It’s getting cold out there, and most of the prep football teams from right here in Santa Fe are taking the weekend off, so if you’re planning that one final trip to the woods, the balloons, the in-laws or even the roof to winterize the air conditioner, you’d best go ahead and do it now because the craziness resumes next week.
Santa Fe High and Capital are idle this weekend, while St. Michael’s and Santa Fe Indian School played one another Thursday night. The only game in town Saturday is the School for the Deaf’s six-man game against their counterparts from Kansas.
We’re entering the home stretch of the 2019 prep football season. In just three weeks, we’ll know who’s going to playoffs and who gets a jump on basketball season.
Here’s a look at this weekend’s games involving teams from the area:
Las Vegas Robertson (6-1, 1-0 in 2-3A) at Raton (3-4, 0-1)
Game time: 7 p.m.
Last week: Robertson went on the road and beat Santa Fe Indian, 58-20; Raton was blown out at West Las Vegas, 37-0.
Overview: You wanted to believe in Raton. You tried to believe in Raton. Maybe part of you even thought Raton was more than a contender, that the Tigers were a viable threat in a top-heavy district — and then last week happened and all of that hoping, all that faith was severely shaken.
The Tigers were dismantled by West Las Vegas and, let’s be honest, it only gets more challenging with Robertson. The Cardinals are the team to beat in 2-3A and they got just a little bit deeper with the return of junior Andres Grano from a broken ankle. He made his season debut last week against SFIS and, although a little shaky on defense, his presence will only help as district play heats up.
Stopping Raton means stopping RB Cayden Walton. He’s averaging 175 yards a game and nearly 8.0 yards a carry. Cut those numbers in half and it leaves the offensive production in the hands of QB Dylan Quartieri, a sophomore who completes 56 percent of his passes.
The favorite: Robertson by 17
Why: St. Mike’s and West Las Vegas may have something to say about it, but this is still Robertson’s district to lose.
Taos (2-4, 0-1 in 2-4A) at Española Valley (1-5, 0-1)
Game time: 7 p.m.
Last week: Taos lost 49-19 to Grants at home; Española lost 34-16 at Bernalillo.
Overview: The defending champs need a slump-buster. Losers of four straight by an average of 27.5 points, the Tigers are in a freefall after starting the season flying the W two weeks in a row. Enter Española, a team everyone in 2-4A has circled on the calendar.
The Sundevils picked up their only win three weeks ago by smacking Navajo Prep around to the tune of 62 points. It has been an uphill climb all year for Española, a team that began with a measure of promise behind sophomore QB Ollie Fell. The problem has been protection, not much of a running game and a lack of depth on defense. You get the point.
Taos will be looking to take out its frustrations. The Tigers have been shut out in two of their last four games, but expect a big night from QB Noah Armijo and WR Angel Limas.
The favorite: Taos by 19
Why: The Tigers are tired of being kicked around. They’ll be looking to make an example out of someone and, unfortunately for the Sundevils, they’re standing on the tracks.
Pojoaque Valley (2-3, 0-0 in 2-4A) at Grants (5-1, 1-0)
Game time: 7 p.m.
Last week: Pojoaque was crushed by St. Pius, 54-0; Grants beat Taos on the road, 49-19
Overview: The Pirates started the season with four straight shutouts, outscoring Zuni, Gallup, Miyamura and Tohatchi by a comical 187-0. Things got real in an eight-point loss to Kirtland Central but then came last week’s easy win over Taos. So what’s this all mean? Ranked sixth this week in 4A, Grants is staring at an eight- or nine-win regular season thanks to a favorable schedule with three of its final four games at home.
As for the Elks, the Pius game was ended early due to the mercy rule. They mustered just 29 yards of offense, failing to convert once on third down and turning it over twice.
The favorite: Grants by 21
Why: The stats say it all, but so does the depth. Grants has plenty of it and Pojo doesn’t.