Week one is in the books and as I sit here late on this Friday evening I wonder how I could encapsulate this week best. I believe there are many things I can touch on so let me give you my personal highlights of this weeks action.
Football is back
Honestly to say High School Football is back is a relief for someone like myself who has spent much of the last few weeks setting up a magazine, recording multiple podcast, and overall prognosticating what could happen under the lights. It's a relief to see all the fruition of hard earned work by players and coaches finally either show or make us wonder if and when it will appear. The return of football with a pandemic seeming in the rear view mirror is a relief.
As many coaches will tell you sometimes the hardest thing is to get through the season without key injuries, tonight echoed that sentiment. I started my evening watching Bishop Manogue face Escalon and by the end of the 1st quarter I saw Logan Howren get hit multiple times on his blindside which couldn't have felt great. Then later in the 1st half Cal Faulstitch was on the ground for a substantial amount of time before being assisted off the field only to not return to the game. I later that evening went to see Damonte Ranch and Escalon play and upon my arrival I learned that they were on their 3rd string receiver and the trainer had been handling multiple other lingering injuries as the evening continued. Injuries can be a huge part of wins and losses and this week is no different expect this to be a storyline that could ultimately change a teams season.
I have covered football for years but I can still be wrong
The reason I have never had issue talking to a coach, player, fan, or school official about my opinions and predictions over the years is because I always use objectivity and statistics to back up my opinions. Saying all of that I also understand teams and fanbases such as Sutter, Bingham, and Grant all can get mad at me for predicting not only their teams would lose to local teams but in some cases I predicted the local team would win by a substantial amount. This week we saw some results we expected and some unexpected but that's why the games aren't played on paper. Remember folks week one does not mean you will win a state championship and it also doesn't mean your season is over.
Game Initial Thoughts
Bingham Miners 48 Bishop Manogue Miners 9
Bishop Manogue's performance shocked me and at the same time didn't shock me at all. The way Bishop Manogue was manhandled in the trenches and the difficulty in which they had moving the ball shocked me for a team that many expected to be the best team in the North. On the same hand I was not entirely blown away by the result knowing that Bingham is a top ranked team in the state of Utah I knew Bishop Manogue was not facing some team lacking talent. Expect a hungry and fired up Miner team come next Friday.
Escalon Cougars 43 Damonte Ranch Mustangs 29
The Mustangs lost this game but should not beat themselves up at all based on their performance. Damonte Ranch came within a 4th down play of tying up the game late. The Mustangs have shown already this season that they could be a team on the rise but it will depend on what the injury report looks like Monday Morning. The Mustangs saw multiple injuries this game and I hope for their sake that is not a hinderance on their season. They travel next week to Lodi and look to prove this week was a fluke in a season full of wins.
Galena Grizzlies 39 North Valleys Panthers 6
Is Galena that good or are the Panthers that bad? This is a question we will see answered in the coming weeks but this outcome didn't shock me but rather the margin in which the Grizzlies looked like they dominated this one. I got to give kudos to Coach Aaron Cook and his team as they get a win to kick off their season.
Douglas Tigers 20 Argonaut Mustangs 0
Not to much of a shocker here... If the Tigers play their brand of football and stay true to themselves the sky is the limit. I do want to say I am impressed how the Tigers Defense held Argonaut to a scoreless game.
Faith Lutheran Crusaders 37 Reed Raiders 13
I picked the Crusaders but as a Northern Nevadan there was part of me that hoped my prediction was wrong. Sadly that was not the case and I reiterate as many have this is the reason the North wants to have a 5A/4A conversation.
Reno Huskies 34 Linden Lions 6
This game is almost what I predicted (42-21) the only thing I have to say that did not read with the status quo is the Huskies team defense may have been slept on... only time will tell.
Grant Pacers 42 McQueen Lancers 0
I picked the Lancers and I couldn't of been more wrong. Coach Marner said in an interview that complacency based on the results of last season was something that was on his radar. McQueen players need to ask themselves are we the 2021 Lancers or the 2022 Lancers and see the difference in the two.
Liberty Patriots 58 Spanish Springs 17
This is just the case of a tough early season matchup. The Cougars traveled to California to face a top team in the state and lost. This does not change my opinion of how the Spanish Springs Cougars will still be one of the top teams in the North.