This week's Northern 5A high school football action features four games, including Damonte Ranch-Spanish Springs, Bishop Manogue-Carson, McQueen-Reed and Reno-Galena. Here are our large-class high school football power rankings entering Week 8.
5A high school power rankings
1. McQueen (5-0, last week 1): The Lancers, who were idle last week, are not only the lone Northern 5A team without a loss. Every other large-class local team has at least two losses. So McQueen remains in the top spot heading into its matchup with Reed, a potentially dangerous squad. The Lancers have the top-two scorers in the Northern 5A in RB Ashton Hayes (96 points) and QB Robby Snelling (34 points). No other Northern 5A player has scored more than 30 points.
2. Bishop Manogue (4-2, last week 3): After a sluggish start, the Miners have picked things up with three straight wins, including a 44-0 pasting of Galena last week. Manogue plays at Carson on Friday looking to get more consistency out of an offense that has been up and down (three games of 17 or fewer points; two games of 40-plus points). While Carson's offense has struggled this season, the Senators have one of the Northern 5A's best defenses, so it will provide a nice test for the Miners.
3. Damonte Ranch (3-3, last week 7): This week's top matchup is between Damonte Ranch and Spanish Springs, two teams that were supposed to play in the spring season's Northern 5A bowl championship. The game was canceled due to COVID-19 issues, and some barbs were traded between the programs. So there will be no love lost in this bad-blood matchup. Damonte Ranch is looking for its fourth straight win after starting the season 0-3 and will host the game.
4. Spanish Springs (3-4, last week 2): Spanish Springs shut out Carson, 20-0, last week and has played the top two teams in these rankings tough (a five-point loss to McQueen and one-point loss to Manogue). This week's matchup with Damonte Ranch looks even on paper, with the bad blood from the spring season adding to the intrigue. Despite leading the Northern 5A in passing (1,289 yards), Spanish Springs is averaging just 17 points per game, so it must get more out of its drives.
5. Reno (3-3, last week 4): Reno is coming off a bye after back-to-back losses against Bishop Manogue and Damonte Ranch. Both were competitive games with the Huskies losing to the Miners by three points and the Mustangs by seven. Each time, Reno's offense sputtered, scoring no more than 14 points in either contest. The Huskies' defense remains one of the North's best, but Reno must get consistent quarterback play, which should happen against Galena (0-6) this week.
6. Reed (2-2, last week 6): The Raiders shut out Douglas, 31-0, in its last outing before last week's bye and now face the cream of the crop in the North in McQueen, which has played only one close game in its first five contests, all wins. While McQueen is the big favorite, I wouldn't be surprised if Reed hung with the Lancers given the stellar play of QB Armaan Bajwa. The Raiders have a tough close to the season with games against McQueen, Spanish Springs and Reno, three top-five teams in the region.
7. Carson (2-3, last week 5): After a two-game winning streak, the Senators have lost two in a row (to McQueen and Spanish Springs). Carson scored just six points in those two losses combined and have been held to 17 or fewer points in four of its five games (it did score 48 in a win over Galena). To stay close with Bishop Manogue on Friday, Carson must get more out of an offensive unit that's averaging 189.5 yards per game, the second fewest in the Northern 5A.
8. Douglas (1-5, last week 8): A young Douglas team is on a bye this week after a 63-21 loss to Damonte Ranch last week. The Tigers had scored six or fewer points in four of its first five games, so while the 42-point loss to the Mustangs was not a high point in the season, at least Douglas' offense has some success with 21 first-half points in the loss. The Tigers get rival Carson after its bye.
9. Galena (0-6, last week 9): The Grizzlies are coming off back-to-back shutouts, including a 53-0 loss to Bishop Diego from Santa Barbara, Calif., and a 44-0 loss to Bishop Manogue. In fact, Galena has been shut out in three of its last four games if you include a 48-0 loss to Carson. Galena was held to 91 yards in the last week's defeat to Manogue, so it will seek a better offensive performance against Reno this week.
Columnist Chris Murray provides insight on Northern Nevada sports. Contact him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter at @ByChrisMurray.