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December 6, 2012

Class 5A State Title Game Preview: Sandia vs. Las Cruces

Today we preview the New Mexico High School 5A Football State Championship. If you have a last minute State Title Game Question, text us at 505.577.5953 or e-mail us at [email protected]

Class 5A State Title Game: No. 4 Sandia (9-3) vs. #2 Las Cruces (10-1)

Game Date: Friday, December 7th | Game Location: Wilson Stadium | Game Time: 7:00PM

Sandia Makes First Appearance Since 1977

Entering their first State Title game since the 1977 season Head Coach Kevin Barker has a team filled with an abundance of talent and size. This year, their offense is scoring 31.3 points per game and their defense has given up only 200 points through 12 games which is an average of 16.7. The reason Sandia is in the title game is because of their senior leadership. Players like Brenden Barker, Craig Coffman, Aaron Smith, Tyler Ireland, and Buck Walden have each paid their dues throughout the years and it's finally their time to represent Albuquerque in early December. Rewind: Sandia Matador Summer Preview

Sandia Impact Players

Craig Coffman
Aaron Smith
Brenden Barker
Jeremiah Pena
Buck Walden
Sandia's top quarterback maybe ever. Big strong arm and a very good special teams player too. Dangerous with the football in his hands. Has been a three year starter at Sandia. One of the top athletes in New Mexico. Son of Head Coach Kevin Barker, simply a coach on the field. Very underrated offensive linemen. Had great showing at the Elite Combine. Has paid his dues, another three year starter at Sandia. Very good defensive player in the trenches.

Cameron Bean
Tyler Ireland
Daniel Cones
Terence Barela
Kevin Barker
Running Back
Tight End
Head Coach
Has emerged to become one of the New Mexico's top 2014 prospects. A+ defensive end. His family runs deep at Sandia and now Ireland will be the first to play in a State Title Game. Tough runner, will pick up the tough yards inside the tackles, has a ton of experience. One of the more underrated players on their team. Money when it's crunch time. First trip back to the State Title since he was the Head Coach at Manzano in 1996.

Bulldawgs Going For 5th Title Since 2000

We predicted this team to be here back in the summer time because of the talent level they have within this senior group. After they lost to Rio Rancho, this team has basically become unbeatable. Not sure why, but some of the best teams throughout history have a loss or two. This team lately, has been running on all cylinders and has produced over 1,400-yards of offense in their last two games. Since week five here is what they have put up points wise: 54, 52, 45, 50, 36, 70, and beat Eldorado last weekend 55-28. The Bulldawgs have been propelled on offense because of their superior size up front where they average 285 and the play of Quarterback Jonathan Joy who has passed for 2,544-yards and 25 touchdowns, Joy has also ran for 699-yards this year. Rewind: Las Cruces Summer Preview Here

Las Cruces Impact Players

Jacob Benegas
Kamryn Dixon
Taylor Tisby
Jonathan Joy
Sam Denmark
Tight End
6-1, 300 pounds one of the top offensive and defensive linemen in New Mexico. 6-3, 225 Pounds. When you talk about D-1 Prospects who don't have an offer, Dixon is one of them. 6-2, 290 Pound Defensive Linemen that will be a sure shot All-State Selection. Has thrown for 2,544-yards and 25 touchdowns. Has ran for 699-yards. One of the top 2014 Prospects returning for next year. 6-1, 220 pound prospect.

Rudy Guerra
Paul Arugirre
J.J. Granados
Austin Salas
Jim Miller
Running Back
Head Coach
6-2, 313 Pound Offensive Tackle, another Las Cruces Linemen that will be a 1st Team All-State Selection. Very underrated linebacker for Las Cruces. Has come through all year as a senior. Keep an eye on him. Has ran for 1,065-yards this year and has scored 33 touchdowns off just 129 attempts. Very underrated back, but his numbers are impressive. 729-yards and 7 touchdowns. Coach Jim Miller is 4-0 in State Title Games. Has one of the top coaching staffs in New Mexico.

Hendo's Prediction

Las Cruces is the better football team. They have the size and talent on offense especially to win any type of shootout. Sandia's best chance for a victory is to play ball control and score when inside the red-zone. On fourth down they have to go for it, they have to avoid field goals, and have to canalize on momentum and turnovers. Up hill battle for Sandia, but when you play with your backs against the wall you sometimes play the most inspired football of the season. If Las Cruces hits the 40 point mark, they win.

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