Prep football: One more in the books

reprinted with permission for the Roswell Daily Record

Posted on 06 December 2011 .


Goddard’s David Anaya, right, runs past Aztec defenders Joey Dotson, left, and Chase Polledo during the NMAA Class 4A state championship game, Saturday. Dotson tripped Anaya up at the Tiger 3 and Goddard scored one play later. Aztec won the game, though, to capture its first state championship since 1953. (Steve Notz Photo)

I have seen a lot of high school football games in my day and I can safely say that Saturday’s 4A state championship game between Goddard and Aztec was one of the best I’ve ever witnessed.

Both teams played well enough to win, but only one could win and my hat goes off to Aztec for being that team.

The two best teams in the state played in the championship game, hands down. Both teams deserved to be there and both were capable of winning that game.

 

I’ve already heard the “terrible officiating” arguments from some folks and I think it’s sad that people automatically go to that when their team loses.

The state championship game was a very well officiated game and that is coming from someone who has seen his fair share of downright awful officiating in this state.

The bottom line is this; Aztec, for one game, outplayed Goddard.

The Tigers had a well-designed scheme and they used it to near perfection. They limited their mistakes and didn’t give Goddard many free chances.

I won’t say that they played perfect, but they came darn close to it.

They converted third and fourth downs when they needed them and they took advantage of their opportunities in the red zone.

And I think that red-zone efficiency was the key to that game.

Aztec converted on all five of its opportunities from inside the 20. Goddard failed once.

That was the difference.

Congratulations are due to both teams for outstanding seasons. Aztec was due to win a title at some point and the Tigers finally got over the hump this year.

Goddard had another outstanding year and the members of the team have no reason to hang their heads despite the bitter pill at the end.

Gridiron King

I’ve asked for reader feedback for the past two weeks about who should win the Roswell Daily Record’s Gridiron King award and I will ask for it one more time.

The top two candidates are Goddard’s David Anaya and Gateway Christian’s Mason Miller.

Anaya turned in another 200-plus yard performance in the state championship game on Saturday and passed Fort Sumner’s Lance Fikany as the state’s second all-time leading rusher.

Miller led Gateway in every major statistical category, including rushing yards, passing yards, total offense and scoring.

The argument mostly comes down to one point.

What does Most Valuable Player mean?

Is it the player who is most valuable to his team or is it the player who is most valuable overall?

Miller probably wins the argument if it is the former, but Anaya probably wins the argument if it is the latter.

Send your thoughts to sports@rdrnews.com.

Looking ahead

Obviously, it is extremely difficult to forecast what any of the area’s teams are going to look like next year, but let’s try it anyway.

Dexter — The Demons were extremely young this season and that should bode well for them next year. They should be in a good position to be more competitive than they were the past two years. I don’t think a district title is out of the question.

Gateway Christian — This one has me stymied. At the beginning of this season, the talk was that Gateway was too young and inexperienced to be a serious contender. Clearly, that wasn’t true. Replacing the likes of a Mason Miller will be difficult, though.

Goddard — I had someone tell me that they thought Goddard’s run of being a state contender officially ended on Saturday. Nothing could be further from the truth. And I only need to say two words to prove my point; Sam Jernigan. The Rockets will be just fine.

Hagerman — Like their Highway 2 rivals, the Bobcats were extremely young this season. And they were learning a completely new system under Casey Crandall. I like the new system and I think the Bobcats have the athletes to be able to use it to their advantage. Against, like their Highway 2 rivals, I don’t think a district title is out of the question.

Lake Arthur — This may be the easiest of them all to forecast. The Panthers return nearly all their key contributors from a state championship team. It’s possible that we saw the beginning of a dynasty this season.

NMMI — This is the hardest to forecast because of the constant turnover from one year to the next. Fortunately for the Colts, they have one of the best young coaches in the state in Randy Montoya.

Roswell — This is another one that has me stymied. The Coyotes lose a bunch and they didn’t get many opportunities to let the young kids play. They will be inexperienced next year, but, as we saw with Gateway this year, that doesn’t necessarily mean an unsuccessful season.

kjkeller@rdrnews.com

Posted in Colt Football


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