Nov. 20 – Artesia is 48 minutes from its 31st high school state football championship. Stand in his way next weekend? A team looking for their first blue trophy.
The Bulldogs, the No. 1 in Class 5A, took to the Deming road on Saturday afternoon and throttled the fifth-placed Wildcats 49-12 in the semifinals.
Artesia (10-2) will be in contention for the 5A Championship against Piedra Vista (11-1), a 13-7 semi-final winner against No. 2, against Piedra Vista (11 -1) play.
Junior Jesse Leroch had two touchdowns for Artesia in a great first quarter; the Bulldogs took a 22-0 lead in the first 9 1/2 minutes of the game. Artesia’s defense recorded four interceptions in the win.
So did Piedra Vista’s defense at the Wool Bowl in Roswell. The Panthers converted one of those four picks — and a long return — from Jacob Schreuder into the starting shot and game-winning touchdown. That was a 5-yard run from Jacob Ramstead in the third quarter to break a 7-7 tie.
The Panthers avenged a 32-14 regular-season loss to Roswell at the same stadium.
Piedra Vista also became a football championship game for the first time since 2000.
In Saturday’s Class 4A semifinals, No. 1 Silver and No. 2 Bloomfield easily won. The Colts (11-1) and their fantastic defense closed out No. 4 Lovington with a 23-7 win at Silver City. The Colts scored the first 20 points of the game.
Adan Jacquez ran for a goal and threw a 35-yard TD pass to Mason Lockett as Silver led 14-0 at halftime. Lockett rushed to a 20-0 lead early in the third quarter to score.
In Bloomfield, the Bobcats (11-1) also got off to a quick start, taking a 25-0 lead against Gast Taos in an eventual 45-13 victory over the Tigers (10-2). Senior QB Ryan Sharpe ran for a touchdown and threw for two more in the crucial first half for Bloomfield.
Ruidoso hit the road and beat Raton 21-20 in Saturday’s 3A semifinals. The second-place Warriors got a 5-yard TD run from Kaden Sago with 3 1/2 minutes left; the PAT put Ruidoso (11-1) in front and into the 3A championship game.
Early in the fourth quarter, after No. 6 seed Raton (9-4) took a 20-14 lead, Ruidoso’s Reid Enjady blocked the PAT.
In the loss, Raton confirmed that senior running back Cayden Walton had broken New Mexico’s one-season rushing record, taking the top spot from La Cueva’s Ronnie Daniels, who had held the record since 2010, which concluded with Saturday.
Ruidoso will play in the 3A Championship next Saturday at St Michael’s.
The road teams were 7-2 this weekend, with only 4A finalists Bloomfield and Silver winning at home.
2022 Nusenda Credit Union State Football Championships 5A
Nusenda Credit Union State Football Championships 2022 4A
Nusenda Credit Union State Football Championships 2022 3A