NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – Only two games were played on Friday night as 6A teams looked to clinch their spot in the state championship, while every other classification will take the field on Saturday. Here is a look at highlights from class 6A and a preview for every other class.
Life of an Athlete Game of the Week
La Cueva hosted Las Cruces at Wilson Stadium as the Bears and ‘Dawgs hoped to punch a ticket to next week. La Cueva was able to dominate on offense from the start, scoring on each of the team’s first five possesions to start the game. From there, Las Cruces played catch up the rest of the way, but was never able to get back in it. La Cueva got the win, 63-33.
“Well they’re doing a lot of good things but this is a tough team,” said La Cueva head coach Brandon Back. “There’s no easy games at this point. We know that, the defense knows that. Just making, you know, making sure we’re in the right spot, making sure our guys understand the responsibility and then executing when they need to.”
Cleveland: 38 vs Rio Rancho: 7
New Mexico High School Football History presented by Isham Dental
With Friday night’s results, class 6A will have a rematch of last year’s title game, which was historic in its own right. Cleveland and La Cueva combined for 136 points, which is the second highest scoring 11-man game ever and the highest scoring state championship by a large margin. The Storm and Bears 2022 offenses each rank in the top-ten all-time.
Top ranked Roswell and 5th ranked Deming will square off on Saturday. The two teams rarely play each other, but with the best defense Jeff Lynn has ever had with the Coyotes, and a Wildcats team that has only allowed two touchdowns over the last five games, something has to break.
“I don’t know what it’s going to be like,” said Lynn. “We don’t have a lot of experience with this team. I think the team that runs the football is going to be the team that wins the game. So that’s kind what we’re focused on and hopefully we get that done.”
On the other side of the 5A bracket, Artesia will host Piedra Vista in a rematch of last year’s championship game. The Bulldogs got the better of the Panthers last year, so they aren’t overlooking a team that has revenge on its mind.
“I think anytime you lose to somebody in the championship game, you want another chance to redeem yourselves,” Artesia head coach Jeremy Maupin said. “I am sure there is some motivation there on some things from last year. So, I think we are going to get a really good football team, a hungry team and like you said one that is playing really good football right now.”
Bloomfield enters semi-final weekend 11-0 and the Bobcats have outscored opponents 527-34. The team will have its toughest test of the season however, as they will take on a very tough Portales team.
“Defensively we need to stop what they do best and then offensively we need to make sure that we are running on all cylinders, make sure that we are establishing the run and also make sure that were spreading the field and pushing the ball down the field in our passing game,” said Portales head coach Jamie Ramirez.
The other two teams fighting for the right to move on include Lovington and Silver. The Wildcats won it all in 2021, but were turned away in the semis by the Colts last season. This game will be hard fought battle between two championship caliber teams.
“I think the success that they have been able to have is a direct reflection of the structure and the organization,” Lovington coach Anthony Gonzales said. “They are a championship program and I knew that our paths would cross again and when it did come up it was going to be that way it is almost more of like I expected it to happen.”
Defending state champion St. Michael’s is looking to make another run and will host NMMI on Saturday. The winner of that game will face the winner of Robertson and Cobre.
Class 2A will play its championship on Saturday between Eunice and Texico. The two teams played earlier in the year, however that game was called early due to lightning. This time around, they plan to leave everything on the field.
“It’s going to be war, its going to be four quarters of absolute knockdown, drag out, no holds barred football, and for them to get the desired result its going to take them doing literally whatever it takes,” Eunice head coach Greg Jackson said.
“It’s just a different week, you know,” said Texico head coach Bob Gilbreath. “In a small school like Texico, you get a lot of community involvement and the deeper you go, everybody wants to be involved.”
All Saturday games will kick off at 1 p.m.