By Mark Smith
Editor in Chief
Top-ranked Cleveland High ran its record to 9-0 with a 50-0 blowout of West Mesa (1-8) on Thursday night (Oct. 25) at Nusenda Community Stadium, but may have lost star running back Dorian Lewis for the season.
Lewis, a junior transfer from El Paso and one of the best running backs in the Albuquerque Metro Area in years, had to be lifted off the field by teammates in the first quarter after taking a big hit that looked to bend back his right leg.
Lewis was on the sidelines the remainder of the first half.
“He tried to hobble off the field with the help of a couple of teammates,” ProView Networks’ Sebastian Noel told Enchantment Sports. “He couldn’t get to the sidelines, and they had to lift him off the field, taking all the weight off of it.”
Noel did play-by-play for the game on ProView.
“His knee was really bent from the hit. It looked really bad when we saw a series of frame-by-frame still shots of it,” Noel said.
Initial reports to Enchantment Sports said that Lewis never came out of the locker room after halftime, but Gary Herron of the Rio Rancho Observer said Lewis was on crutches on the sideline for the second half.
Cleveland coach Heath Ridenour did not return a text message asking about the extent of the injury.
On Thursday night, once source close to the Storm program said “It doesn’t look like (Lewis) will play again this year.”
Herron, however, said that “it’s not time to write him off yet, or the Storm.
“The Storm should be a top-four seed, so they will be off for the playoffs first round (Nov. 9-10), then will have an easy game in the quarterfinals (Nov. 16-17),” Herron said. “They could have him ready for the semifinals (Nov. 23-24)…. They also have two quality back-up running backs.”
The injury came at the end of a 20-yard run by Lewis, who was already having another incredible game. Lewis scored on the game’s first play on a 75-yard run, added a 27-yard run on his second carry and scored on a 51-yard romp on his third carry.
He finished the night with 173 yards on just four attempts.
The game ended early in the fourth quarter via the 50-point mercy rule.
FEATURE PHOTO: Dorian Lewis, who ran for more than 400 yards and five touchdowns in this game earlier this season against Eldorado, suffered a serious knee injury on Thursday night against West Mesa. (Courtesy/Marty Saiz)