By Arnie Leshin
While Capital and St. Michael’s prepare for Saturday afternoon’s cross-town rivalry football game at Christian Brothers Athletic Complex, Santa Fe High and Santa Fe Indian School hit the road Friday night.
The Demons are 2-1 after losing their home opener 6-0 to Robertson, and after back-to-back wins at Ivan Head Stadium, go away for the first time and visit Taos, which is the defending state 4A champion, but can’t be too happy after taking a 38-0 shellacking at undefeated Aztec.
That dropped the Tigers from the top of the heap in 4A, and now they have a ways to go to get there again. Also tonight, Aztec plays host to also-unbeaten Farmington in the battle of the four corners. And Bloomfield, the team that lost in the state final to Taos, takes its unblemished mark to Los Alamos, which has won two of three.
Santa Fe High is aware of the Tigers’ seeking to bounce back from the nasty setback, but the Demons are at an unfamiliar 2-1 record for the first time since 2014. Upsetting Taos on the road will bring them even more attention, except that it’s a big challenge to come away with a victory up there.
Third-year head coach Andrew Martinez has a lot of faith in this Santa Fe High team, even thinking it could have beaten Robertson if not for committing so many mistakes.
In game two versus Moriarty, his confident young team cut down greatly on miscues and came from behind with a rush in the fourth quarter that included a big defensive stand as Moriarty made its way to the Demons’ 5 in the final minute. Game three was a rout over winless Espanola Valley.
As for Indian School, it takes a 1-1 mark to winless Fort Wingate, which is home for the first time since being blow out at Navajo Prep, 50-0, by the same score at Gallup, and 48-0 at Winsdor Rock in Arizona. Who knows if Wingate can play better before the home fans, but this is no doubt a time for the Braves to have a victorious ride back to Santa Fe.
They opened with a 21-14 win at Cuba, and then lost, 21-13, up at Pojoaque Valley. The Elks played Thursday night at Escalante.
Espanola is in for its fourth straight loss when it plays host to Gallup, which is 1-2 but the loss to Grants became a forfeit, and Gallup did open by turning back Bernalillo.
In West Las Vegas, the Dons had won their first two until beaten handily at home last week by unbeaten Portales. Now they hope to bounce back when Albuquerque Hope Christian pays a visit. The Huskies dropped their opener against Portales and then won their next two.
Robertson, which had only a tight test against Santa Fe High, has won its four starts as it heads for Ruidoso, which has won one of three, but the losses came versus undefeated Roswell and Aztec, both by in routing fashion. At home, Ruidoso could spring a surprise.
The Saturday afternoon special is nothing spectacular, it’s only special because it’s the Jaguars against the Horsemen. Here, the home team has been rolled over by unbeatens Portales and Bloomfield following a setback in the opener at Taos.
Capital had no problem wiping out 3A Crownpoint in the home opener, but then failed to catch Deming on the road with a last-minute drive, and lost 22-14. Last week, Lovington broke up a tight game at Jaguar Field with a strong second half after the Jags led early.