By Edward Nunez
For Enchantment Sports
There are monster matchups in both 5A and 6A football this week.
But while Cleveland and Eldorado try to stay undefeated in their big 6A meeting tonight (Sept. 6), the defending 5A state champion is trying not to remain winless.
The 5A football rankings shifted a bit this week, as preseason No. 1 and defending state champion Artesia suffered its second straight defeat, this time at the hands of the Hobbs Eagles, 42-37 last week.
It was a game the Bulldogs led 37-14 before everything changed.
The Bulldogs are 0-2 for the first time since 1986 and are now ranked third in the state.
Belen, the second-ranked team in 5A, defeated Farmington, 26-12 to move to 2-0 heading into its rematch of last year’s 5A state title game on Friday night. Belen senior running back, Diego Casillas – Enchantment Sports’ inaugural Galles Metro Player of the Week last week – is averaging 176.5 yards per game and has scored two touchdowns on the year.
Meanwhile, Los Lunas, this week’s top-ranked team, defeated Alamogordo, 35-12 last week. Tiger senior quarterback Nick Gaerlan is averaging 239.5 yards a game and has thrown for three touchdowns.
On Friday, the Tigers (2-0) plays host to 6A Sandia, in what should be a high-scoring affair. The Matadors (1-1) average 41.5 points a game.
No. 4 Roswell (1-1) takes on the 6A Hobbs (2-0) on Friday in the Wool Bowl in Roswell.
Next week, by the way, the Coyotes are at Los Lunas in a huge early-season game.
Also this week, Valley (1-1) is at Piedra Vista (1-1) on Friday night at 7 p.m. Piedra Vista ripped St. Pius 38-6 last week, dropping the Sartans to 0-2. Valley head coach Judge Chavez says his team is a little banged up heading to Farmington.
“Low numbers do affect your team when you have injuries,” Chavez said. “Right now, we have two offensive lineman injured, senior running back, AJ Beltran, is out for several more weeks, and senior wide receiver, Garrett Moseley is ‘gimping around a bit.’
“We were undefeated in the 7-on-7 passing league this summer, so we feel like we can throw the ball and move it through the air.”
Elsewhere, No. 7 Goddard (1-0-1) plays at Deming on Friday night. The Rockets’ game against Carlsbad last Friday night was called at the half because of lightening, and listed as a tie.
Surprising Valencia, 2-0 under new coach, Wes Shank, takes on 6A Rio Grande (0-2) tonight at Milne stadium at 7.
Ninth-ranked Del Norte plays host to Farmington on Friday night at Milne Stadium in a battle of 0-2 teams, and 10th-ranked Santa Teresa plays at Gadsden (0-2) on Friday night.
Ed Nunez is a play-by-play announcer for ProView Networks and a contributor to Enchantment Sports. If you have information, tips or questions for Ed, please send to EnchantmentsportsNM@gmail.com.