Home / News / Four schools will claim New Mexico state football championships Saturday afternoon, but there will be no way to defeat the weather forecast that will fall across the state and put a damper on the 3A, 4A, 5A, 6A games

Four schools will claim New Mexico state football championships Saturday afternoon, but there will be no way to defeat the weather forecast that will fall across the state and put a damper on the 3A, 4A, 5A, 6A games

By Arnie Leshin 
Arnie Leshin

A weather report to those attending Saturday afternoon‘s New Mexico state football championships. Button up your overcoat or whatever else you chose to bundle up in, slip on a cap or whatever else you prefer to cover your head, wear gloves, and shoes that are best versus the cold, the wind, the rain, the snow, and slouching along the messy ground.

Yes, that’s the forecast that will affect the title games in Rio Rancho, down I-25 south in Los Lunas, Socorro, and up to Bloomfield in the four corners of the state. 
Despite this, all four games should pack all four stadiums. And they are all capable of quality match-ups, with the 6A all-Rio Rancho clash pairing the Rams and the Storm at Rio Rancho High, 5A offering the re-match of top-seeded, undefeated Roswell at 2nd seeded Los Lunas, with the Coyotes last time rolling over the visiting Tigers, 42-6, undefeated, top-seeded Bloomfield in 4A welcoming 2nd seeded Portales, and in 3A, 2nd seeded Albuquerque Hope Christian in its initial appearance in the state final playing at top-seeded Socorro. 
Except for 3rd seeded, 4th seeded Rio Rancho schools, the others are all No. 1 against No. 2. Bloomfield made the state finals last year for the first time and lost a 14-7 tight one up at top-seeded Taos. 
6A – (3) RIO RANCHO CLEVELAND (9-2) at (4) RIO RANCHO HS (8-4), 1 p.m.
       The STORM won the previous tilt, 35-20. It has employed seniors Jeff Davidson and Trey Ortega at
       quarterback, and the two have combined for 99 receptions in 168 attempts and 20 touchdowns. The
       rushing game standout is senior Durian Lewis, who has tugged the ball 145 times for 1,038 yards               and 17 touchdowns, and the main passing target is junior Luke Wysong, who has reeled in 20 throws
       for 525 yards and four touchdowns.
       The RAMS go with senior Isaiah Chavez at quarterback, and he has tossed for 16 touchdowns on 165
       completions for 1,209 yards. He has tugged the ball 141 times for 1,970 yards and 22 touchdowns, so         he has this versatility. Sophomore Zach Vigil gets the bulk of the hand offs from Chavez and has
       made it into the end zone eight times. As for catching the ball, the main weapon has been senior
       wide receiver Tyree Watson, and he has scored 10 times on 37 catches for 816 yards.
5A – (1) ROSWELL (12-0) at (2) LOS LUNAS (10-2), 2 p.m.
         The COYOTES have won six state championships and have two defensive standous in seniors
         Bob  Santana and Tyrone Kiehn, with Sanders making 45 unassisted tackles and Kiehn with an
         average of seven sacks per game. The offense has been in good hands with senior quarterback,
         and has his most capable receiver in junior Gus Arreola, and a pair of stellar running backs in                     juniors Talon Sanders and Xavier Gonzales.
         The TIGERS make only their second trip to the state finals, but at least have home field advantage             this time. Their lone loss was 9-7 at Tularosa, but then got past the Wildcats, 21-7, at state. They
         have a quality leader in senior quarterback Bryan Benavidez, who has come away with 19 passing
         touchdowns on 118 of 217 throws for 1,760 yards. The top running back has been junior Darin
         Chavez with nine touchdowns on 94 carries for 578 yards, and through the air, senior Delvin
         Gallegos has caught 15 passes for 609 yards and six touchdowns.
        4A – (2) PORTALES (11-1) at (1) BLOOMFIELD (12-0), 1 p.m.
                The RAMS seek their sixth state title and have a talented senior in Kellin Hightower, the leading
                pass receiver with 29 receptions for 759 yards and nine touchdowns, as well as paving the way                  the in kickoff returns  Senior Jose Diaz has the quarterback role and has picked up 1,177 yards
                and 15 touchdowns, with only three fumbles and four interceptions. Senior Roman Gonzales
                leads in sacks with six per games, while senior Isaiah Saiz has 59 assisted tackles, and junior
                Jaden Killette has made three interceptions for 84 yards and a touchdown.
                The BOBCATS get another chance to hoist the championship trophy as they return to the final.
                The main man on offense is known other than senior Vincent Marquez, the versatile quarterback
                who goes through the air on the ground. He has rushed for 724 yards and 110 touchdowns, and
                has thrown for 187 of 333 attempts for 44 touchdowns, and only one interceptions. On defense,
                 sophomore Kenyon Mosley has 38 solo tackles and junior J.T. Seitringer has assisted on 50,                       while Mosley has rushed for 12 touchdowns on 104 tugs for 1,056 yards.
                3A – (2) HOPE CHRISTIAN (10-2) at (1) SOCORRO (11-1), 1 p.m.
                        The HUSKIES have finally landed in the championship game after outscoring Cobre at
                        home, 61-7, and Robertson in Las Vegas, 36-0, in the playoffs. Their defense has allowed                              only 172 points and has seven shutouts. Their offense has been in the hands of senior
                        quarterback Collin Evans, who has passed for 27 touchdowns without a single fumble, and
                        has run for 364 yards and nine more touchdowns. The one-two punch of the defense have
                        been senior tackles Ben Pavek, with 31 solos, and Huskee Griego with 49 assisted.
                        The WARRIORS in quest of their first state title since 1977, and in their fourth time at state.
                        They depend on senior quarterback Payson Hicks, who has fumbled only once, has                                      passed for 26 touchdowns on 111 of 157 completions has run for four touchdowns on 56
                        carries for 337 yards. Sophomore Adavrian Jackson has brought in 24 passes for 699
                        yards and 12 touchdowns, and senior Jordan Armijo has made 26 solo tackles and                                        has assisted in 37.

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