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December 7, 2012
2012 Class 2A State Title Game
Ironically, the two final teams in Class 2A have yet to play each other this season. Santa Rosa is 7-0 against 2A Teams, Tularosa is 9-0 against 2A teams, Santa Rosa is 12-0 this season, Tularosa is 10-2 this season with losses coming against Silver and Ruidoso.
This game is also a rematch of the 2010 State Title Game in which Santa Rosa won in Tularosa 13-6.
Last week they beat Texico 26-21 in a back and fourth game where Head Coach Bryan Jones gambled a bit on some gutsy fourth down calls, but that is what you have to do during play-off time if you want to win the big one. Tularosa is led on offense by Jared Rocha an NMPreps.com All-State First Team Quarterback, 6-foot-4, 175 pound Jim Coleman who is also a 1st Team Selection, and Max Fagan at running back.
On defense, watch for Cameron Martinez another 1st Team All-State Selection, Neron Ornelas at linebacker, and Jim Coleman as one of the top two-way players at the small school level. Last week Coleman returned a pick six for a touchdown in a key moment of the Class 2A Semifinals.
Lions Trying For Three Peat
The unbeaten Lions are scoring 45.08 points per game and allowing just a touchdown on defense as they try for their third state championship in three years, something that has not been done at the 2A level since the early part of the 2000's when the Hatch Valley Bears three peated.
The Lions have an outstanding rushing attack running the single wing offense and it has been Marcus Lopez doing most of the damage this year rushing for 2,622-yards and 28 touchdowns. Lopez is one of the best prospects in New Mexico's Class of 2013.
Power back Tim Valverde has rushed for 1,320-yards and 21 touchdowns this year making Lopez and Valverde a dynamic duo behind a fantastic offensive line.
Jason Sanchez, Francisco Padilla, and Mark Sena are each NMPreps.com 1st Team All-State Selections with a wealth of game time experience.
On defense, Santa Rosa is led by Tim Valverde at linebacker who has 139 tackles, 16 of those for losses, Ryan Lopez who has 112 tackles this year, Isaac Velasquez who has 4 interceptions, Zeke Sena one of their more underrated players who has 5 interceptions and 4 interceptions retuned for touchdowns, and Marcus Lopez who has 7 interceptions this year.
Tough for me to see the Lions losing this year as they can win the shootout type game which I think this one will be, or win the defensive battle if the game happens to take that direction. The match up to watch, which could likely determine if Tularosa gets big plays or not will be Santa Rosa Defensive Back Marcus Lopez Defending Tularosa Receiver Jim Coleman. Overall, I think Santa Rosa to win their third in three years: Santa Rosa 35, Tularosa 28
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