La Cueva routs defending champs
The Associated Press
ALBUQUERQUE — Undefeated and top-ranked La Cueva beat defending state champion but turnover-plagued Las Cruces 63-0 Saturday in the opening round of the Class 5A playoffs.
Jake Bowe returned the opening kickoff more than 80 yards for a touchdown and after that everything went right for La Cueva. Almost everything went wrong for Las Cruces, which until last week was undefeated.
As La Cueva’s lead grew during the game, so did the mistakes by Las Cruces.
La Cueva (11-0) advances to next week’s semifinals to play Rio Grande (8-4). Rio Grande upset Clovis 21-18 earlier Saturday.
Las Cruces, ranked No. 1 in the state most of the season and winner of three state championships in the last five seasons, never recovered from a series of first quarter turnovers that put the Bulldawgs in too big a hole.
Cavemen ride big third quarter
ALBUQUERQUE — Michael Munoz scored two touchdowns in the third quarter Saturday and Carlsbad’s defense kept Cibola’s biggest player out the end zone late in the game to take a 21-14 win in the first round of the Class 5A playoffs.
Carlsbad (9-3) advances to the semifinals next week, where they will play Mayfield (10-1).
Cibola had a chance to tie the game with just over a minute left in the game. The Cougars were at the Carlsbad 7-yard line and put 6-foot-6 Alan Branch in the backfield. Branch got the ball on the fourth down play, but the Cavemen’s defense forced him out of bounds two yards short of the end zone.
Cibola, which ended the year with a record of 8-3, led 7-0 at halftime.
Carlsbad scored three times in the third quarter, with Munoz scoring on runs of 3 and 8 yards. Both of those scores were set up by short punts by Cibola.
Cibola, with the wind at its back, got within a touchdown when Branch scored on a 10-yard run on a play similar to the one in which he was stopped in the final minute.
Ruiz paces Trojans
LAS CRUCES — Jackie Ruiz ran for 149 yards and three touchdowns Saturday as Mayfield defeated Highland 34-6 in the Class 5A quarterfinals.
On an extremely windy, dusty afternoon, Highland opened the scoring on a 16-yard run by quarterback Ian Clark with 10:22 remaining in the first quarter. That was the end of the Hornets (7-4), as the Trojans (10-1) held them scoreless the rest of the way while scoring in each quarter themselves.
Mayfield plays Carlsbad in the semifinals next week in Carlsbad. The Cavemen defeated Cibola 21-14 Saturday.
Clark completed three of 10 passes for 52 yards and had one interception at the end of the third quarter in the Mayfield end zone. Sam Gonzales picked off the pass intended for Anthony Fairbanks, saving a possible touchdown that would have made it 21-12.