Cruces teams fight for title spots
IF YOU GO 6A semifinals Eldorado at Las Cruces, 1 p.m., Friday, Nov. 27 Cleveland at Mayfield, 1 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 28 5A semifinals Moriarty at Centennial, 7 p.m., Friday, Nov. 27 Piedra Vista at Artesia, 1 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 28
The Field of Dreams will be hopping.
In a 24-hour period from 1 p.m. Friday, Nov. 27 until 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 28, Las Cruces will host three high school football semifinal contests.
When the dust settles, southern New Mexico’s largest city could see three local teams in New Mexico Activities Association state championship games for the first time since 2002, when Las Cruces beat Mayfield and Oñate beat Goddard to take titles on the same day.
In 6A playoff action, Las Cruces High (9-3) plays host to Eldorado (9-2) at 1 p.m., Friday. Centennial, the top seed in the 5A brackets, makes it a day-night double header for the Field of Dreams as the Hawks take on Moriarty at 7 p.m.
On Saturday, Mayfield (9-3) plays host to No. 1 seed Cleveland (11-0) at 1 p.m. in the other 6A semifinal.
If Mayfield – which lost to Rio Rancho by two points in the title game last year – and Las Cruces both win, the state championship game will feature the crosstown rivals for the third time in 13 years. Las Cruces won both previous championship showdowns – in 2002 and 2013.
When the teams met in the regular season, Mayfield prevailed.
The Las Cruces Bulldawgs stomped defending state champs Rio Rancho 55-14 previously in the quarterfinals while the Mayfield Trojans shut down Clovis to the tune of 21-3.
Setting up another showdown, though, will not be easy.
Cleveland heads to town unbeaten and coming off a 50-7 drubbing of a Manzano team that defeated the Trojans 21-17 earlier this season.
Eldorado, the second- ranked team in 6A, obliterated Hobbs 70-20 in the quarterfinals.
As for Centennial, the Hawks had a firstround bye in the 5A postseason and then took care of Goddard 53-18. Centennial now plays a Moriarty team that squeaked past Farmington, 27-26 in the quarterfinals.
If Centennial wins, the Hawks will face the winner of the Piedra Vista-Artesia quarterfinal.