Where is the defense in Division I?
There are two things that have become evident through the first five weeks of the Division I football season.
The first is that defense is severely lacking throughout the High Desert and Sierra leagues.
Here are the numbers for the teams expected to contend for post-season slots:
• The most impressive team has been Spanish Springs (5-1). The Cougars are allowing a league low 18.5 a game, and twice have given up just six points.
• Reno (4-2), after giving up 56 in its opener against Douglas, has settled down quite a bit. The Huskies give up 21 a game, and in the last five games have allowed more than 20 points just once.
• Reed (3-3) has been a disappointment defensively, allowing 33.6 a game. The Raiders have been pelted for 40 or more points twice, and have allowed more than 30 points three times.
• McQueen is 1-4. Save for holding Carson to a field goal, the Lancers have given up more than 40 once and more than 30 once.
McQueen is giving up 25.4. The only thing saving the Lancers is that Hug and North Valleys are in their league, and both of those teams are worse defensively.
• Carson (4-2) is allowing 23 points per a game. The Senators have played two really good defensive games – Reno (10) and Damonte Ranch (17). The Reed win was a solid job despite giving up 30.
• Douglas (3-3) is currently allowing a Division I-worst of 43 points a game. The Tigers have an amazing offense, which isn’t surprising because Ernie Monfiletto is one of the best offensive minds around, but the Tigers just haven’t stopped anybody yet. They have scored more than 50 twice, but yielded more than 50 thrice.
• Galena (4-2) is giving up 26.5 a contest. The Grizzlies were blitzed for 51 by Reno and gave up 43 in a win over Douglas. The Grizzlies did hold Spanish Springs to 20.
• Damonte Ranch (3-3) allows 22 a game. The Mustangs blanked Hug and gave up just 14 to Carson. The most points the Mustangs have allowed was 27 in a loss to Bishop Manogue.
• Bishop Manogue (2-3) gives up 40 a game, and if that continues, the Miners will be watching the playoffs from the bleachers instead of the sidelines. The Miners have been pounded for more than 50 twice and 40 once.
I’m not sure whether the offenses are just getting so much better, or if coaching staffs aren’t able to come up with the appropriate schemes from week to week.
The No. 2 thing I’ve decided is that the High Desert is the better of the two leagues. Reno, Reed, McQueen and Spanish Springs are essentially in the playoffs. They are just playing for seeding now. McQueen is 0-2 in league, but can you imagine the High Sierra champ having to open with the Lancers?
I haven’t seen everybody in the Sierra play yet, but it seems to me based on the scores that all five teams are still in the hunt. Manogue has the worst record overall at 2-3, but the Miners did knock off Damonte Ranch, which is something that Carson and Reno were unable to do.
“It’s wide open,” Carson coach Blair Roman said. “I think a team with one loss can win the league.”
A lot will be decided in the next two weeks. One thing is certain, Carson better beat Galena on Oct. 12. Roman certainly doesn’t want to be 0-2 to start league play.