Horsemen, Rams, Cardinals, all at 9-1 as the top three seeds, and the No. 4 Warriors at 7-3
By Arnie Leshin | November 10, 2017
St. Michael’s and Robertson have choice, West Las Vegas and Taos have games. That’s how these four District 2-4A football teams line up in the state tournament field of 12 that kicks off tonight.
For the top-seeded Horsemen and 3rd seeded Cardinals, it’s a bye weekend. They can relax, watch some college football or they can maybe do some scouting. For Las Vegas Robertson (9-1) it’s just a short hop across town, where 6th seeded West Las Vegas (6-4) plays host to 11th seeded Silver (3-7), with the kickoff at noon on Saturday.
The Cards play the winner at home in the quarterfinals. They have already seen the Dons, whom they trounced 51-21 in a regular-season home game. Since the year 2003 of this rivalry, WLV has won once, just once. So if Robertson wants to take the time to see why Silver has such a disappointing record, and perhaps spring an upset, let it be.
The Colts won their only state football championship in, 2013, but after losing in the 2012 state final to St. Michael’s at Santa Fe High’s Ivan Head Stadium, they have lost four more times in these parts. They made it into this year’s state tournament by going 3-1 in their district and finishing second.
As for the Dons, they left Taos (7-3) with the 7th seed by defeating the visiting Tigers, 36-28, during the regular-season. So Taos is home tonight against 10th seeded Albuquerque Hope Christian (4-6), kickoff 7 o’clock.
The winner there gets a quarterfinal match-up with 2nd seeded Portales (9-1), whose only loss was by one point at St. Michael’s. Same with 9-1 Robertson, where a second-half surge by the visiting Horsemen was a stunning turnabout.
And St. Michael’s will not be taking the 7-hour trip to Hatch Valley, at least head coach Joey Fernandez won’t be. Hatch, at 6-4, is the 8th seed playing host to 9th seed Shiprock (8-2) Saturday afternoon, and the winner travels to Christian Brothers Athletic Complex the following Saturday afternoon for a probably 1:30 kickoff.
As for the remaining 4A contest between 5th seed Moriarty (7-3) and visiting 12th seed Socorro (5-5), the Pintos lost a first-round bye when they lost to Ruidoso in the regular-season finale. That brought the Warriors (7-3) the bye and the 4th seed, and it will play the survivor of tonight’s game in the quarters.
NOTE: Of the teams in this 4A field, Ruidoso has won the most state championships, six, while St. Michael’s and Portales have won five, Hatch Valley four, Moriarty two, and Silver one. The Pintos go way back to 1981-82 when they won back-to-back titles.
Setting up the state semifinals, it will be decided by who played who and where the last time at state. For instance, if St. Michael’s plays Ruidoso in the semis, it will be in Santa Fe. If Robertson plays Portales, it will be at Robertson. It will be the same format for the championship contest.