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Prep football power rankings: Cort Ballinger has been stellar for top-ranked Manogue

High school power rankings
High school power rankings for week three. (NSN)

COVID-19 positive cases have had a major impact on Northern Nevada's high school football games this week, canceling games between Reed and Wooster and Dayton and Spring Creek and postponing the Damonte Ranch-Douglas matchup from Friday to Saturday (in the best-case scenario). There will still be a number of games played this week, including McQueen at Galena, Spanish Springs at Reno and Bishop Manogue at Carson on Friday at the Northern 5A level. But this week shows why the governor's office mandated COVID-19 testing for all NIAA schools playing football this season. Here are our week three power rankings of Northern 5A teams.

High school power rankings

1. Bishop Manogue (last week 1): The Miners rolled past Douglas, 35-15, to move to 2-0 this season. Bishop Manogue was outgained 283-218 but got two punt returns for touchdown by Cort Ballinger, one for 64 yards and the other for 62. He also caught a 42-yard touchdown and has a state-best five scores through the team's first two games. Air Force-bound Michael Schneider also rushed for a pair of touchdowns in the win over Douglas. Manogue was up 35-6 at halftime before being shut out in the second half. Special teams led the way in this win. The Miners face Carson this week.

2. Damonte Ranch (2): The Mustangs beat Carson, 40-0, last week and then had three players commit to Sierra College this week, including QB/DB Ethan Kulpin, WR Nick Vargas and DB Justin Harley. Damonte Ranch will play Douglas on Saturday as long as the Tigers' COVID tests Friday come back negative. Damonte Ranch hasn't lost a regular-season game against a Sierra League team like Douglas since 2015 when Galena beat it 34-19. Mustangs running back Carson Smith leads the Northern 5A in rushing yards (261), rushing touchdowns (four) and tackles (25).

3. Reed (4): Playing without star running back Elijah Tau Tolliver last week, the Raiders still dusted Carson, 43-7. Armaan Bajwa threw for three touchdowns and rushed for another. Chance Bustillos stepped in at running back and rushed for a career-best 161 yards and a touchdown. He also delivered this hit below. Reed has a bye this week after its game with Wooster was canceled due to the Colts' positive COVID tests. The Raiders will play McQueen next week.

4. McQueen (5): McQueen scored the game-winning touchdown against Spanish Springs on a 7-yard run by Ashton Hayes with 52 seconds remaining for a 26-20 win. Hayes rushed for 110 yards on 18 carries, up from his 24-yard debut with the Lancers last week following a transfer from Damonte Ranch. Quarterback Cody Ciglar leads the region in passing yards with 398 yards on 57.8 percent passing with three touchdowns. McQueen aims for a 3-0 start when it plays at Galena this week.

5. Douglas (3): Special teams miscues, namely allowing two punt returns for touchdowns, sabotaged Douglas' chances of upsetting Bishop Manogue. The Tigers out-gained the Miners and will get a tough test this week with a game at Damonte Ranch scheduled for Saturday. That's if all goes well with the team's COVID testing Friday after a player tested positive Monday. Even in the best-case scenario, Douglas will only get one practice before facing the Mustangs.

6. Reno (7): After a bye in week one, the Huskies opened the season with a win against 3A Sparks, the first meeting between the teams in 20 years. Reno scored a 49-12 victory in Jason Ehlen's debut. Quarterback Dylan Jackson had a stellar opener, completing 15-of-19 passes for 221 yards and three touchdowns. The Huskies had excellent balance, surpassing 210 yards passing and rushing. Reno gets a stronger test this week with its game against Spanish Springs.

7. Spanish Springs (6): Spanish Springs dropped a heartbreaker to McQueen, giving up a touchdown in the final minute to drop down six before moving the ball inside the Lancers' 10-yard line. But the Cougars couldn't punch it in from there and fell to 0-2. Jeremiah Johnson rushed for 176 yards and two touchdowns on just seven carries. Spanish Springs' run game has been strong, but its passing game, which was the best in the north last season, has completed just 17-of-50 passes (34 percent) for 174 yards with two touchdowns and four interceptions. The Cougars get another tough test this week at Reno.

8. Carson (8): The Senators opened their season with a 43-7 loss to Reed. Carson was out-gained 348-109. The Senators trailed 21-7 at halftime before the Raiders pulled away with a 22-point third quarter. Carson hosts Bishop Manogue this week, a program it last beat in 2016. The Senators beat the Miners four straight seasons from 2013-16.

9. Galena (9): Galena was shut out for the second straight game, losing 40-0 to Damonte Ranch last week. The Grizzlies have allowed 66 points while scoring zero in losses to Douglas and Damonte Ranch. Galena plays at undefeated McQueen this week, which will be another difficult game. The Grizzlies have produced only 114 yards of offense in two games.

Columnist Chris Murray provides insight on Northern Nevada sports. Contact him at or follow him on Twitter at @ByChrisMurray.

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