NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – The 2022 postseason is winding down and schools have their eyes on the blue trophy. Here is how things are shaking out in week 14.

Following their upset win over Hobbs, No. 5 ranked Volcano Vista returned to Albuquerque to host district top ranked Cleveland. During the regular season, the Storm got the better of the Hawks, winning 56-21. The playoff matchup was not much different, as the Storm went on to 47-24. With the win, Cleveland advanced to a fourth consecutive (fifth including the shorted COVID season) title game.

Cleveland and Centennial are the other teams vying for a spot in the class 6A championship. While the Bears play and Hawks play on Saturday. La Cueva coach Brandon Back and Centennial coach Aaron Ocampo spoke to KRQE Sports about the matchup. During the regular season, the Bears got the better of the Hawks, winning by only one score, however with the title game on the line, they both expect this game to come down to the wire.

“It’s going to be a war,” said Back. “All semi final games are like that, we’re expecting nothing but just another hard fought battle.”

“You never know which play in the game is going to be the one to make the difference in the game, so play them all where you’re locked in and focused and ready to go with your best effort level,” said Ocampo. “If you do that, more often than not things are going to bounce your way.”

First Class Learning Center First Class Performance

This week’s First Class Learning Center First Class performance goes to Cleveland senior Josh Perry. The Storm running back ran for nearly 300 yards and five touchdowns in his team’s win.

Class 5A

Top seeded Artesia is making the trip to take on the Wildcats. The Bulldogs are currently on a six game win streak, and they believe they are clicking at the right time.

“I really think, its all aspects of the game,” coach Maupin said. “I mean, you know we have ran back 7 kick offs for touchdowns this year, we have had five plus turnovers just in the kicking game, our defense over the last few weeks are really tackling well, they are getting to the ball, and then our offense is just clicking. We are moving the ball, we are scoring a lot of points, and our tempo has just gotten better throughout the year. So, its really the whole picture, its been really fun this year.”

On the other side, there is a ton of excitement in Wildcat country, as Deming is currently having their best season of the century.

“We’ve never been this far in the playoffs, at least hosting a game,” Deming senior Fabian Reyna said. “It’s a big thing, we’re making history out here so I’ looking forward to a big crowd. It’s just great for everyone that their Deming Wildcats football team is hosting a big game and hopefully we come out with a dub.”

Class 4A

The Lovington Wildcats started their season 0-6 but have won every game since. The defending champions of class 4A now have a tall task in stopping top ranked Silver.

“When you get into these matchups, championship type environments, schemes kind of take care of itself and it comes down to effort,” said Lovington head coach Anthony Gonzales. “I think the team that can sustain phonetical effort, from the first quarter all the way through the fourth quarter, and what team can prevail in that category right there, they’re going to be victorious in the game. So it’s going to be a battle.”

Class 3A

St. Michael’s traveled to Socorro for the right to advance to the championship. The Horsemen pulled off the upset, giving the Warriors their first loss of the season, 14-6. St. Michael’s now awaits the winner of Ruidoso and Raton.

NMAA Student Athlete of the Week

This week’s NMAA Student Athlete of the Week is Deming senior Fabian Reyna. The Wildcats playmaker provided a spark for his team against Goddard in the quarterfinals, as he rushed for over 100 yards and two touchdowns, and also ran the second half kickoff into the endzone. While football is a major part of his life, he understands the importance of maintaining his education, as he maintains a 3.7 GPA.

“The way I look at it is you got to do what you got to do,” said Reyna. “You can’t play football without your education, without good grades. Football will drop you at one time and so having your education, having your degree. Yeah I feel really good about myself, I’m trying to graduate in white and make my family proud. That’s my motivation going into school every day is to make my family proud.”

Everguard Solar Shining Light

This week’s Everguard Solar Shining Light goes to Fort Sumner/House. The Foxes took on Lordsburg for the 8-man state title, and went on to win 38-34.

Class 2A Crowns Champion

Jal was back in the 2A championship game for a second straight year, this time against district rival Texico. This season however, the final game ended in a positive note for the Panthers, as they got the win 41-21.

American Home Furniture & Mattress Driving It Home

The American Home Furniture & Mattress Driving It Home play of the week goes to St. Michael’s running back Marcus Leyba. The senior Horseman scored the game winning touchdown against Socorro to send his team to the state championship.