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With their wins in the opening round at the Field of Dreams, Centennial, Las Cruces and Mayfield high schools advance to the state football quarterfinals this weekend. It won’t be easy, as all are underdogs on the road. Flip the coin: They are all capable of winning.
All contests kick off at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 15: Fifth-seeded Las Cruces is at fourth-seeded Rio Rancho High School; sixth-seeded Centennial plays at third-seeded Cleveland High School; and eighth-seeded Mayfield plays top-seed Volcano Vista at Nusenda Community Stadium in Albuquerque. The other quarterfinal matchup, also at 7 p.m. Friday, pits seventh-seeded La Cueva at second-seeded Clovis.
With their showing, Las Cruces schools represent 37 percent of the eight teams remaining in the playoffs. Of the other five programs, two are from Albuquerque, two from Rio Rancho and one from Clovis.
There is plenty of intrigue straddling the line of scrimmage this weekend. Las Cruces High School, peaking at the right time, is riding a seven-game winning streak. The Dawgs’ last loss? Sept. 14 at home against Friday’s opponent Rio Rancho, 26-21. If LCHS eventually gets to the championship game, they could feasibly face La Cueva, the only other team to beat them this year.
Should Las Cruces and Mayfield both win Friday, they would cross in the state semifinals. Talk about moving the state’s biggest rivalry up north!
Or if you want to get radical, how about a rematch of Centennial and Las Cruces, which handed the Hawks their only defeat of the season? As the brackets are set up, they could collide only in the championship game.
One other championship scenario would be Centennial-Rio Rancho, an encore to their first game of the season back in August won in overtime by the Hawks, 54-53. How entertaining would that be?
The reality is, anything’s possible on the field of dreams.
Marty Racine may be reached email@example.com.