Week 11: Metro Area Preview

Welcome to Week 11 of the New Mexico High School Football Season. Leading up to each Friday of the Season, we'll preview over 40 games by region starting on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The four New Mexico Regions are Northern, Metro Area, Southeast, and Southwest. Friday Night we need your help collecting game scores. Please text us to 505.577.5953 and if you tweet high school football scores, please type in a score then use the hastag #nmpreps.
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Rewind: 2011 Highlighs of Cleveland over Rio Rancho
Rio Rancho 8-1 @ Cleveland 6-3
WHEN: November 9th, 2012
WHERE: Lightning Rod Stadium, Rio Rancho, NM
Radio: KIVA Radio 1550 AM
PREDICTION: Rio Rancho 7
RIO RANCHO IMPACT PLAYERS: Easton Bruere QB, Ulises Astorga RB, Tristen Foley WR, Austin Patterson WR, Devon Bennett OL, Dustin Hanson OL, Robert Salgado OL, Morgan Smith DL, Travis Parnell LB, Dallin Brady DB
CLEVELAND IMPACT PLAYERS: Kian Homme QB, Romell Jordan RB, Sterling Napier TE, Jason Alvarado OL, Desmond Branch DL, Damien Speaker LB, Mackey Dunlap LB, Andre LiRosi DB, Steven Steele DB
CLASS 5A RANKINGS: Rio Rancho #1, Cleveland #6
KEY STAT: Rio Rancho is scroing 42.9 poitns per game, Cleveland is scoring 50.6 points per game in their last three games
COACHES: Lovington: Jamie Quinones | Ruidoso Kief Johnson
Click THE STORYLINE: Last year, the Rio Rancho Rams were defeated by Cleveland not once, but twice. The Cross Town Game is no longer a game, it's a full blown out Rivalry Game and Rio Rancho has to be gunning for a little revenge at Lightning Rod Stadium Friday Night. Rio Rancho comes into this game winning their last six games in a row, including some narrow escapes against Eldorado and Volcano Vista. Their offense has been more than potent with the Rams scoring 42.9 points per game thanks to 2,785-yards from Easteron Bruere passing, 846-yards receiving from Tristen Foley, 676-yards from Austin Patterson, and 904-yards from Ullises Astora. Those are big numbers Here to view this Link.and the numbers would be far less if it was not for the big boys up front in Devon Bennett and Robert Salgado, two of the top offensive linemen in New Mexico. On defense, The Rams are led by Morgan Smith, Travis Parnell, and Mr. Football Candidate Dallin Brady at safety. This group is very experienced, the coaches have been in this type of big game before, all systems go… Cleveland aka the Defending Class 5A State Champ is not slouch. Let's get that clear. Cleveland has found their offense in the last three weeks scoring 50.6 points per game. Not a typo… The Storm is led by Kian Homme at Quarterback who has thrown for over 1,000-yards this year, New Mexico Lobo Commit Romell Jordan who has ran for over 1,000-yards, and Multi Purpose Athlete Steven Steele who is a game changer on both sides of the ball. On defense, watch for Damian Speak, Mackey Dunlap, and Desmond Branch as one of the State's Top Defensive Ends.
La Cueva 8-1 @ Sandia 7-2
The La Cueva Bears are one win away from a locked up top four seed in the play-offs if they can put away Sandia Thursday Night in the District 2-5A Title Game. The Bears defeated Manzano last weekend 28-12 and have now won four in a row. The Bears are scoring 34.1 points per game and allowing 19.4 points per game on defense. What makes La Cueva dangerous on offense is the consistent play of Senior Quarterback Zach Silva who continues to improve weekly. He has two very dangerous targets in Jarrick Sharpe and the No. 1 ranked receiver in New Mexico by in Chris Thompson who has turned into Megatron in the red-zone. At running back, Mr. Football Candidate Michael Rose has ran for over 1,000-yards and has over 15 total touchdowns. On defense, the La Cueva Bears have Arizona Commit DL Calvin Allen, Linebacker Chris Loidolt, Linebacker Christian San Roman, and Sophomore Linebacker Mitchell Cantwell who has been just impressive this season considering his graduation year. Sandia is 7-2 and let's face it this is their best team since that 2006 squad that nearly won it all. They are scoring 31.4 points per game and their defense has been solid giving up just over two touchdowns per game. Quarterback Craig Coffman has thrown for over 1,200-yards and 15 touchdowns this season. Running Back Aaron Smith and Daniel Cones can each make the big play from the back field and at receiver, watch for Brenden Barker along with Dillon Boyd. On defense, Tyler Ireland, Buck Walden, and Adam Hoke have more than contributed throughout the year. If Sandia can keep La Cueva under three scores, they pull off the upset. If La Cueva gets up by 10 or more, it's over. Make this game as it is going to have a play-off atmosphere and will likely be memorable.
Eldorado 3-5 @ Manzano 6-3
The Eldorado Eagles are now on the verge of missing the play-offs for the first time years if they don't beat Manzano. It's that simple. A 3-6 record will not get them into the play-offs. While Eldorado has played top teams tough throughout the course of the season, a losing record and going 0-4 in district will likely eliminate them from play-off contention. The only way Eldorado gets into the play-offs is if they beat Manzano. It's that simple. By NMAA rules, the Seeding Committee cannot take Manzano if Eldorado finishes ahead of Manzano in district play. Manzano would finish 6-4 with a loss to Eldorado and with Manzano having wins against Clovis and Valley, Manzano is safe to grab one of the last spots if they are to lose to Eldorado. Make sense? Eldorado is scoring 32.75 points per game and in their last two games, Quarterback Zach Gentry who is just a sophomore has thrown for more than 800-yards. Will Eldorado rise up in a must win situation? The Manzano Monarchs are now 6-3 and safe to reach the play-offs win or lose this game. Manzano is scoring 32.6 points per game on offense and headlined by Junior Quarterback Angel Gonzales along with Junior Running Back Cory Morrow. Manzano has lost two in a row, Eldorado has lost four in a row, someone has to win right?
Volcano Vista 4-5 vs. Cibola 1-8
The Volcano Vista Hawks are now 4-5 after dropping a 56-41 game to Cleveland in a straight shoot out. The Hawks have dropped their last three out of five games, but are playing excellent basically playing top teams down the wire. We have the Hawks as a play-off lock, but a loss to Cibola would be disastrous. If Cibola wants to ruin Volcano Vista's season, beat the Hawks now. The Hawks have been led on the season by Reid Hendricks at quarterback, Dominico Chavez at running back, and Dorsett Valdez at Receiver. One additional receiver to watch is Connor Anderson, their 6-foot-5 red-zone threat. On defense, The Hawks are led by Josh Lubold at linebacker and Joseph Searcy Ortega at defensive back. The Cougars are 1-8 on the season after losing to Rio Rancho last weekend 52-21. Their lone season win comes over West Mesa back in week five.
West Mesa 3-6 @ Atrisco 7-2
The West Mesa Mustangs are now 3-6 on the season after beating Albuquerque 54-0. Their best hope to get into the play-offs would be to beat Atrisco and have Highland beat Valley by more than 13 points. What would that really do? Who knows, but it's something to play for right? West Mesa is 3-1 in district and beating Atrisco Heritage would be a fitting ending to this up and down season. The Atrisco Heritage Jaguars are one game away from punching their first ever play-off ticket in Class 5A. Beating West Mesa, it's that simple and you're in. The Jaguars are scoring 35.9 points per game and have been receiving big play all year ling from Quarterback Nate Goode and Ricci Alvidrez at Running Back.
Valley 6-3 vs. Highland 2-7
The Valley Vikings are now 6-3 on the season after a 56-13 win over the Rio Grande Ravens. Quarterback Bo Coleman threw for over 200-yards and two touchdowns last weekend and he'll need a similar effort in order to beat Highland this weekend in what looks like a trap game for the Vikings. A loss for Valley would not knock them out of the play-offs, but it would almost guarantee an away game in the first round of the play-offs. Valley is scoring 37.9 points per game and allowing just 23.0 on defense. Highland is 2-7 this year after losing to Atrisco 21-8. The Highland Hornets are still a dangerous team with plenty of speed that can put points on the board. Don't sleep on Highland just yet.
Artesia 7-2 @ Del Norte 2-7
The Artesia Bulldogs are just one game away from an 8-2 season which would likely put them as a No. 3 seed in the New Mexico High School Football Play-Offs. The Bulldogs are the big favorite in this weekend's game and though they were beaten 49-19 against Goddard, we all know the Bulldogs get better and better as we move towards the play-offs. An away game to Albuquerque is just what Artesia needs to get back on track. Get on the road take care of business and get ready to make their annual run for the Blue Trophy. The Del Norte Knights are 2-7 after losing to Moriarty 50-3 last weekend. Del Norte is scoring just 12.4 points per game under First Year Head Coach Bruce Binkley.
Moriarty 6-3 @ St. Pius X 5-4
Rivalry Game and the District 5-4A Championship. This game plays an important role in the 4A Play-offs. The Winner is likely hosting a first round play-off game, the district runner up is on the road in round one. St. Pius X has won two in a row dating back to their monster 30-28 win over Piedra Vista back in week eight. Power Running Back TJ Sanchez continues to dominate inside the hashes. Moriarty is 6-3 this year and has been playing wonderful over the last four games outscoring those four opponents by a combined 218-25. Adam Smith, Justin Manning are the running backs to watch for and Bobby Tapia is their best player on the defensive side. This is a fantastic match up that should go down to the wire.
Grants 5-4 @ Belen 7-2
The Pirates are now 2-2 in District and could still find themselves as district runner ups if they are to beat Belen by 13 points. Hey, it could happen right? Likely not, the Pirates were beaten by Valencia 21-7 and Belen just beat Valencia 48-7. The Pirates are scoring 23.9 points per game this year and beating Gallup last weekend 46-20. The Belen Eagles are playing like the Belen Eagles we are accustomed to. In their last three games they have beaten Gallup 53-0, Miyamura 51-30, Valencia 48-7. Big play from Running Back Xavier Armijo has helped their cause as Armijo recent pushed past 1,000-yards on the season.
Valencia 3-6 @ Los Lunas 9-0
The Valencia Jaguars are now 3-6 after losing to Belen 48-7. The Jaguars are 3-1 in District Play meaning: win and the Jags are in. Valencia is still a bubble team right after Roswell. Play Los Lunas close and the NMAA could throw Valencia in over Roswell. The Los Lunas Tigers are now 9-0 after another district lopsided win. The Tigers have outscored their district opponents this year 204-8. The Tigers are on a tear, but they can't let up now. They need to blow past Valencia in hopes for that No. 1 or No. 2 overall seed in the play-offs.