDs
Kevin Pope, Tonopah — 8 catches, 96 yards, 5 TDs
Josh Wilson, Bonanza — 3 catches, 89 yards, 2 TDs
“I was really proud of Ayzayah. The way he dealt with tonight. Really proud of him.”
— Coronado coach William Froman on sophomore Ayzayah Hartfield, whose father, Charleston, was killed during the mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival.
“I seen that they gave me the gap, and I took it. Once again, it’s just the coaches calling the plays and we’re executing whether it’s a blitz or just a regular base call. We’re getting to the quarterback, and we get after it. Me and all my D-linemen, that’s what we do.”
— Liberty defensive lineman Crishaun Lappin, who had 1½ sacks in a 43-9 win over Foothill.
“He’s a physical kid, he likes contact. Sometimes we’re like ‘hey, juke,’ (and he says) ‘no coach, I like to go downhill.’”
— Desert Pines coach Tico Rodriguez on running back Michael Lofton, who rushed for 208 yards in a 35-6 home win over Mojave.
“I just felt the juice tonight, and coach gave me the opportunity to show what I could do. And it’s a big win for us because Vegas is our rival.”
— Canyon Springs’ Kazonte Thomas, who scored on a 67-yard pass play in the Pioneers’ 44-14 win over Las Vegas.
“I felt really good about things after the first play, but I didn’t know it was going to be this easy.”
— Green Valley coach Brian Castro after his team’s 49-0 win over Silverado.
“It felt awesome. It was a blessing. I mean I wish [the running back] could have held on to the ball, but it happens and he fumbled. So, I took the shot to recover it and score it. I’m happy, extremely happy. You know, we’re just working hard and hard work pays off.”
— Sierra Vista offensive lineman Isaiah Palelei after he recovered a fumble in the end zone during his team’s 49-0 rout of Desert Oasis.
How they fared
A look at how the teams in the Review-Journal rankings fared in Week 7.
1. Bishop Gorman (5-2) beat Clark, 56-0. Next: vs. Desert Oasis, Friday.
2. Liberty (5-1) beat No. 5 Foothill, 43-9. Next: at Coronado, Friday.
3. Arbor View (6-0) beat Palo Verde, 37-7. Next: vs. No. 7 Legacy, Friday.
4. Green Valley (5-1) beat Silverado, 49-0. Next: vs. Basic, Friday.
5. Foothill (5-1) lost to No. 2 Liberty, 43-9. Next: vs. Silverado, Friday.
6. Shadow Ridge (5-1) beat Centennial, 37-7. Next: vs. No. 8 Faith Lutheran, Friday.
7. Legacy (4-2) was idle. Next: at No. 3 Arbor View, Friday.
8. Faith Lutheran (3-3) beat Cimarron-Memorial, 58-39. Next: at No. 6 Shadow Ridge, Friday.
9. Sierra Vista (5-1) beat Desert Oasis, 49-0. Next. vs. No. 10 Durango, Friday.
10. Durango (5-1) beat Del Sol, 19-12. Next: at No. 9 Sierra Vista, Friday.
1. Desert Pines (3-2) beat No. 3 Mojave, 35-6. Next: at Cheyenne, Friday.
2. Chaparral (5-2 ) lost to No. 4 Moapa Valley, 28-14. Next: at Del Sol, Friday.
3. Mojave (4-2) lost No. 1 Desert Pines, 35-6. Next: vs. Western, Thursday.
4. Moapa Valley (5-1 ) beat No. 2 Chaparral, 28-14. Next: vs. No. 5 Virgin Valley, Friday.
5. Virgin Valley (4-2) was idle. Next: at No. 4 Moapa Valley, Friday.
1. Needles (6-0) beat No. 4 Lake Mead, 34-3. Next: vs. No. 2 Lincoln County, Friday.
2. Lincoln County (5-2) beat Calvary Chapel, 61-12. Next: at No. 1 Needles, Friday.
3. Democracy Prep (3-2) beat No. 5 The Meadows, 40-0. Next: at Laughlin, Friday.
4. Lake Mead (3-2) lost to No. 1 Needles, 34-3. Next: vs. Mountain View, Friday.
5. The Meadows (2-4) lost to No. 3 Democracy Prep, 40-0. Next: at Calvary Chapel, Friday.
1. Pahranagat Valley (6-0) beat No. 5 Indian Springs, 64-12. Next: vs. No. 2 Spring Mountain, Friday.
2. Spring Mountain (4-1) beat Round Mountain, 74-12. Next: at No. 1 Pahranagat Valley, Friday.
3. Beatty (4-0) was idle. Next: at Round Mountain, Friday.
4. Tonopah (3-4) defeated Beaver Dam by forfeit. Lost to Wells, 66-36. Next: at No. 5 Indian Springs, Friday.
5. Indian Springs (1-5) lost to No. 1 Pahranagat Valley, 64-12. Next: vs. No. 4 Tonopah, Friday.
See the following stories for some of the RJ’s video coverage from Week 7.