By Arnie Leshin
Well, St. Michael’s football team did get to avenge the 2018 14-13 heartbreaker to West Las Vegas on the road, taking care of it at Christian Brothers Athletic Complex last Saturday afternoon.
Now, how about the 28-27 last-second loss the same season to visiting Robertson in the state 3A quarterfinals? This time, the Horsemen hit the road thinking about it, but that’s not good enough, for they will have to take their revenge out on the field Friday night.
The same night, Capital heads up to Los Alamos for a District 5-5A contest, while Santa Fe High is home at Ivan Head Stadium to Albuquerque Del Norte, also in 5-5A play.
St. Michael’s should be in a revengeful mood. It has bounced back from an 0-3 start to win four in a row and move into contention for a top spot in District 2-3A, as well as a berth in the state tournament. It is ranked sixth in the 3A polls and the Cardinals are No. 4. WLV is 7th and Raton 10th,
Ahead of them are Thoreau (8-1), Socorro (8-1) and Albuquerque Hope Christian (7-2). Robertson’s lone lose was a 56-38 pouncing at the hands of Socorro, and it is 7-1 overall and 2-0 in district. The Horsemen are 4-3 overall and 2-0 in district.
But last year’s loss at home haunts them. They came in ranked fourth in 3A, the Cardinals fifth. They led 7-0 after one, but the visitors tied it at 7-all in the second quarter, only to have St. Michael’s turn in two-straight touchdowns to grab a 21-7 advantage at halftime.
Neither team found the end zone in the third quarter, but after Robertson cut the gap to 21-13 in the fourth quarter, the Horsemen matched it to up their lead to 27-13 with four minutes left. But back came the Cards to score again and get to within 27-20 after kicking the extra point.
With little time left, Robertson again gained possession, and on third down and 10 at the St. Michael’s 30, pint-sized quarterback Matt Gonzales (5-foot-5, 155 pounds) scrambled to within a yard of the end zone, and then gathered in a short pass to get to within 27-26, and then Gonzales ran the two-point conversion in and down went the Horsemen.
The Cardinals then made it to the state final before losing to Dexter.
Now Robertson is 7-1 overall and 2-0 in district. St. Michael’s is 4-3 overall and also 2-0 in district. The Horsemen are home next Saturday afternoon in the regular-season finale against Raton, while the Cards are home to West Las Vegas Friday night. The Dons are 5-3 overall and 1-1 in district, and play host to Indian School (4-4, 0-2) Friday night,while Raton is 4-5 and 1-2.
Of the four Santa Fe high schools, only St. Michael’s has beaten Robertson. Not so with Santa Fe High, Capital and Santa Fe Indian School, for all are winless versus the Cards, the closest the Dems came was in this year’s 6-0 season-opener setback at home to Robertson.
But Robertson is not the current problem for any of the three. Indian School is in the same district, but has already lost twice to it. Santa Fe High and Capital are in a good spot in its district after the Demons’ big second half brought a 55-28 win up at Los Alamos, and in Albuquerque, the Jaguars held off Del Norte, 20-13.
So both are at 1-0 in district and meet up next week. Overall, Capital is 4-3, the Demons 4-4. In last year’s tilt against Del Norte in Albuquerque, Santa Fe was dominated 55-0. Up at the Hilltoppers last season, the Jaguars carried off a 20-14 triumph. Presently, the Jags are 8th, and the Demons received one vote.
In a 4A game Friday night, Taos (5-4) heads for Pojoaque Valley (2-6). The Elks are 0-2 in district, the Tigers 2-1.