HS Football Top 10: No. 1 Bishop Gorman gets a new challenge against No. 4 Centennial

Bishop Gorman football players Marquis Hunkin, Tajon Allen and Jamir Tillman Thursday, July 26, 2012.

The Bishop Gorman High football team hasn’t lost a regular season league game since the 2006 season, when it was defeated by Sierra Vista and Spring Valley.
Thanks to realignment, the three-time defending state champions and nationally respected Gaels will face a new challenge this week at Centennial.
You can easily argue that Gorman, which has been the No. 1-ranked team each week for the past three years in the Sun’s top-10 rankings, hasn’t played a team of No. 4 Centennial’s caliber in conference games in the past five years.
That’s mainly because the Southwest — with struggling programs such as Clark, Pahrump Valley and Western — widely was regarded as the state’s worst league in the large-school classification.
This year, with those schools realigned to the newly formed Division I-A, the Southwest League has a new look — highlighted by Centennial, which has reached the Sunset Regional semifinals the past two years.
Gorman has received minor resistance in the playoffs in the past two seasons against Arbor View and Palo Verde, two programs to which Centennial — it beat Palo Verde and lost to Arbor View this year — can be compared.
While Gorman, which has outscored three league opponents 180-3, is considered a heavy favorite to beat Centennial, the challenge of facing a new local team for the first time is definitely intriguing.
Here are the rest of the rankings, which are compiled each week by the Sun’s Ray Brewer.
1. Bishop Gorman (6-1): In its past 16 quarters, Gorman has surrendered just three points.
2. Liberty (5-1): Liberty, which has won 18 straight Southeast Division games, likely will run the table again this fall in conference games. This week, the Patriots play Southeast newcomer Eldorado.
3. Arbor View (7-0): Arbor View is the lone undefeated team in Nevada. The Aggies will risk that streak Friday against Sierra Vista.
4. Centennial (6-1): Centennial has played three of Las Vegas’ top five teams at home this season, concluding Friday against three-time defending state champion Bishop Gorman. The Bulldogs are 1-1 against the trio, beating Palo Verde and losing to Arbor View.
5. Palo Verde (5-3): Palo Verde, which has won four straight games, faces a tough Durango squad this week. The Panthers can’t afford to overlook the Trailblazers in favor of next week’s highly anticipated showdown with Arbor View.
6. Canyon Springs (4-2): The defending Northeast League champion Pioneers, who blanked Rancho last week, take on Valley this week.
7. Green Valley (5-1): Green Valley seems to get better each week, stretching its win streak to five games last week with a convincing win against Las Vegas High. The Gators won’t be challenged this week against Rancho.
8. Moapa Valley (8-1): Moapa Valley has beaten every team in its path with limited resistance against local competition. This week, the Pirates face a different challenge against an athletic Desert Pines squad. Until this year, Desert Pines competed in a higher classification and typically has several athletic players at the skilled positions.
9. Basic (5-1): With the exception of struggling against Green Valley in Basic's lone loss of the season, the Basic offense has produced points with relative ease this fall. The Wolves have scored more than 40 points in all five of their victories and more than 50 points three times. This week, they face Del Sol.
10. Coronado (4-2): Coronado has scored 108 points in its past three games, including almost knocking off No. 2 Liberty on Oct. 5 in a six-point loss. The Cougars, who haven’t been the playoffs since 2005, control their own destiny this year in reaching the postseason. This week, they’ll face respected Southeast League foe Foothill.

Ray Brewer can be reached at 990-2662 or ray.brewer@lasvegassun.com. Follow Ray on Twitter at twitter.com/raybrewer21.