Home Sports Local Sports Artesia’s march for crown continues

Artesia’s march for crown continues

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Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

ARTESIA — Last year the St. Pius X Sartans from Albuquerque prevented the Artesia Bulldogs from winning their 30th state title.

Saturday in the 5A football quarterfinals the Bulldogs (9-2) vanquished the Sartans (7-5), 47-14.

“I’m proud of our kids,” said Artesia head coach Rex Henderson.

Last year in the Duke City the Sartans edged Artesia 34-24 in the 5A title game.

The Bulldogs travel to Farmington next weekend to face the Scorpions in the semi’s and a win would put Artesia closer to title 30.

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Artesia wasted no time flexing their muscles for the visiting team as senior quarterback Taylor Null hit senior Tyler Greenwood in the opening stages of the first period. The pass was a 62-yard strike and after the Bulldogs converted the extra point kick it was 7-0.

St. Pius couldn’t mount an attack on their opening drive of the game. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs fumbled on their second drive of the game.

On their second drive of the game, the Sartans started gathering some steam. That fizzled thanks to a fumble.

The Bulldogs were able to get their second touchdown of the game as Null found senior Joe Willingham on a 35-yard reception. The extra point kick was good and the Bulldogs led 14-0 with 2:07 showing on the clock.

St. Pius was able to find the end zone as time ran out in the opening period. Sophomore quarterback Diego Pavia scored on a 7-yard run. The Sartans booted the extra point kick and it was 14-7.

In the second period, neither team scored until midway in the quarter as junior A.J. Estrada scored on a 57-yard pass. The extra point kick was good and it was Artesia 21-7 with 5:56 left before intermission.

In the third quarter, St. Pius went on a long drive. However, the Bulldogs spoiled it thanks to a sack of Pavia and an interception.

Midway in the quarter, the Bulldogs took advantage of the St. Pius mistake as junior Jacob Orona scored on a 37-yard pass from Null. Artesia booted the extra point and it was 28-7.

Toward the end of the third, the Sartans went another long drive. Artesia wasn’t able to put up any roadblocks as Pavia scored on a 13-yard run. The Sartans converted the extra point and it was 28-14 Bulldogs.

On the opening drive of the final period, the Bulldogs were getting positive yardage. An interception stopped them.

The Sartans deep in their own territory ran into a brick wall, which was actually Artesia’s defense. The Bulldogs were credited with a safety in the early stages of the fourth quarter and it was 30-14.

Toward the end of the game the Bulldogs’ dominance continued as junior J.R. Bustamante booted a 25-yard field goal with 4:41 left in the game.

Nearly a minute later, senior Denver Williams picked off a Pavia pass and ran 41-yards for the touchdown. The extra point kick was good and it was 40-14 Artesia.

The Bulldogs put the Sartans on the canvas in the closing seconds of the contest thanks to a 19-yard run by Fernandez. The extra point kick was good as Artesia was victorious 47-14.

“We fought hard and came up short,” said Dave Montoya Sartan head coach.

Regarding St. Pius, Henderson said, “they competed real hard.”

“They’re a very good very quality team,” Montoya said of Artesia.

With the Sartans in the rear view mirror, Henderson and the Bulldogs can now focus on Farmington.

“(Farmington is a) good football team,” Henderson said. “They’re tough at home and they’ve got good speed.”