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November 9, 2012

Henderson: The Road To The Play-Offs

Today, I breakdown the New Mexico High School Football Play-Off Watch. Actually bracket predictions will be posted Monday, November 5th, 2012.

Class 5A | Comment Here

Class 5A Seeds 1-4
Rio Rancho, Las Cruces, La Cueva, and Sandia in that order is likely. Rio Rancho has to get past Cleveland in week 11, Las Cruces has to beat Mayfield in week 11, and La Cueva has to beat Sandia in week 11. Rio Rancho beat Las Cruces, Las Cruces beat La Cueva, and all that has to happen for this to take fruition is for La Cueva to beat Sandia. Week 11 can have an instrumental affect on the play-off race. Can you imagine if Cleveland beats Rio Rancho, Mayfield beats Las Cruces, and Sandia beats La Cueva? With the way Class 5A is going this year, likely one of the three upsets is bound to happen.

Class 5A Seeds 5-7
Mayfield, Cleveland, and Manzano are hold these positions, but much could changes this coming weekend. The team that can really shake up the seedings is Manzano if they are to lose to Eldorado. Manzano right now is living off wins against Clovis and Valley, but are currently 0-2 in District 2-5A play and if Eldorado beats them, Manzano cannot be seeded higher than the Eagles in the play-offs. Mayfield is going to get a top six seed. They are 5-1 against New Mexico 5A teams and 1-0 against District Champs or District Runner Ups. Cleveland is playing some great football right now, if they beat Rio Rancho the Storm would likely grab a top four seed and have to be seeded higher than Rio Rancho in the tournament.

Class 5A Seeds 8-12
Valley, Clovis, Volcano Vista, Atrisco, and Eldorado are all in the mix for these positions on the tournament bracket. Valley can finish 7-3 if they beat Highland next weekend and is already the official District 5-5A Champ. Clovis has to beat Hobbs next weekend to finish the year 5-5A. Now while Clovis has clearly played a tougher schedule than Valley, Valley has two games up on Clovis, so expect to see Valley seeded higher than the Wildcats. Volcano Vista might not be winning the big game lately, but they are playing with the best as close as it gets. The NMAA is going to like the fact that Volcano Vista has played district champs and district runner ups tough all year long, they also have that big win over Eldorado. Atrisco has to beat West Mesa in week 11 to finish 8-2. No way that they get left out.

5A Bubble
Eldorado, Carlsbad, and Gadsden are the final teams trying to get in. Eldorado can punch their play-off ticket with a win over Manzano. Eldorado is 2-2 against district champs and district runner ups and has a win over Mayfield. The Carlsbad Cavemen are 5-5 on the year and are 0-5 against district champs or district runner ups. Gadsden is 5-5 and 0-4 against district champs or district runner ups.

Class 4A | Comment Here

Class 4A Seeds 1-3
Goddard, Los Lunas, Aztec are locks for a top four seed. Check this out: Goddard is 7-0 against District Champs or District Runner Ups. No one in the state can say anything to be ranked higher than the Rockets. The Rockets would be No. 1 in the Class 5A Bracket. Los Lunas is 4-0 against District Champs or District Runner Ups and 7-0 against 4A teams. They have outscored their last six opponents by a combined 316-24. I've seen both Los Lunas and Artesia and Los Lunas is 10 points better. Artesia at the No. 3 or No. 4 spot. The Bulldogs are 7-2 this year and 4-2 against District Champs or District Runner Ups.

Class 4A Seeds 4-5
Piedra Vista or Belen for a top four spot? Piedra Vista has to beat Farmington to finish out 9-1 this year. NMAA loves overall records. Piedra Vista is 3-1 against District Champs or District Runner Ups. If they finish 9-1, they could even be seeded at the No. 3 spot and move down Artesia to No. 4. The Belen Eagles are 7-2 against 4A teams and 2-2 against District Champs or District Runner Ups. Now before you give the top four spot to Piedra Vista, remember this: Belen has two losses going against teams that are currently 17-0.

Class 4A Seeds 6-8
Deming, Aztec, Farmington should each land home games right? Well Deming is 4-2 against 4A teams and 3-1 against District Champs or District Runner Ups. Their two losses come against Belen and Artesia. Now St. Pius X is more than likely feeling they should be in this spot hosting a home field game in the play-offs, but while they beat Piedra Vista they also lost to Aztec and Farmington. Aztec is a top six seed no doubt. If they beat Kirtland Central next weekend they'll be 5-3 against 4A teams and 2-3 against District Champs or District Runner Ups. Key win coming against St. Pius X. Farmington could be on the road if they lose to Piedra Vista in week 11. They are 5-2 against 4A teams and 2-2 against District Champs or District Runner Ups. Hard to see a third place team in District 1-4A hosting a home game in the play-offs, but that win over St. Pius X was huge, especially if St. Pius X beats Moriarty for the District 5-4A title game.

Class 4A Seeds 9-12
St. Pius X, Moriarty, Santa Fe, and Roswell. Now District 5-4A fans have a right to argue for at least one team landing a home field play-off game, but District 5-4A is a combined 1-4 against District 1-4A. St. Pius X lost to Aztec and to Farmington, but beat likely district champ Piedra Vista. Moriarty is 5-2 against 4A teams but they lost to Piedra Vista 49-0. They do have a win over Santa Fe which came in week nine winning 62-8. Which Moriarty team will show up weekly has been tough to gage. Santa Fe has punched their play-off ticket for the first time since the mid 80's by winning District 2-4A. Roswell should be that final team to reach the play-offs. They are currently 4-1 against 4A teams key win is against Santa Teresa and key loss is against Moriarty.

Class 3A | Comment Here

Class 3A Seeds 1-4
St. Michael's is clearly No. 1. At 9-01 this year and at 5-0 against 3A teams the Horsemen are just who we thought they were going to be in 2012. Beating Hope Christian next weekend would put them at 10-0. The Horsemen's key win is against Silver. The Silver Colts should be No. 2 after their 42-14 win over Socorro. I've seen this team in person and my goodness they are legit. Silver is 3-1 against 3A teams and 5-2 against District Champs or District Runner Ups. Ruidoso and Lovington are the final top seeds you would think. Ruidoso is currently 8-1 this year as they head into the District 4-3A Title Game. Their lone loss comes against Silver losing 38-6. Lovington is 3-5 this year and is 2-3 against District Champs or District Runner Ups. Lovington can insure their top four seed with a win over Ruidoso in week 11.

Class 3A Seeds 5-8
From here it gets really tricky… Socorro, Bloomfield, Robertson, and Taos are in the middle tier of 3A. Socorro is 5-4 this year and 2-3 against District Champs or District Runner Ups with a key loss to Hope Christian. Bloomfield should finish out 6-4 and 4-2 against 3A comp. Their key win is against Hope Christian winning 37-7, so it's likely they are seeded over Socorro. Maybe look at Bloomfield at the No. 5 spot. Robertson just has to beat West Las Vegas to finish the regular season at 6-4. They are the district 2-3A champs beating Taos in week 10 and what hurts them is losses against Ruidoso, Lovington, and St. Michael's. That is why they will not be a top four seed. Taos is currently 6-3 and 3-4 against 3A teams. They have a key win against Hope Christian and a key loss against Socorro.

Class 3A Seeds 9-12
Portales, Hope Christian, Academy, and Pojoaque are the teams likely to travel in week 11. The reason Portales could be seeded over Hope Christian is simply because they beat Hope Christian head to head back in week seven 19-14. Hope Christian is 4-3 against 3A comp with a key win this past weekend over Pojoaque. Hope Christian is 2-5 against District Champs or District Runner Ups. Pojoaque is the best of the rest at 5-4 this year. Key win is against Bubble 3A team Shiprock.

Class 2A | Comment Here

Class 2A Seeds 1-4
Santa Rosa, Tularosa, Texico, and Hatch are the top four spots after week 10. Santa Rosa is playing on another level this year and is 4-0 against 2A teams and 6-0 this year against District Champs or District Runner Ups. Tularosa is No. 2 with a 5-0 record against 2A teams and 3-2 against District Champs and District Runner Ups. The Wildcats are scary good and have put up 50.6 points per game in their last three showings. Texico Beat Clayton 49-20 this weekend to move to 8-0 this year. The Wolverines are getting that much attention or hype, but they don't need that to keep winning games. In week 11 we get to find out just how good Texico is with a trip to Santa Rosa.

Class 2A Seeds 5-8
Tucumcari, Dexter, Eunice, and Laguna Acoma should land home first round games IF. Tucumcari finished the season at 7-3 after a loss against Santa Rosa. They have a key loss against Eunice, but beat Dexter which is the district 4-2A champ. Dexter is the District 4-2A Champ, key win coming against Eunice and at 5-4 this season, Dexter seems like a dangerous first round or second round draw. Their defense is allowing just under two touchdowns per game. Eunice at 4-5 this year has a key win against Tucumcari and is 2-3 against 2A comp. Losses come to Tularosa, Texico, and Dexter. Laguna Acoma has won their last four games and is now 5-4 this year and with a win over Ramah is week 11 they'll be the district 1-2A Champ.

Class 2A Seeds 9-12
Clayton, Estancia, Lordsburg, Mesilla Valley, Ramah, Dulce. If Dulce beats Navajo Prep in the District 5-2A title game they are automatically in. That leaves just three spots. The winer of Clayton or Estancia could land a spot as District 2-2A has been the dominate district with the most amount of high quality teams. Clayton is 5-4 this year and has a key win over projected district champ Dulce. Estancia does not have a key win this year, but that could change if they beat Clayton in week 11. Clayton and Estancia, you're playing in a play-off game this coming week… Ramah could still be district champ if they are to beat Laguna Acoma this weekend. Stay tuned. Lordsburg beat Mesilla Valley head to head. Lordsburg finishes the year 5-5 but is 0-3 against District Champs or District Runner Ups. Mesilla Valley is 4-4 this year and will take on Hatch in the final game of the season. If Mesilla Valley upsets Hatch they are in.

Class 1A First Round Play-Off Breakdown

Bracket Here

1. Hagerman
Head Coach: Casey Crandall
Overall 9-1
Season Wins: Capitan, Loving, NMMI, Mescalero, Cloudcroft, Jal, Ft. Sumner
Season Losses: Dexter
Point Of Strength: High Scoring Offense
NMPreps.com Breakdown: The Hagerman Bobcats ended the season with 33-27 win over the Goddard Rocket's JV. The Bobcats ended the year scoring 37.5 points per game thanks to a wonderful season at quarterback from Alejandro Ramos who has accounted for over 2,000-yards this season.

2. McCurdy
Overall Record: 8-1
Season Wins: Espanola, Cubam Santa Fe Indian, Magdalena, Dulce, Questa, and Escalante
Season Losses: Ft. Sumner *Forfeit
Point Of Strength: Stellar Defense
Breakdown: The McCurdy Bobcats finished the season at 8-1 after a 54-46 victory over the Escalante Lobos winning 54-46. On the season the Bobcats have been led by Quarterback Eric Vigil who has thrown for over 2,500-yard through nine games and accounted for more than 20 touchdowns. Other players to watch include Santiago Lovato, Randy Trujillo, Jesse Gasca.

3. Escalante
Overall: 9-1
Season Wins: Magdalena, Dulce, Jal, Navajp Prep, Crownpoint, Clayton, Ft. Sumner, Shiprock, Questa
Season Losses: McCurdy
Point Of Strength: Rushing Attack
NMPreps.com Breakdown: Escalante was 9-0 until week 10 when they lost to McCurdy 54-46 in a 1A shootout. This team has been consistent all season long putting up big points thanks to offensive duo Reynaldo Atencio and Cody Casados. Escalante also has home field advantage on their end if a Southern team has to make the trip to the near border town of Colorado. They are well coached and it's going to take a team that can score 50 to beat them.

4. Ft. Sumner
Overall: 5-5
Season Wins: Capitan, McCurdy, Loving, Jal
Season Losses: Santa Rosa, Tucumcari, Texico, Escalante, and Hagerman
Point Of Strength: Tradition
The Breakdown: The Ft. Sumner Foxes are .500 this season after a season ending win over the Jal Panthers 41-13. No other program in New Mexico at the small school level as more pride and winning tradition than Ft. Sumner and they'll take any first round match up down to the wire. This season, the Foxes have been led by Shilo Boyle and Dallas McDaniel at Running Back.

5. Capitan
Overall: 6-3
Season Wins: Estancia, NMMI, Loving, Cloudcroft, Mescalero, Magdalena,
Season Losses: Hagerman, Jal, Ft. Sumner
Point Of Strength: Full Health
The Breakdown: The Tigers started the year out 0-3 after dealing with some early loss key injuries, but in their last six games of the season we saw the Capitan Tigers play some outstanding football outscoring the final six opponents they faced by a combined score of 333-14. A very dangerous bunch led by Jacob Willcox at running back and Thomas Fields at Linebacker. This is by far the hottest team in Class 1A right now and no one wants to draw them in round one.

6. Magdalena
Overall: 5-4
Season Wins: Ramah, Alamo Navajo, Cuba, Mescalero, Cloudcroft,
Season Losses: Escalante, Hatch, McCurdy, Capitan
Point Of Strength: Defense
The Breakdown: The Magdalena Steers have played a good schedule and though they ended the year losing to Capitan 61-8, Magdalena has proven over the season that they can win the big game. This is could be a sleeper upset in round one, but they'll have to play perfect to advance.

Please feel free to provide feedback or ask questions. No problem if you disagree. All classifications will be added soon.

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