By Ed Nunez
Roswell is the hot spot in this week’s Class 5A football playoffs, with two of the four quarterfinal games being held there.
After their win against Santa Teresa last week, the Valley Vikings (7-4) played top-seeded Roswell on Friday (Nov. 15) at 7 p.m. in the Wool Bowl.
The Coyotes (8-2) won rugged District 4 — which has three of the top four seeds in the bracket.
“Roswell is a typical southern team,” said Valley coach Judge Chavez. “Coach (Jeff) Lynn has done a great job. We are playing on the road, we have no playoff experience (but) we are going down there to win. Our kids are real excited to play at the Wool Bowl.”
After beating Farmingon last week, seventh-seeded Deming (7-3-1), coached by Greg Simmons, also plays in Roswell — and also in the Wool Bowl. On Saturday at 3 p.m., the Wildcats are at Goddard, which finished second in District 4. The Rockets (8-1-1) are coached by Chris White.
The Rockets defeated the Wildcats 28-16 in Deming on September.
Also on Saturday, Belen and Los Lunas meet for the second time this month. The game is Saturday at 1 p.m. in Los Lunas.
The third-seeded Tigers beat the Eagles 35-13 on November 3 in Belen to win the District 5 title.
That win gave Los Lunas a bye last week, while Belen took a 41-21 win against Valencia in the first round.
Belen (7-4), coached by Greg Hennington, is the sixth seed.
Los Lunas junior quarterback, Cade Benavidez limped off the field late in the third quarter in the previous game against Belen, but Tigers coach Jeremy Maupin said Benavidez “is good to go. He practiced all of last week and this week as well, so we don’t anticipate any problems with him at all.
“It is always hard to play your rivals twice in a season,” Maupin said. “District is over, it is win now or go home.”
The other quarterfinal is at Artesia’s Bulldog Bowl on Saturday at 1 p.m. The defending state champion Bulldogs (6-4) play host to fifth-seeded Piedra Vista (8-3). The Panthers, coached by Jared Howell, have won five of their past six games.
Artesia is coached by Rex Henderson.
Top-seeded St. Pius (7-3), coached by David Montoya, gets a second crack at Aztec (6-5) on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Milne Stadium.
The ninth-seeded Tigers, coached by Matthew Steinfelt, beat the Sartans 28-24 on Sept. 28. St. Pius has won five straight since.
“We aren’t looking at this as a revenge game, we need to win to advance” said Montoya.
The top-seeded Hope Huskies, coached by Gary Beck, have routed one team after another in going 10-0 thus far. They play host to Tularosa (6-5) on Friday (Nov. 16) at 7 p.m. at Milne.
Hope outscored its opposition by an average of 40.4-to-2.8 in its first nine games, then won its season finale by forfeit.