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Prep football rankings: High Desert League title on the line?

Spanish Springs
The matchup between{ }Spanish Springs and Reno is a big one in deciding the High Desert League title winner.

Each week, Nevada Sports Net’s Chris Murray will rank the top five Northern 4A football teams. Here are this week’s rankings, with each team’s overall record, its next opponent and a brief comment.

1. Damonte Ranch

Ranking last week: 1

Record: 8-0, 3-0

This week: at Douglas (on Thursday)

In short: Damonte Ranch dusted Carson, 70-7, and has scored at least 63 points in each of its last three games since Michigan-bound quarterback Cade McNamara returned from a one-game absence with a rib injury. McNamara completed 13-of-20 passes for 280 yards and four touchdowns in the win over the Senators. He has 21 touchdowns to five interceptions this season and has his team two wins shy of a perfect regular season.

2. Bishop Manogue

Ranking last week: 2

Record: 5-3, 2-1

This week: at Galena

In short: Manogue also posted a blowout last week, beating Douglas, 69-14, behind 249 rushing yards on 14 carries from Peyton Dixon. He scored four touchdowns and is pushing toward the 2,000-yard barrier despite missing a game earlier this month. Dixon has rushed for 1,627 yards and 23 touchdowns in 2018. The most rushing yards in a season by a 4A North player is 2,272 by Reed’s Ryan Lammle in 2004. The Northern 4A record for rushing scores is 33 by Reed’s Jordan DeLeon in 2013. Dixon could reach both.

3. Reno

Ranking last week: 5

Record: 5-2, 2-0

This week: at Spanish Springs

In short: Reno shut down Reed in a 21-3 victory last week and has allowed a touchdown or less in four of its last six games. The Huskies rank third in the Northern 4A in fewest points allowed per game at 18 (only Damonte Ranch and McQueen are better). This week’s contest at Spanish Springs provides another test for the Reno defense. The Cougars are second in the North in passing yards at 218 per game, behind only Damonte Ranch.

4. Spanish Springs

Ranking last week: 4

Record: 5-3, 2-0

This week: vs. Reno

In short: Spanish Springs shut out Hug, 35-0, to set up this week’s best game, a home tilt with Reno, which is the only matchup Friday of two ranked squads. The winner of the game has the inside track to the High Desert League title. Cougars wide receiver Jordan Dudick, who is 6-foot-4, will be a big weapon in this one. The junior leads the Northern 4A in catches (46), receiving yards (828) and receiving touchdowns (nine).

5. Reed

Ranking last week: 3

Record: 5-3, 2-1

This week: Bye

In short: After a 21-3 loss, Reed gets a bye before finishing the regular season with a rivalry game against Spanish Springs. The Raiders’ loss last week snapped a five-game winning streak and put a major dent into the school’s hopes of winning a High Desert League. Reed’s usually high-octane offense ranks tied for sixth among 11 Northern 4A team in scoring at just 28 points per game, which has thinned the team’s margin for error.

Sports columnist Chris Murray provides insight on Northern Nevada sports. Contact him at crmurray@sbgtv.com or follow him on Twitter @MurrayNSN.

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