By Ed Nunez
Enchantment Sports Staff Writer
It’s a battle of unbeatens, it’s one of the biggest matchups this prep season and it’s got Southern New Mexico buzzing.
On Friday, second-ranked Roswell Goddard visits fifth-ranked Santa Teresa in Class 5A.
The Rockets are 5-0-1, with the tie coming against Carlsbad in a game that was called at halftime because of lightning. The Rockets are averaging 36 points a game in the five wins.
The host Desert Warriors are 6-0 and averaging 32 points a game.
Goddard head coach Chris White knows what has worked best for his team.
“We are a run-heavy team, and we have done a good job of playing physical football and controlling the line of scrimmage,” White said. “We have also played real sound on defense.”
Two weeks ago, Goddard beat Los Lunas 28-27 in overtime, but the Tigers were playing without star senior quarterback, Nick Gaerlan, who is out for the season with a knee injury.
“It was a game that we were down 14-0, and the kids showed a lot of resiliency to get back into it,” White said. “Los Lunas is still a formidable team without Gaerlan.”
White said he is impressed by the Desert Warriors, especially senior running back Adrian Saenz and senior quarterback, Izaiah Velazquez.
“Both hit the hole at 100 miles an hour, so you have to be aware of that,” White said. “Santa Teresa is playing real well right now, and coach (Shae) Vierra must be doing something right for them to be 6-0.”
Santa Teresa coach Vierra is equally impressed with the Rockets.
“Goddard is big, strong, they use great technique and will get after you,” Vierra said. “Rockets senior quarterback, Dalton Bowles, “runs downhill, runs a lot of option, and runs it as good as anyone.” Defensively, the Rockets move around a lot according to Vierra. “They will change looks up until the ball is snapped, so we must stay within our offensive rules and techniques,” Vierra said.
As for the buzz and hype for this game?
“(It’s like) nothing like I’ve seen before,” Vierra said. “The town and community are very excited for this Friday’s game.”
Other top 10s
Also in 5A on Friday, the top-ranked Roswell Coyotes (5-1) play host to Piedra Vista (4-2), which has won four straight.
Seventh-ranked Belen (4-3) and eighth-ranked Deming (3-3-1) also have byes.
Ninth-ranked Valley (4-2) plays Rio Grande (0-7) on Friday. The Ravens appeared to have broken their losing streak with a Sept. 6 win against Valencia, but they had to forfeit because of using an illegible player.
Rio Grande has lost a state record 44 straight games, breaking the previous mark of 43 set by Albuquerque High.
Third-ranked and defending state champion Artesia (4-3), which started 0-2, is idle this week. The Bulldogs play host to Roswell on October 19th at the Bulldog bowl.
Because of a scheduling error, fourth-ranked Los Lunas (4-2) is idle for the second straight bye week, as is 10th-ranked Valencia (5-2) Those two teams play next week in Los Lunas.