by Lee Roy L. Lucero with ProView Network correspondents
EnchantmentSports.com will be taking local sports fans around the Rio Rancho/Albuquerque Metro Area to bring the highlights and views of the local broadcasters from ProViewNetworks.com as we bring you the best coverage on local high school football.
Cibola 27 Sandia 21
“A very competitive game,” says Adam Diehl. “Jr. RB/LB Leshawn Joseph was unbelievable he had over 200 yards rushing and 3 touchdowns.” (Stats are unofficial as the NMAA website doesn’t have all stats up yet.) He also had a kick-off return that was called back that could have won the game for the Matadors. Unfortunately, Joseph went down with injury towards the end of the game. “We don’t know his status at this time,” says Diehl. “but he was fantastic and could be one of the better RB’s in the state.
Cibola WR Nathaniel Manzanares with a TD
“Cibola was stout and play excellent defense,” says Diehl. They are ‘sneaky good’ and have some weapons that nobody knows about yet. One of those is Sr. WR/PR/P Nathaniel Manzanares who had a wild game. “He capitalized on 2 fake punts, then he tried to fake punts, ran back across the field, got the punts off, and caught a TD pass and threw a TD pass.”
Highland 16 Rio Grande 12
“The atmosphere was amazing,” says Proview Networks Sebastian Noel. “When you think of two teams that have struggled not only victories, but for players on the roster; you wouldn’t think that the fans would follow, however, the stands were electric with both Hornet and Raven fans really getting into the game.”
“The Ravens took an early lead as things were going right in the first half,” says Noel, “but as the 3rd and 4th quarters started former coach San Juan Mendoza commented that the Rio Grande players had a lot of hands on their hips and were visibly tired. That happens when you have a short roster and players are playing iron man football.” I was really impressed with Raven QB Aaron Pavia. You can see that eventually he is going to lead this on a game winning drive, and he nearly did it Friday night, unfortunately a late dropped pass in the end zone gave Highland the victory, along with some drive killing penalties, but I believe Pavia will lead this team to victory sometime this year.”
Highland has a couple of shifty players that are exciting to watch. “Highland plays the Wing-T so everyone is a running back,” says a laughing Noel. “Still keep an eye out for a pair of young Hornet freshmen: WR John Valles (2 rec. 82 yds. 2 TD’s) and RB Nathan Lopez (11 carries 48 yards) these two young men played well.”
Valley 29 Albuquerque High 8
“I spoke with Valley Coach Judge Chavez before the game,” Proview’s Roger Holien. “Judge always keeps things close to the vest and gives us the ‘we are not that good’ speech.” This year things are little different for the Vikings as they are now in 5A and Judge said, “we are finally in the right district and classification.” Holien believes that Valley can compete this year behind the senior leadership QB Manual Sanchez-Vargas, WR Jove Messenger, and RB AJ Beltran. “Valley is well coached, they have some on field leadership, and have changed their offensive look. I can hardly wait to see them up against Belen.”
“The Bulldogs are running a 3-4 defense this year and are a work in progress,” says Holien. “They don’t have a long roster, and so far, a ‘high impact’ player hasn’t been identified yet. Still they fly to the ball and defensively gang tackled really well.”
La Cueva 38 Volcano Vista 26
“I wasn’t super impressed with Volcano,” says Adam Diehl. “They jumped to a lead via a pick 6 and two long runs by Jr. RB Isaac Chavez 65 and 72 that was three of their first 4 scores.” Sebastian Noel adds, “Volcano just beat themselves with penalties and poor special teams play that prevents them from taking that “next steps” they always look like a team that should be on the next level.”
“La Cueva started kind of sloppy then came into their own,” says Diehl. “Their defense will be one of the best in the state with LB’s Lawrence Bussey, Fred Mady III, leading the way and watch out for Kendrick Milford, he is a stud!” Noel adds, “La Cueva will rely on their defense until that offense comes around. RB DeAndre Williams didn’t start, but as soon as La Cueva found themselves down, Williams came off the bench and made a monster impact with 34 carries, 237 yards, 2 TDs.”
Belen 40 Del Norte Knights 21
“Belen has a whole new O-line,” says Proview’s Roger Holien. ‘They have good size and play hard, and Diego Casillas is the real deal. (24 carries 170 yards 2 TDs, 3 rec. 46 yards 1 TD). I think he can play at the next level. Del Norte played a lot of 0 coverage (safeties come up to the line of scrimmage) to try and snuff Casillas, but he is throwback fullback that just wears down the defense and got stronger as the game goes on. He wore out the Knight defense picking up those ‘dirty yard’”
DNHS Christian Mejia
“I spoke with Del Norte Coach Binkley before the game and he expressed that Christian Mejia is the best QB in the state,” says Holien. “He might be, as he did throw for 228 yards and 3 scores for the Knights. Coach Binkley before the game also said they were going to bring people to the line of scrimmage, rush the QB, and load up the box. They are super aggressive, maybe at times too aggressive as they need to clean up their penalties, which hurt them.”
Mayfield 45 Atrisco 13
“Atrisco is going to have a tough year they aren’t big, they are young, and undisciplined at this point,” says Adam Diehl. “They struggled and couldn’t move the ball. I had them close to -47 yards rushing going into the 4th quarter, and ‘safetied’ themselves twice. At one point the score was 7-4 the only offensive play for the Jags was a missed coverage breakaway 96-yard reception by Jesus Jimenez.”
Mayfield has a guy named Aaron Thompson he rushed for 99 yards and pair of TDs’ it is hard to say how good the Trojans are based on this game, but I think it is safe to say they have improved from last year.
Other metro games of interest
Eldorado 43 West Mesa 3
Cleveland 51 Onate 0
Las Cruces 48 Manzano 13
Centennial 29 Rio Rancho 14
“I didn’t get to see the game,” says Adam Diehl. “I did talk to Rams’ Coach David Howes and he said, ‘Rio Rancho had 3 turnovers 2 of those in the red zone.’” Diehl adds, “The Rams lost by 2 scores so if you look at a 29-14 game being on the road on a Saturday night. I’m not ready to say Rio Rancho is done, though it was a great win for the Hawks.”
“I thought Centennial was going to be good and their QB Lance Frost had a great game (22 carries, 218 yds., 2 TDs). It’s a solid win for Centennial.”
Come back later this week as Lee Roy Lucero and ProView Networks preview Week Two of Metro Area high school football.