Elida seeking six-man supremacy


November 6, 2019

ELIDA — It might have been nice to get a rematch of last year’s 6-man state championship, but Elida coach Jereme Woodruff said the Tigers aren’t worried about it.

The top-seeded Tigers (9-0) will host a state final in any sport for the first time in school history when they take on district rival Springer-Maxwell (8-1) in a 1 p.m. kickoff on Saturday.

“We got the opportunity to play Animas earlier in the season, and we beat them,” Woodruff said. “But we’re just happy to be in the (title) game again.”

The Devils reached the title tilt with a 40-36 win at Springer over defending champion Animas last Saturday. Meantime, Elida cruised into the finals with a 55-14 win over Hondo on Friday.

“It’s hard to make the championship game two years in a row, even in small-school ball,” Woodruff said. “It’s a tremendous opportunity, and we’re excited about it. We’re looking forward to a good game on Saturday.”

Springer-Maxwell used a goalline stand to hold off Animas, said Woodruff, who scouted the game. The Devils feature relatively good size on their squad, led by running back-linebacker Gabriel Garcia, while sophomore Jeremiah Apodaca is a threat as a kick-returner and brought one back 75 yards for a score against the Panthers.

Elida has dominated virtually everyone on its schedule, outscoring its foes 516-63. Woodruff said the defense has more than held its own this season.

“Our defense is playing tremendous,” he said. “It’s not often in 6-man you can hold teams scoreless or to one or two scores.”

Capitan (4-6) at Texico (6-4), 7 p.m. Friday, Class 2A quarterfinals

Despite a 43-0 victory in a September meeting, first-year Texico coach Bob Gilbreath isn’t about to overlook the 11th-seeded Tigers.

“I’m not really worried about (predictions),” Gilbreath said. “That’s for the fans and for the media. I just want us to get better every day.”

Capitan upended sixth-seeded Newcomb 32-30 on Saturday in the first round. Gilbreath said the Tigers try to use a ground-oriented attack to shorten the game.

“Obviously, they’ve gotten better (since the earlier tilt),” he said. “They’ve gone to more of a power-type offense. They have a pretty good running back (senior Casey McCarty), and they try to run him on a lot on sweeps and counters. I expect it’ll be a pretty good game.”

The winner will play either seventh-seeded Hagerman or No. 2 seed Lordsburg, who meet on Saturday at Lordsburg, in the semifinal round next week. If the third-seeded Wolverines win, Gilbreath said they would travel to face either potential opponent.

Melrose (9-1) at Menaul (9-0), 6 p.m. Friday, 8-man semifinals

After an easy win over Magdalena in Friday’s quarterfinal round, the third-seeded Buffaloes will be in Albuquerque for a showdown against the unbeaten, second-seeded Panthers.

While Melrose dispatched the Steers 60-8 in a game which ended at halftime in the opening round, the Panthers also cruised, notching a 62-12 win over Dora.

“They’re big and physical,” Buffs coach Caleb King said of the Panthers. “They’ve got a good quarterback; he’s a big kid.”

Senior QB Cody Leslie is listed at 6-foot-4, 195 pounds for Menaul. King said senior running back Benjamin Morales is also a threat with his speed.

He noted that the Panthers recovered five fumbles in their win over Dora.

“We have to do a great job of executing,” King said. “Everyone just has to make sure they’re doing their job.”

The other semifinal, also slated for Friday, sends fourth-seeded Logan to top-seeded Tatum. If the Buffs win, they would either host Tatum or travel to Logan in next week’s finals.

Sudan (9-0, 4-0 Texas Class 2A Division II Region I District 2) at Farwell (7-2, 4-0), 7 p.m. (CDT) Friday

Sudan has outscored its opponents 453-95, while Farwell has a four-point win and a two-point, three-overtime victory last week at Bovina in district play.

Still, the Steers stand on the verge of a district championship, and coach Jhett Norman is hoping they can pull it off.

“It kind of shaped up like everybody thought,” Norman said. “We were the two best teams in the district going in, and here we are.

“We haven’t (overwhelmed) anybody to this point, but I’m excited we’ve gotten here.”

The Hornets rely heavily on senior quarterback Christian Montes on offense. Norman said Montes is a talented runner and a capable passer.

On defense, sophomore Abram Rodriguez keys a formidable three-man front.

“They have big-play capability),” Norman said. “We don’t have that kind of overall speed. We’re more of a grind-it-out team.”

Norman said his team has tried to make adjustments to smooth out issues in its offensive line.

“We’ve been moving linemen around most of the season, but hopefully we’ve found a good combination,” he said. “We’ve sure got to play better on offense.”

Win or lose, Norman said the Steers will probably play in Lamesa in next week’s opening round of the 2A playoffs. He said they expect to face Iraan on Thursday if they beat the Hornets, or probably McKamey on Friday if they lose.


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