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Santa Fe High plays its regular-season football finale Saturday

By Arnie Leshin 
Andrew Martinez has been coaching football for quite some time, but never before does he recall a kickoff at 4 p.m.
Not that it matters. A limited number of game officials were penciled in and Moriarty at Espanola Valley was rescheduled from Friday night to 7 o’clock Thursday night.
That left Santa Fe High and visiting Albuquerque High having their scheduled 1 o’clock District 5-5A game on Saturday afternoon switched to 4 p.m.
“I do remember us kicking off at 10 a.m.once,” Martinez said, “and once at 5, and that was in Albuquerque.”
Well, this one is the regular season finale for the Demons and the next-to-last outing for the Bulldogs, who conclude next Friday night at 3rd-ranked Albuquerque La Cueva. What’s important here is Santa Fe High’s overall record of 5-4, and with a victory here would be its first winning season since 1998.
“No doubt we’d rather go 6-4 than 5-5,” said Martinez, “and our practices have been good, with seniors Luc (Jaramillo) and Martell (Mora) reminding the other players about the importance of this game.”
It would bring the campaign to a close in what has been an up-and-down season for the Demons, but that was because of a tough go in the district. They began district play at 4-0 overall, but then lost five of six district starts.
But wait, they also put together a stunning upset 19-7 upset at St. Michael’s after losing 13-straight times, and rolled over Capital, 48-28, at Jaguar Field. There was also the 34-7 rout over visiting Robertson in the opener, and with the Horsemen playing at Robertson in 2-3A play Friday night, those are the only defeats for the two schools.
And both of them are behind undefeated, top-ranked in 3A Raton, which is off this weekend and travels to Christian Brothers Athletic Complex the following Saturday afternoon in what could be for the district championship and a high seed for the state tournament, but first St. Michael’s has to get past the Cardinals, who lost 28-26 up at Raton.
That’s that for that. And at Ivan Head Stadium, Albuquerque High will arrive with a 2-6 overall record and 0-3 in district. The Bulldogs are ranked 11th in 3A and Santa Fe High is 7th. The Bulldogs have lost some tight games, as in the 16-6 home setback to Albuquerque Eldorado and 25-24 at Clovis.
They did blank Albuquerque Del Norte, 50-0, in their opener, won a 2-0 forfeit over Albuquerque Highland, and for some reason played Eldorado twice and lost both times, the second recorded as a non-district tilt.
While Jaramillo and Mora are the one-two offensive punch for the Demons, they now run into an opponent that relies on versatile senior quarterback Gilbert Marquez, who is equally adept at going through the air or running the ball. Marquez, who also plays free safety on defense, is 5-foot-8, 160 pounds.
Marquez has run the ball 25 times for 192 yards and five touchdowns, and through the air has made 18-for-35 completions for 259 yards, a touchdown and a pair of interceptions.
The top rusher though has been sophomore Andres Aquirre, who goes 5-10, 170, also plays free safety on defense, and is a kick returner. The leading receiver has been 6-1, 165-pound junior Andrew Roybal, who on defense plays at corner back. The other top pass-catcher is 5-9, 185 senior Kade Pesalta.
Aquirre  has carried the ball 25 times for 192 yards and five touchdowns. Roybal has reeled in 12 throws for 179 yards and a touchdown.
As for Santa Fe High, the 5-10, 170 Jaramillo, in his fourth year as starting quarterback, has completed 55 of 73 passes for 1,065 yards, 12 touchdowns and six interceptions. His buddy Mora has carried the ball 136 times for 1,177 yards, 16 touchdowns and not a single fumble.
As a receiver, the 5-8, 145-pound Mora has made 19 catches for 360 yards and five touchdowns, and also not a single fumble. Then there’s two way defender Daniel Wright, a senior outside linebacker who has come away with 51 tackles, one interception, and on offence goes at tight end.
Can more Santa Fe High fans show up Saturday at 4 rather than 7? We shall see, but most important, it’s up to the Demons to make a good showing and finish the season with a W.

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