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November 30, 2012

Week 14: Class 5A Semifinal Preview

Today we preview each of the 8 prep football play-off games taking place this weekend.

More: Brackets | All-State Watch | End of the Year Awards

Class 5A Semifinal Preview

#2 Las Cruces (9-1) @ #11 Eldorado (6-5) | Vote Who Wins Here
Game Time: Saturday, December 1st, 1PM, Albuquerque, New Mexico
A rematch of the 2009 State Title Game where the Las Cruces Bulldawgs defeated the Eldorado Eagles 26-21… The game has to be in the back of the mind of Eldorado Head Coach Charlie Dotson somewhere. The Eagles, the clear underdogs in this game on Saturday have been depleted due to injury late in the season, however this group has forged an amazing late season run to get to reach the final four. While the Eagles are checking in as the No. 11 seed with a 6-5 record, if we rewind the pre-season we predicted this team would reach either the finals or the final four round because of their abundance of talent on both sides of the football. Sophomore Quarterback Zach Gentry has thrown for 1,666-yards and 15 touchdowns this year. Jonah Mestas has blossomed this year at receiver and defensive back and we are hearing that Running Back George Pacheco who broke his forearm against Rio Rancho is probable for this weekend's contest which could be huge for the Eagles. On defense, the Eagles are led by an A+ defensive line. Dez Ravenel is playing like a 1st Team All-State Candidate, 6-foot-7 Matt Clark, as well as Austin French have been contributing to their defensive success in late November. Overall this is not your typical No. 11 seed and we feel Las Cruces knows that. The Bulldawgs are rolling… They have just punted three times in their last four games and last week they scored 70 against Clovis thanks to eight touchdowns from running back J.J. Grandados who has ran for just under 1,000-yards this year with 30 touchdowns. Their quarterback play is suburb with Jonathan Joy throwing for 2,263-yards and 22 touchdowns in his senior season. Their offensive success as we have mentioned time and time again are in big thanks to an offensive line that averages 285 pounds up front. Lane Cummings, Oscar Guzman, Rudy Guerra, Jacob Benegas, and don't forget 6-foot-3, 215 pound Tight End Kamryn Dixon and 215 pound Tight End Sam Denmark. Denmark and Defensive Tackle Taylor Tisby are two of the most premier prospects in New Mexico and will be putting the heat on Gentry all day. We have the Bulldawgs winning by 14 points or more, Eldorado is going to have to be perfect to beat Las Cruces it's that simple.

#9 Volcano Vista (7-5) vs. #4 Sandia (8-3) | Vote Who Wins Here
Game Time: Friday, November 30th, 7PM, Albuquerque, New Mexico
The Volcano Vista Hawks have reached the 5A Semifinals for the first time in school history after two thrilling one point victories over Valley and Rio Rancho. Head Football Coach Chad Wallin has built this program from scratch and waited a long time to get on center stage for a program that seems just destined to have success. The Hawks have scored 34.3 points per game and are led by Quarterback Reid Hendricks who has thrown for 2,448-yards and 17 touchdown this season. Lately, Connor Anderson and Dorsett Valdez have emerged as a key receiving threats and on defense, Isaiah Perry, Josh Lubold, Joseph Searcy-Ortega, and Brandon Madrid have each made key plays in their 12 game run. The Matadors have reached the semifinals for the first time since 2006 and they have done that with solid senior leadership. Quarterback Craig Coffman has thrown for 1,488-yards thanks to the play of Dillon Boyd and Brenden Barker at receiver. In the backfield, Aaron Smith along with Daniel Cones are each backs that have three years of varsity playing time, and on defense is where they are underrated allowing just 17 points per game, a difficult task in today's age of 5A football. Cameron Bean, Jeremiah Thompson, Tyler Ireland have each contributed up front and make this team what they are today. This game is going to be tight and the winner will be the team that refuses to quit for 48 minutes. We have Sandia as a touchdown favorite.

Class 4A Semifinal Preview

More: Brackets | All-State Watch | End of the Year Awards

#4 Belen (9-2) @ #1 Goddard (10-0) | Vote Who Wins Here
Game Time: Friday, November 30th, 7PM, in Roswell, New Mexico
The Belen Eagles now 9-2 this season after beating Deming 40-7 in the quarterfinal round will head to Roswell, New Mexico for a second time this year to try and avenge their 2009 State Title Loss to Goddard and their 2012 Week four loss to Goddard in which they lost 27-7. The Eagles have been hit by injury again this season and losing Nick Kurtz for the season due to a concussion was not easy to rebound from, however this team has won their last five in a row thanks to power running back Xavier Armijo who has ran for over 1,000-yards and is closing in on the 20 touchdown mark. Head Belen Football Coach John Lerma is already a legend in Texas, if he leads Belen in an upset win over Goddard he'll be an instant legend in New Mexico as well. The Goddard Rockets do what they do and that is play solid defense, make A+ halftime adjustments, and beat you up with their size and disciplined play. This season Goddard has outscored the competition 399-94 and the defense has really been their key to success during their 10 game winning streak. Cody French, their running back get a lot of pub, however this team has around 10 players that would be impact players for any team in New Mexico. Watch for Quarterback Anthony Ornelas, Tight End David Sweet, Defensive Linemen Nic Alston, and of course Defensive End David Chavers. Goddard playing in the Wool Bowl is what high school football is all about, Belen is going to have their hands full at the start.

#2 Los Lunas (11-0) @ #6 Aztec (7-4) | Vote Who Wins Here
Game Time: Saturday, December 1st, 1PM, in Aztec, New Mexico
The Tigers are unbeaten and definitely the favorite this weekend heading into the semifinals against Aztec, the Class 4A Defending State Champ. We all know these two teams met back in week one in a highly anticipated game and it was a blowout with Los Lunas winning 50-28 in a game that was never close. What looks to be the difference this weekend's match up is defense. Los Lunas has given up just 59 points this season which is a (5.36 points per game average) and basically unreal at the prep football level. Jeremy Newton, the program's Head Coach is a defensive minded coach and while the offense headlines because of their amazing team speed their defense is better than their offense straight up. Defensive End Greg Wortman and Isaac Parra at Linebacker are two of the best in the State of New Mexico and will make it tough for the Aztec Tigers to put points on the board. On offense, Quarterback Chris Wisneski and Running Back Jalen Chavez bring speed that you have not seen in a while. Expect Los Lunas to put on a show. The always underdogs aka the Aztec Tigers. Since 2009 and before, no one has believed that Aztec could win the big game. They proved that theory wrong several times under former Head Coach Brad Hirsch beating Artesia, Goddard, Valencia, and Belen in key play-off games. New Head Coach Matt Stiendfelt proved that Aztec still has some fight in them by beating Artesia last weekend 61-55 giving the Bulldog's their first home loss since 1999. With NMPreps.com Mr. Football Finalist Adam Lucero in the mix, Aztec is never out. Talent wise, Los Lunas holds the high advantage, but games like this usually fall on which team has more heart and will not give up until the clock reads 0.00. Don't write off Aztec just yet…

Class 3A Semifinal Preview

Today we begin our previews of this weekend's New Mexico High School Football Semifinal Play-Off Coverage. Classes 5A, 4A, and 2A will be posted soon.

More: Brackets | All-State Watch | End of the Year Awards

#1 St. Michael's (11-0) @ #5 Lovington (5-6) | Vote Who Wins Here
Game Time: Saturday, December 1st, 1PM, in Lovington, New Mexico
Here we go again, Lovington vs. St. Michael's. The two premier programs that seem to run into each other every year in the play-offs. Last year, Lovington won their third 3A State Football Title In a Row beating the Horsemen 14-10 in Santa Fe, New Mexico in which a game that St. Michael's lead 10-0 until the fourth quarter. The two teams met earlier this year and it was clear the Horsemen wanted revenge winning 40-0. The Lovington Wildcats have won their last three out of four games beating both Pojoaque and Bloomfield in the play-offs over the last two weeks. The play of Running Back Justin Bromley has been their recent ticket to success, expect Bromley to get a ton of carries against the Horsemen. The Horsemen are 11-0 on the season and have outscored opponents this year by a combined scored of 527-70, really by the numbers this is one of the top Horsemen Football Teams in history and them losing this weekend would be a massive upset. In the last three weeks they have beaten Hope Christian twice playing them at the end of the regular season and just last week in the quarterfinals. Daniel Ortega, Michael Gormely, and Santo Coppola have to step it up this weekend at the backer position. If they limit Lovington's ground attack, the Horsemen are one step closer.

#3 Ruidoso (10-1) @ #2 Silver (9-2) | Vote Who Wins Here
Game Time: Friday, November 30th, 7PM, in Silver City, New Mexico
Season rematches are plentiful in the New Mexico High School Football Play-Offs this year and this weekend we get to see the Ruidoso Warriors take another crack at the Silver Colts in a game they lost back in week seven 38-6. The road trip will be no different this time around and while Ruidoso has their best season record ever under Head Coach Kief Johnson, they are not going to get the respect they deserve unless they top the Fighting Colts this weekend. On the season, Ruidoso has been powered by big offense scoring 34.72 points per game. Quarterback Bryce Pompos and Receiver Parker Johnson are play-makers that produce weekly. On defense watch for Matthew Carr and Dylan Demerest to bring the wood. Ruidoso is ready, they just have to get off this bus ready to go. The Fighting Colts are now 9-2 after beating Academy last weekend 49-10. Silver is loaded with talent and them winning the coin flip to have this game in Silver City was massive and immediately makes them they 10 point favorite. While this game might be a few points closer this time around because of the season, expect Silver to make big plays on defense that ultimately decide this game. Dakota Bencomo and Justin Trewen are coming…

Class 2A Semifinal Preview

Today we begin our previews of this weekend's New Mexico High School Football Semifinal Play-Off Coverage. More previews will be posted throughout the week. Class 3A Semifinal Preview | Class 4A Semifinal Preview

More: Brackets | All-State Watch | End of the Year Awards

#1 Santa Rosa (11-0) vs. #4 Hatch Valley (8-3) | Vote Who Wins Here
Game Time: Saturday, December 1st, 1PM, in Hatch, New Mexico
The Santa Rosa Lions are going for three straight state titles in Class 2A and will have to travel through Hatch this weekend to get to their third title in three years. Last weekend, the Santa Rosa Lions defeated Lordsburg 53-0 to continue to quest for a perfect season. The Lions have outscored the season competition 507-69 on the year and their offensive attacked has been led by Running Back Marcus Lopez who has ran for 2,048-yards and 27 touchdowns on the season which is second in the State of New Mexico up to date. Hatch is 8-3 this season after beating Tucumcari in the quarterfinal round. Multi purpose player Chase Carson has accumulated over 2,000 total yards during his junior season and is also a premier defensive back for the Bears. The Bears have their work cut out for them, look for Santa Rosa to take advantage of turn-overs that turn into a a lot of touchdowns.

#2 Tularosa (9-2) vs. #3 Texico (9-1) | Vote Who Wins Here
Game Time: Saturday, November 30th, 7PM, in Texico, New Mexico
The Tularosa Wildcats and the Texico Wolverines will finally meet this season. It's clear Santa Rosa is the team to beat, but who is going to challenge them this season? Texico has already played Santa Rosa back in district and it was the Lions winning 35-14. Tularosa has lost to zero 2A teams this year, intact their only two losses come to two 3A teams (Ruidoso/Silver) that are a combined 19-3 this season. Texico is led by Shay Harrison who has rushed for 2,039-yards, while Tularosa is led by one of the top receivers in the State of New Mexico in 6-foot-4, 190 pound Jim Coleman. Wolverine Stadium should be rocking Friday Night during a fantastic match up of two dangerous football programs.

Class 1A State Title Game Recap


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