Sunday, October 23, 2011

Quick hits from Week 9 of prep football in Lea County and beyond

Brad Cox/News-Sun
Lovington's Cesar Treviso runs against Portales
on Friday in Blackwater Draw.
  Another week and more to learn about the prep football teams in the area. Here are some quick thoughts.
  – Lovington made a HUGE statement Friday. Pounding Portales 37-7 in Blackwater Draw told the rest of Class 3A that the two-time defending state champion and top-ranked Wildcats are for real.
  What I really enjoy about this team is it has been a complete makeover from the last two teams that won state titles. The Wildcats aren't going to put up 60-plus points like the team's guided by quarterback Jacob Jameson over the last few seasons. This team is going to win with defense. It says a lot about the coaching staff in Lovington for them to be able to adjust to their team's identity and personnel. A win this week against Ruidoso at home and the Wildcats once again will be district champs and will likely be a top seed in the Class 3A state playoffs.
  – Class 2A top-ranked Eunice kept on rolling with a 48-8 win over NMMI to improve to 8-0 on the season. The Cardinals proved they are much more than a two-man show as Dylan Frank exploded for one of the best all-around games by anyone in the area this season. Frank finished with three catches for 115 yards and three touchdowns, returned a punt 77 yards for a touchdown and sacked the NMMI quarterback three times. Put him along side the impressive efforts of quarterback Tyler Almager and wide receiver/defensive back Junior Caraza and those are three athletes that are going to give any team in Class 2A fits. Eunice is the team to beat in 2A for sure.
  – I ventured to the other side of the state line this week into Texas to check out Seminole's matchup with rival Andrews at the Mustang Bowl. The Indians lost last season's contest against Andrews 28-21 on a late touchdown but got payback to the tune of a 56-20 whipping of the Mustangs to clinch a playoff berth and have a chance this week at home against Fort Stockton to win the District 4-3A title.
  Like I wrote in my column for Sunday's paper, Seminole's spread no-huddle offense is ridiculous. The Indians (8-1, 3-0) can pass it short, throw it long, run it up the middle and run on the edges. Seminole thrashed Andrews' defense for 601 yards of offense. Quarterback Jacob Burtch, still just a junior, is the real deal and senior wide receiver Jarod Adams (Hobbs hoops fans may remember him from last season when Seminole came to Tasker Arena and nearly upset the Eagles) is ultra quick. My last blog post commented on the Indians (as does my Sunday column) so you can go back and read that, but Seminole proved it can go places in 3A Texas when playoff time comes around.
  – Third-ranked Class 1A Jal dominated its fourth straight opponent after starting the season 0-4, beating Hagerman 53-0. The Panthers have won their last four games by a combined score of 186-8. Some of it is playing weaker competition, but most of the Panthers' improvement comes with adjusting to first-year coach Tom McBee.
  The Panthers will see where they stand this week as they travel to play top-ranked Class 1A Fort Sumner for a chance to win the district title. Don't count out a Jal team with athletes such as Saxxon Artalejo and Malik Anderson.
  – While Hobbs was off this week, District 4-5A play did begin with Clovis getting the best of Carlsbad 23-15. Carlsbad won district last year, and while Clovis started the season off slow (mainly due to injuries), the Wildcats are getting healthy and showed why year in and year out Clovis is one of the better programs in the state.
  Clovis (4-5, 1-0) comes to Hobbs (2-6, 0-0) this week and many are already crowning the Wildcats district champs, giving the Eagles no shot. Maybe they're right but it should definitely motivate Hobbs this week. Having the nobody-believes-in-us motivation is a powerful tool if used right.