Home Sports Local Sports 111619 Fantastic football Saturday playoffs preview

111619 Fantastic football Saturday playoffs preview

Goddard’s Rion Lee (27) runs down the sideline earlier this month against Roswell at the Wool Bowl. (Steve Notz File Photo)

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For the Goddard Rockets, it’s very simple. If they want to continue their postseason football run, they’re going to have to cut out the penalties — over 20 against Roswell — and they will have to find a way to not turn the ball over.

In the last game against Roswell, Goddard was fortunate enough to fumble the ball six times and lose only one of them. This week they face another ground-and-pound team in Piedra Vista.

Piedra Vista runs a veer triple option offense with an emphasis on interior blocking. They like to attack up the middle. When they do throw the ball they don’t go down field as much as they throw safe out-routes. Their line is big and it will take a while to wear them down.

On offense, Goddard must stop quarterback Cameron Swarts, and running backs Jarrod Mitchell and Michael Candelaria. On defense, Piedra Vista prides itself on being tough to run against on the inside.

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Their priority is stopping the run. In pass defense they will play zone defense primarily.

The key players are defensive end Ty Bell and linebackers Garret Howell, Kayden Dayish and Aiden Ackerman. Defensive back Adam Johnson stands out. In their eight wins this season Piedra Vista has given up 15 points or fewer.

The teams last met in the regular season on Sept. 1, 2017. This will be their first meeting in the playoffs since Nov. 1, 2008.

Goddard has to find a way to be able to kick extra points. Their season may come down to a field goal attempt.

Goddard had a week off and is rested. Look for more of Robert Aragon at quarterback, Sammy “The Bull” Zaragoza and Rion “Mr.” Lee to continue to run hard and do their thing.

Both offensive and defensive lines will be the keys to this game and the rest of their season.

Goddard takes on Piedra Vista today at 1 p.m. at the Wool Bowl.


Hagerman’s Roberto Delacruz (3) runs the ball in a playoff game last week at Lordsburg. (File Photo)

Guy Rivers for mayor of Hagerman. No, he’s not interested in running for mayor, but his popularity is at an all-time high with the way his team is winning. Hagerman is 7-3 on the season and hasn’t seen that kind of success on the football field since the Casey Crandall years.

Hagerman has not won seven games in a season since 2014. Rivers has won two playoff games and looks to knock off prohibitive favorite Texico today. This is the second home playoff game Hagerman has had this season. The hardest ticket in Hagerman to get is a playoff ticket for the Bobcats, as they play in this semifinal football game.

The key to Hagerman’s season is their sophomore quarterback Jonah Bejarano has taken to coaching, and watched film to see holes in defenses and improve on his mistakes.

“My quarterback is playing well,” Rivers said. “He’s starting to understand the offense. He’s getting better every week and that’s a huge thing.”

Rivers raves about the defense and how it has held the team together when it was hard to score points.

“Our defense is playing well right now,” Rivers said. “It’s not just one player playing well, it’s the whole defense.”

Texico will run out of the spread but they will run the ball up the middle. On defense, Texico will run a 43. Texico cannot afford to overlook the Bobcats.

“Texico is a good team,” Rivers said. “They’re ranked No. 3 for a reason. We are going to have to play really well and play our game or we’ll get beat.”

Rivers believes that it’s about the kids and they’re the ones making it happen. He cites that Hagerman has stability and has had the same coach for two years in a row. The kids have bought into the system and know that if they put the work in and listen to the coaches, they have a chance to win every time they step on the field.

“My kids will hit you,” Rivers said. “My kids like playing our sic’em defense. We will come after teams. The kids enjoy playing it. I’m from the old school that defense wins championships, if they don’t score, they don’t win.”

Hagerman is looking for one more win to force one more game. It starts today. Hagerman hosts Texico at 2 p.m., at Hagerman.

Sports editor J.T. Keith can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 304, or sports@rdrnews.com.

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