November 18th High School Football Highlights in New Mexico

NEW MEXICO (KRQE) — The 2022 postseason is coming to an end and schools have their eyes on the blue trophy. This is how things play out in week 14.

After their upset win over Hobbs, 5th-ranked Volcano Vista returned to Albuquerque to host district-runner Cleveland. During the regular season, the Storm defeated the Hawks and won 56-21. The playoff matchup wasn’t much different as the Storm went 47-24. With the win, Cleveland advanced to their fourth straight title game (fifth including the shortened COVID season).

Cleveland and Centennial are the other teams competing for a spot in the Class 6A championship. While the Bears are playing and the Hawks are playing on Saturday. La Cueva coach Brandon Back and Centennial coach Aaron Ocampo spoke to KRQE Sports about the matchup. During the regular season, the Bears defeated the Hawks and won by just a point, but with the title game at stake, both expect this game to be on point.

“It’s going to be a war,” said Back. “All semi-finals are like that, we expect nothing but another hard-fought fight.”

“You never know which play is going to make the difference in the game, so play them all where you’re tied and focused and ready to go at your best,” Ocampo said. “Most of the time, if you do that, things will spring your way.”

First class learning center First class performance

This week’s First Class Learning Center performance goes to Josh Perry, Sr. from Cleveland. The Storm running back ran for nearly 300 yards and five touchdowns in his team’s win.

Class 5A

Top seed Artesia sets out to take on the Wildcats. The Bulldogs are currently on a six-game winning streak and believe they are clicking at the right time.

“I really think it’s all aspects of the game,” said coach Maupin. “I mean, you know, we’ve gone 7 kickoffs for touchdowns this year, we’ve had 5+ turnovers just in the kicking game, our defense has been really tackling the past few weeks, they’re getting on the ball and then our offense clicks easy. We move the ball, we score a lot of points and our pace has gotten better and better throughout the year. So, it’s really the whole picture, it’s been really fun this year.”

On the other hand, there’s plenty of excitement in wildcat country as Deming is currently having his best season of the century.

“We’ve never been this far in the playoffs, at least we played a game,” said Deming senior Fabian Reyna. “It’s a big deal, we’re making history out here, so I’m looking forward to a big audience. It’s just great for everyone to have their football team Deming Wildcats host a big game and hopefully we’ll come out with a dub.”

Class 4A

The Lovington Wildcats started the season 6-0 but have won every game since. The defending Class 4A champions now have a tall order to stop the senior Silver.

“When you get into these matchups, championship-like environments, programs, they kind of take care of themselves and it comes down to the effort,” said Lovington head coach Anthony Gonzales. “I think the team that can maintain phonetic effort from the first quarter to the fourth quarter and which team can get right there in that category is going to win the game. So it’s going to be a fight.”

Class 3A

St. Michael’s traveled to Socorro for the right to advance to the championship. The Riders pulled off the excitement and handed the Warriors their first loss of the season, 14-6. St. Michael now awaits the winners of Ruidoso and Raton.

NMAA Student Athlete of the Week

This week’s NMAA Student Athlete of the Week is Deming Senior Fabian Reyna. The Wildcats playmaker provided a spark for his team in the quarterfinals against Goddard when he rushed for 100 yards and two touchdowns and also ran the second-half kickoff into the end zone. Although football is an important part of his life, he knows the importance of maintaining his education as he maintains a 3.7 GPA.

“The way I see it, you gotta do what you gotta do,” Reyna said. “You can’t play football without an education, without good grades. Football will drop you all of a sudden and so have your education, have your degree. Yeah I’m feeling really good, I’m trying to graduate in white and make my family proud. This is my motivation to go to school every day to make my family proud.”

Everguard Solar glowing light

The Everguard Solar Shining Light is heading to Fort Sumner/House this week. The Foxes faced Lordsburg for the 8-man state title, winning 38-34.

Class 2A Crowns Champion

Jal was back in the 2A Championship game for a second straight season, this time against district rivals Texico. This season, however, the last game ended positively for the Panthers as they won 41-21.

American living room furniture and mattresses that bring it home

The American Home Furniture & Mattress Driving It Home Piece of the Week goes to St. Michael’s Running Back Marcus Leyba. The senior horseman scored the game-winning touchdown against Socorro to send his team to the state championship.