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
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.
SATURDAY’S TEAMS, RECORDS, AND KICKOFF TIMES
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.