LAS CRUCES — Boy, oh boy. We realized a LOT in Week 4 of Las Cruces highschool soccer.
Now that we now have a pair of cross-town matchups below our belts, we are able to begin to contemplate the heirarchy of the 4 Las Cruces excessive faculties (though a number of video games nonetheless have to be performed, together with this week’s Las Cruces – Mayfield recreation) and hopefully reply some questions. Organ Mountain had a bye this week, so we’ll give attention to the three faculties that performed as a substitute.
Is Centennial legit? What is going on on with the Bulldawgs? Can Mayfield bounce again? Let’s dive into the problems.
This is what we realized, plus a number of prime performers:
Centennial makes assertion in blowout win
Okay, the query above was positively rhetorical. Centennial is for actual.
The Hawks’ development since their 49—21 Week 1 loss to Cleveland has been nothing wanting exceptional. Centennial stormed by Mayfield 56—23 final week in its first matchup with a cross-town foe behind one other four-touchdown efficiency from junior operating again Mikah Gutierrez and a dominant exhibiting from an aggressive protection.
The Hawks dominated the road of scrimmage on either side and restricted Mayfield’s speeding assault to 150 complete yards on 27 carries, a lot of which got here within the second half whereas Centennial nursed a 30-plus level lead. However the Hawks’ dominance on the line of scrimmage is not the one factor that makes 3-1 Centennial harmful.
Centennial’s crew soccer IQ is severely spectacular for a highschool program. Seldom have the Hawks been fooled by an opponent run scheme or have a busted protection within the secondary; the one opponent to actually dominate Centennial — Cleveland — did so with bodily prowess that few can match.
Head coach Aaron Ocampo credited his crew’s enchancment to his gamers’ optimistic attitudes and glorious teaching, however there may be additionally a way of perception that Centennial can grasp with most groups within the state. In the event that they proceed to make strides the rest of the season the way in which they’ve by way of the primary 4 weeks, the Hawks might be a harmful opponent by the beginning of the playoffs.
Do not hop off Bulldawg practice but
Las Cruces head coach Mark Lopez stated after the crew’s 28—10 loss to La Cueva that he thinks the Bulldawgs play the hardest schedule in New Mexico.
He could be proper.
Las Cruces has performed 4 opponents at the moment ranked in Maxpreps’ New Mexico prime 25 and three ranked within the prime 10. The Bulldawgs have solely been uncompetitive in a single recreation. Their livid second-half rally in opposition to Cibola got here up quick, and so they led La Cueva at halftime earlier than the sport slipped away within the second half.
Final week’s 42—7 loss to Cleveland actually did not stay as much as the Las Cruces customary of beating any opponent within the state, nevertheless it should not be a motive to completely write off the Bulldawgs. Cleveland has not defeated a New Mexico opponent by fewer than 28 factors and has not scored below 35 factors in any recreation.
Las Cruces’ district schedule ought to be manageable in comparison with its brutal opening slate, though Friday’s recreation in opposition to Mayfield will not be a cakewalk.
Mayfield seeks bounce-back win in opposition to Las Cruces
A 56—23 loss to Centennial wasn’t the result Mayfield head coach Michael Bradley hoped for in his return to the sideline after recovering from his battle with COVID-19, nevertheless it is not the tip of the world for the Trojans.
Mayfield ought to nonetheless win its district in its first full season on the 5A stage after transferring down from 6A in 2020 and has a positive second-half schedule. Nonetheless, Trojan followers will not cover their need to beat Las Cruces this week in one of many nation’s greatest highschool soccer rivalries.
Very similar to Texas-Oklahoma, Ohio State-Michigan or Miami-Florida State, beating your arch rival could make or break a season for each Las Cruces and Mayfield, whatever the faculties’ end-of-season win complete. And for a Trojan program that hasn’t defeated its rival since 2015, you possibly can wager followers, gamers and coaches have circled this recreation on their calendars.
Week 3’s prime performers
Mikah Gutierrez, RB, Jr., Centennial
Gutierrez’s stellar performances have gotten much less of a shock and extra of an expectation. The primary-year starter adopted up his six-touchdown outing in opposition to Sandia with 175 speeding yards and 4 touchdowns on 11 carries in opposition to Mayfield Friday night time. Be careful for an additional 150-plus yard efficiency in opposition to Atrisco Heritage Academy this weekend.
Dallas Boyd, QB, Sr., Las Cruces
It is no secret that the Bulldawgs run most of their offense instantly by way of Boyd, and he finds himself as one among our prime performers but once more. He completed Friday night time’s loss to Cleveland with 232 complete yards and a speeding landing within the loss.
John Sierra, LB, So., Centennial
Sierra led a swarming Hawk protection with 12 complete tackles and a sack in opposition to Mayfield and turns into the primary sophomore to make the “Prime Performers” checklist this season. He recorded a team-high six solo tackles and proved to be a constant presence stopping the run and speeding the passer.
Cameron Sowards, WR/P, Sr., Mayfield
Sowards was a shiny spot in an in any other case disappointing Mayfield outing. The senior caught 4 passes for 60 yards and two touchdowns and a 54-yard punt within the loss to maneuver again onto the “Prime Performers” checklist. Pat McAfee can be proud. His performances have positively been for the model.
Jose Montoya, RB, Sr., Mayfield
Montoya gave the Trojans a desperately-needed jolt of vitality with a 60-yard speeding landing within the third quarter of final week’s blowout loss to Centennial, though it most likely got here later than he and his coaches would have favored. He completed with 91 speeding yards and 39 receiving yards.
This text initially appeared on Las Cruces Solar-Information: What we learned in Week 4 of high school football; Plus, last week’s top performers
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