WEEK 5 FOOTBALL PREVIEWS
“Friday night will be an exciting environment for all involved,” described Cleveland football head coach Heath Ridenour. The Storm host Artesia this week. Here’s a look at some other key matchups in week 5.
Artesia (2-2) at
After losing their first two games to rival Carlsbad and then Hobbs, the Bulldogs have wins over Belen and Deming. The Storm is averaging 42 points a game with transfer running back Dorian Lewis doing a lot of the heavy lifting. “Preparing for a team like this is a big task, but it’s a task that our kids are excited to do,” said head coach Heath Ridenour. “We are still a team that is trying to mesh and fit into our identity. We are making mistakes that need to be corrected, but I feel like we have gotten better each week and we are on the right track. We have made some big plays and we have seen several explosive plays from our team. Those things give you confidence moving forward.”
Keys: “Anytime you play a team like this you have to make sure you address all of the little things.”-Ridenour
“Execution in all three phases, great tackling and blocking…we have to finish in the redzone.”-Artesia head coach Rex Henderson
Belen (3-1) at
Piedra Vista (2-2)
The Eagles posted 40-plus points in two of their three wins, including last week against Highland. The Panthers opened the season with a loss at Los Lunas and followed that with a pair of victories against St. Pius X and Valley, but they were upset last Friday at Kirtland Central 7-6.
Keys:“The key this week is to overcome Piedra Vista’s size and aggression.”- Belen head coach Greg Henington
“The keys to winning the game are to control Belen’s powerful running game.”-Piedra Vista head coach Jared Howell
Bloomfield (3-1) at
Hope Christian (4-0)
It’s expected to be a hot game on the turf at Milne Stadium Saturday afternoon. The Huskies have outscored their opponents 141-3. “We are playing well right now, but still need to stay grounded and focused on the game before us and clean up the mistakes from our previous game with West Las Vegas,” said Hope Christian head coach Gary Beck. The Bobcats suffered their first loss of the season last week falling to Los Alamos 28-20. “We will have to play our best to have any chance to hang with them,” said Bloomfield head coach Bobby Alcorn. “We definitely took a step back last week, so hopefully we can rebound with a better performance this week.”
Keys: “We have to keep the ball away from their playmakers and get turnovers.”-Alcorn
Dexter (4-0) at
This is a matchup of number one teams in their respective classes. The Cardinals have scored 56 points in two of their four wins, including last week’s victory over Tularosa. “Our team is playing really well,” said Eunice head coach Ken Stevens. “We are excited for the opportunity to play and excellent team like Dexter. Traditionally, this has always been an intense, hard fought battle.” Dexter took down Hatch Valley last week 35-6. Eunice beat that same squad 25-9 a week earlier.
La Cueva (4-0)
Rio Rancho (1-3)
The Bears have put up 43 points or more in their last three games. They have two solid skill players in quarterback Dylan Summer and running back D’Andre Williams. “I feel like our team is doing the things needed to win games,” said La Cueva head coach Brandon Back. “This week will be a little harder for us as we had some injuries over the last week that are going to play a huge role in our success on the field, but we have full confidence in the next man up and the plan we have in place for Friday night.” The Rams are still growing and coming off a 44-33 home loss to Las Cruces.
Los Lunas (3-1)
This has the potential to be a very interesting matchup. The Tigers took one on the chin last week losing at home to Roswell, 42-20, after wins against Piedra Vista, Alamogordo and Sandia. “We had a bad game as a team last week and are looking to rebound,” said Los Lunas head coach Jeremy Maupin. “Our goal is to get better each week and last week we took a step back. It’s a big challenge this week and will show a lot where our team is.” The Cougars are also coming off their first loss of the year falling to La Cueva, 43-14, last week.
Keys: “It will come down to us playing with energy the whole game and executing in all phases.”-Cibola head coach Rod Williams
“Cibola is really an athletic, good football team.”-Maupin
West Mesa (1-3)
The Monarchs have gone through a challenging non-district schedule with losses to Las Cruces, Centennial and Volcano Vista. The same can be said for Mustangs’ first year head coach Anthony Ansotigue losing to Eldorado, Centennial and Mayfield. Each team’s only victory came against Rio Grande.
Phillip Martinez, Manzano head coach quote: “We’re preaching to our kids on how to finish. We’ve been close at some point in each of our losses.”
Ansotigue quote: “We have had to play a lot of young and inexperienced kids so far due to many injuries to starters. We’re getting a few kids back and we’re excited about our potential coming up.”
Keys: “Beating them all starts with being able to play well against the run. We can’t let Ivey-Saud run all over us.”-Ansotigue
“The key this week is to focus on our job each play until that clock runs to zero. Every play matters.”-Martinez
The Trojans are still not their traditional dominant self. They’re coming off a 41-6 home loss to Cleveland last week. Carlsbad opened the year with a win over rival Artesia and could surprise some 6A teams this season. The storyline in this one is the Battle of the Bradley’s, Michael against Gary.
This is a matchup of two top 5 teams in Class 3A. Damien O’Campo has the Warriors off to an unbeaten start with wins over Thoreau, Tularosa, Raton and Mission Achievement and Success. Robertson’s only loss is a shutout by Santa Rosa. The Cardinals are coming off a 40-34 overtime win against Ruidoso in a rematch of last year’s title game. “This team is coming along,” said Robertson head coach Leroy Gonzales. “We’re still ironing out some things on the O-line, but shaping up and getting ready for the district push.”
Keys: “We have to cut down on turnovers, that’s been our setback so far this season. We have to be able to control the clock and limit explosive plays.”-Gonzales
“If we play well, the game should be close at the end and come could down to whomever makes the most mistakes.”-O’Campo
*photo courtesy John Denne