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Week 3 preview: All local football teams back home
by Aaron Retherford
Sep 09, 2009 | 353 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Heading into Week 3 of the prep football season, all three Rail City schools are surprisingly in the same position.

Reed, Spanish Springs and Sparks are all sitting at 1-1 heading into their final non-league matchups before the league season begins. All three are also at home Friday night, so local fans can make the rounds.

Here is a brief look at Friday's contests.

Sparks Railroaders

With a 6 p.m. kickoff, the Sparks game starts before the other local games. The Railroaders will also have the biggest challenge with Virgin Valley coming to town.

For those not in the know, Virgin Valley is one of the premier programs in the Southern 3A.

The Bulldogs won the 3A state championship in 2006 and were state runner-ups in 2005 and 2007. Although it has started off this season 0-2 with road losses to a pair of Utah schools, Kenab and Cedar City, Virgin Valley is coming off a season in which it reached the state semifinals.

Sparks is definitely looking forward to the challenge.

"Everyone is excited to play Virgin Valley. It's a chance to line up against one of the best teams in the state," Sparks coach Rob Kittrell said.

The Railroaders will definitely need to be more productive on offense than they were last week in Fallon when quarterback Joe Puccinelli was the team's leading passer and rusher with only 173 total yards.

Spanish Springs Cougars

The Cougars are probably the most surprising of the three teams to be sitting at 1-1 considering they've only scored 17 points so far this season.

The defense came up big last weekend in California against Palma, a perennial Central Coast Section power. The Chieftains averaged over 30 points a game a year ago, but were held to just nine Saturday night.

SSHS coach Scott Hare that could be an incredible confidence builder as the biggest win in school history, but at the same time, the team must stay grounded because the road doesn't get much easier.

"Wins don't get any bigger than this without having a ring attached to it. We need these kind of wins so we have the understanding we can play with anybody," Hare said. "But if we rest on this and say other teams are going to fear us, nobody is going to care because we have Galena this week. Hopefully we realize we can play with anybody, but hopefully we understand it was through our discipline and physical nature of the game that we won."

The Grizzlies will come to town also 1-1 in the early season after being stunned 47-40 by North Valleys last Friday.

But unlike Spanish Springs, Galena has had no trouble getting its offense going, combining for 74 points in its two outings.

This will be the teams' last non-league game before their respective league schedules begin.

"We're going to spend one more week focusing on us. That's kind of been our mantra for the first three weeks," Hare said. "We're obviously breaking down Galena and working on them. They've got firepower coming out of their ears with (running back Eric) Howsley and (Beau) Bickel at quarterback. The goal is to see where we are and play some more guys to get a sense of what our team is all about. That way we hopefully put our best team on the field when we're playing in league."

Reed Raiders

There used to be a time when scheduling Carson would be a nice easy non-league win for Reed. That time clearly has passed.

The Senators looked impressive during a 24-7 win over Spanish Springs in the opening week of action, and they proved that was no fluke when they were within a touchdown of knocking off McQueen last week.

"We went and watched that (Spanish Springs) game and they are playing some physical football," Reed football coach Ernie Howren said. "They are very physical on both sides of the ball, and they're inspired. They really believe in what they're doing. You can see it, and you can feel it when you're out there."

Following a loss to Oceanside where a wide range of mistakes cost Reed a chance for a victory, Howren has made sure to focus on the cerebral part of the game during the week's preparation.

"As an overall team, I think we have a very good football team. The mental part of the game has to get better for us or we're going to have miscues like we did," Howren said.

Kickoff for the Spanish Springs and Reed games is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
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