NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – The top quarterback from last season made his 2022 debut on Friday. Cibola quarterback Aden Chavez left Albuquerque to go to school in Florida, however, decided to come back and finish his senior season with the Cougars. He started his season off with a bang, throwing a 43-yard touchdown on the opening drive, and kept it rolling from then on. Cibola went on to beat Valley 68-14.

Friday’s game of the week featured Cleveland visiting La Cueva at Wilson stadium. Following the Storm’s first loss since 2019, the electric blue came out with a flash, as quarterback and UNM commit Evan Wysong broke off a 68-yard touchdown run early in the first quarter. However, La Cueva would make things interesting, repeatedly answering when the Storm found the end zone. The game would be decided by only four points, with Cleveland coming out on top 33-29.

“I liked our intensity,” said Storm head coach Robert Garza. “We came out excited and it was an opportunity for football again. We had a rough week last week and all we could ask for was another chance to play.”

Volcano Vista and West Mesa met up for an early season District 1 matchup. The Hawks went up 14-0 in the first half, however, the Mustangs fought to get back in the game courtesy of a 40-yard touchdown by receiver Chris Johnson. After that, there wasn’t much of a fight left in the red, white, and blue, as the Hawks soared to a 50-20 win.

Highland played in a Thursday night matchup against St. Pius X, and the Hornets were buzzing with a 38-14 win. Highland head coach Phil Lovato and lineman Aaron Loya joined Van and Jared in the studio to discuss the keys to their victory and an outlook on the remainder of the season.

This week’s New Mexico Ford Dealers Spirit Stick was awarded to Volcano Vista. The Hawks took the top spot in this week’s poll with 1,122 votes.

First Class Learning Center First Class Performance

Belen Eagle Diego Avila was an absolute menace for the Manzano defense on Thursday night. The junior running back racked up 140 rushing yards on only seven attempts, while recording three touchdowns, all of which came in the first quarter. Belen went on to beat Manzano 52-0 for the Eagles’ first win of the season.

NMAA Student-Athlete of the Week

West Mesa quarterback Elijah Brody was named the NMAA Student-Athlete of the Week following a solid performance in week 1. In his first-ever game as signal caller of the Mustangs, Brody led his team to a 56-12 win over Santa Fe, where he threw for 224 yards while piling up six total touchdowns. The senior also maintains a 4.0 GPA in the classroom.

“I’m just truly blessed and appreciative of the opportunity for [sic] being selected for the award,” said Brody. “Once I get in my little zone, I feel like no one can take me out of it. So, I just feel like I get a good rhythm. Just grinding with a new group of guys, you know putting West Mesa back on the west side and getting more respect for our school definitely.”

Everguard Solar Shining Light

This week’s Everguard Solar Shining Light occurred at Wilson Stadium in the game between Cleveland and La Cueva. Late in the second half, the Bears were driving when Storm cornerback Andres Aguirre picked off Aiden Armenta and returned it into Bear territory. The pick set the Storm up to score at the end of the half, and Coach Garza knows how crucial the play was.

“We got a little pressure on him, threw it up,” Garza said. “You know it gave us some momentum we needed going into half”

American Home Furniture & Mattress Driving It Home

The American Home Furniture and Mattress Driving It Home Play of the Week came from Nusenda Community Stadium by Volcano Vista’s Alijah Gonzales. The Hawks running back punched his ticket to the end zone from four yards out during Volcano’s 50-0 win over West Mesa.