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Prep football power rankings: Two huge tilts on tap in week two

High school power rankings
High school power rankings entering week two. (NSN)

Week one of the high school football season was upset free at the 5A level as the teams expected to win did exactly that, although there were a couple of close calls. Week two includes games between Bishop Manogue and Douglas; Damonte Ranch and Galena; McQueen and Spanish Springs; Reed and Carson; and Reno versus Sparks among 5A teams with Hug and North Valleys; Wooster and South Tahoe; Lowry and Dayton; Elko and Fernley; and Spring Creek versus Fallon at the 3A level. Here are the 5A rankings heading into week two.

High school power rankings

1. Bishop Manogue (last week 1): The Miners opened the season with a dominant 38-16 win over Spanish Springs — they were up 38-7 at one point — and get another solid Northern 5A team, Douglas, this week. QB Drew Scolari threw for 205 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for 169 yards and two more scores, including an 81-yarder. Equally impressive was the Miners' pass defense, which limited the Cougars' second-team all-region quarterback, Tristan Szabo, to 7-of-23 passing for 83 yards. Manogue opened the year with a statement victory and has a chance to get another one against Douglas. That game and the McQueen-Spanish Springs matchups are the two best of the week.

2. Damonte Ranch (2): Damonte Ranch scored the game's first 21 points and led 30-11 before barely holding on against Reed, 30-24. Quarterback Ethan Kulpin threw for 151 yards and the Mustangs added 200 yards on the ground, using a balanced attack after losing the state's leading rusher, Ashton Hayes, to transfer. Ryan Mandichak also blocked two punts. Damonte Ranch's defense was impressive, racking up 16 tackles for loss, including four from Carson Smith, who also led the team with 83 rushing yards. Next up is a game at Galena.

3. Douglas (5): We were high on Douglas entering the year, and the Tigers did not disappoint in its opener, shutting out Galena, 26-0. Granted, Galena struggled to score last season and has a long way to go. But it was a nice way to start the season for the Tigers, who allowed just 28 yards while rushing for 296, including a region-high 247 from Trevor Kruger. Things get much more difficult this week with a game at Bishop Manogue. Douglas threw for only 26 yards against Galena, so quarterback play needs to improve throughout the shortened season.

4. Reed (6): After falling behind Damonte Ranch 30-11, the Raiders rallied to make it a one-game score after a pick-six by Elijah Acklin halfway through the fourth quarter before falling 30-24 after advancing to the Mustangs' 11-yard line late in the game. Acklin had 14 tackles, third most among Northern 5A players in week one. Reed had three turnovers and two punts blocked. The team's potent run game from a season ago struggled with just 58 yards on 30 carries. But it was a thrilling near-comeback victory under first-year coach Garrett Hughes. Reed hosts Carson this week.

5. McQueen (3): McQueen was nearly upset in its season opener, struggling to a 14-11 win at North Valleys, which plays at the 3A level. Transfer Ashton Hayes was held to 24 yards on 22 carries, which was shocking. Worth noting he had only 55 yards in the season opener last year (although that was against Granite Bay) before averaging 197.8 yards per game for the rest of the year. Quarterback Cody Ciglar threw for a region-high 219 yards and two touchdowns and the defense looked strong, but getting the ground game going it key.

6. Spanish Springs (4): The Cougars drew a tough matchup in the opener against Bishop Manogue, dropping a 38-16 decision. Spanish Springs lost three excellent pass-catchers in the offseason, and it showed as the Cougars mustered just 83 passing yards after averaging better than 225 yards per game through the air last season. On the plus side, Spanish Springs did rush for 190 yards (5.8 yards per carry) against a strong Miner defensive front. Spanish Springs returns to action this week with a game versus McQueen, which should be a close contest.

7. Reno (7): Reno was in the odd position of having back-to-back byes to start the season with a scrimmage against Carson last week and a bye this week, however the Huskies added a game with 3A foe Sparks, which marks the first time those programs have played each other in 20 years. The Huskies are under first-year coach Jason Ehlen, the program's third coach in three years. Reno's staff includes former Nevada players Cody Fajardo and Stefphon Jefferson as well as local legends Joe Mac Sellers and Dan Avansino, the Huskies' long-time head coach.

8. Carson (9): After scrimmaging Reno in week one, Carson plays its season opener at Reed. The Senators are coming off back-to-back 2-8 seasons, including a 0-5 mark in Sierra League play last year. But it has intriguing quarterback William Breeding, who is 6-foot-5, and a coach in Blair Roman who is used to winning. Carson allowed 32.5 points per game last season, so the defense needs marked improvement.

9. Galena (8): Galena played three quarterbacks in its season opener, a 26-0 loss to Douglas, and ran for just eight yards on 20 carries. Offense was a major issue last season as the Grizzlies were held to 14 points or fewer in seven of its nine games in 2019. That remains a major area in need of improvement, although the Galena defense hung in there against the Tigers considering the circumstances. The Grizzlies host Damonte Ranch, which has one of the area's better defenses, so getting into the end zone this week will be a challenge.

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


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