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“This is Kirtland’s biggest game in four years, perhaps even longer,” described Kirtland head coach Greg Jenks.   “This week is a football guru’s game to watch,” said Taos head coach Art Abreu.  Those are just a couple of the descriptions of the games this week.  Here are some of the top matchups in week 9.


Centennial (8-0) at
Hobbs (6-1)
The unbeaten Hawks might be one of the best kept secrets in the state right now.  Centennial will get their bye week following this game with only one more regular season matchup against Gadsden left on the schedule before earning their postseason position.  Since losing their season opener to Clovis, the Eagles have reeled off six straight wins scoring no less than 36 points in each of those victories.

Eldorado (5-2) at
Clovis (3-5)
Both squads are coming off losses.  The Wildcats were shutout last week by Manzano.  Clovis struggled offensively and were plagued by turnovers and penalties. They’re trending in the wrong direction losing five of their last six games.
“Clovis has played a tough schedule and have gotten better because of it,” explained Eldorado head coach Charlie Dotson.  “They are extremely tough to beat at home as Eldorado has not won there since 1979, 15 straight losses.  We will have to take care of the ball after throwing four interceptions last week and turning the ball over on a fumble against La Cueva.”

Kirtland Central (4-3) at
Aztec (4-3)
The Broncos have beaten Piedra Vista and Farmington. Can Kirtland continue their run of wins over Four Corners opponents?  Aztec had to face a few tough opponents this year in Clovis and Taos (their best win was a hard-fought victory over St. Pius X).  The Tigers are coming off a bye week.
“This is Kirtland’s biggest game in four years, perhaps even longer,” described Kirtland head coach Greg Jenks.  “Aztec has big play threats and it starts with their quarterback.”

Roswell (6-1) at
Artesia (4-3)
A lot of football fans down south have been waiting for this one.  Artesia is coming off a bye week.  The Coyotes are winners of five straight.  Both of these teams are ranked in the top five of their class.
“Artesia is good and it’s always tough to play in the Bulldog Bowl,” said Roswell head coach Jeff Lynn.
“This has been a great matchup over the past four years, matching two different styles of play,” said Artesia head coach Rex Henderson.  “This year, however, we both feature offenses relying on speed.  It should be an exciting game.”

Taos (7-0) at
St. Pius X (4-3)
The #1 Tigers put their unbeaten record to the test Saturday afternoon at Milne Stadium.  Taos has really only been tested once this season, edging Grants 20-19 two weeks ago.  The Sartans have put up 96 points in their last two games combined.
“Right now, we are playing some pretty awesome football,” said Taos head coach Art Abreu. “Could it be better? Absolutely.  We underperformed at that Grants game.  This week is a football guru’s game to watch. It will be the spread versus run heavy team on offense.  We’ll get two different outlooks on defense.  Special teams will play a factor in the game.  I’m excited!  I wouldn’t mind watching a game like this.”

Valencia (6-1) at
Los Lunas (4-2)
The Tigers are still licking their wounds after losing their starting quarterback Nick Gaerlan.  They are coming off a bye week following a one-point loss to unbeaten Goddard.  The Tigers battle the rival Jaguars to help determine the top cat in district. Valencia pulled off a nice overtime win at Bloomfield last month.  “Coach Shake and his staff have done a great job turning this team around,” said Los Lunas head coach Jeremy Maupin.  “We know we have to really prepare for this game and play really good football.”

Volcano Vista (6-1) at
Cleveland (7-0)
While the Storm is solidified as one of the top teams in the state’s largest class, Volcano Vista has put up good numbers against a lesser list of opponents.  “Volcano Vista is a very talented team and they have speed in all positions,” said Cleveland head coach Heath Ridenour.  “They have as much talent as anyone in the state.  It isn’t by chance they are having the success they are having.  They present some challenges for us.”
“It will be a huge challenge, but we are excited to play them,” said Volcano Vista head coach Chad Wallin.


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