Lyon County may be somewhat of a large county, but the Fernley and Yerington football teams are still like neighbors who know each other well - maybe too well.
When Fernley plays at Yerington at 7:30 p.m. today, there will be more at stake than ever. Not only is a possible Lyon County title and the Golden Pic on the line, but more importantly, Friday's game is the Northern 3-A Conference opener for two schools who have been following each other since last summer when they attended a camp together.
"I think we know them well and I think they know us real well," Yerington Coach Cody Neville said. "It's a good rivalry. It's a win that could make or break the season."
Both teams are coming off season opening wins. Fernley came back to beat Pershing County 36-30 and Yerington routed Incline Village 32-0.
Fernley could have two key players back who weren't able to go in the season opener.
Linebacker Kyle Davis will play Friday and three-year starting lineman Mike Hudgins has been cleared to play and Fernley Coach Dave Hart said he hopes Hudgins will be able to go as well.
Hart said he's most concerned about Yerington's fly offense. "Their fly offense is real deceptive," he said.
But Hart said it may be an advantage to face Yerington early in the year.
"They're getting better every week," he said. "They're going to get more and more efficient with it."
Neville said he's most concerned with Fernley's vesatility on offense. Fernley features one of the best quarterbacks in Northern Nevada in Matt Lambeth.
"They've got a great passing game," Neville said. "They've got a couple of hard-nosed runners, too."
Other key skill players for Fernley include Joe Fennessey, Adam Schwabb and Dan Maguin.
Yerington is led by Thomas Sceirine, who had 14 solo tackles against Incline Village and is counted on to gain the tough yards at fullback.
"He's a great lead blocker," Neville said. "He just punishes people."
Other key players are running back Josh Allen, who gained 130 yards against Incline, quarterback Phillip Wilson, running back Doug Paine and receivers Mike Rempp and Zack Roots.
Other keys to the game will be Fernley's outstanding team speed and its line, which Hart said is the most athletic he's ever had.