Saturday, August 27, 2011

Thoughts following Week 1 of prep football season

Following the opening weekend of high school football, I have concerns about Mayfield and Las Cruces High on the prep gridiron.

But I also think both will be fine teams this year when it’s all said and done.

The Trojans dodged a bullet in their opener against Chapin, winning 28-27 after a missed Huskies extra point came from 34 yards out following a penalty.

MHS was winning 28-7 in the third quarter. Did they let off the gas?

I wouldn’t be surprised if that played a factor, and the fact that Chapin had enough talent to rally also played into the comeback. It’s uncharacteristic for the Trojans to let a team back into a game like that, let alone in Week 1, as MHS is typically a very well-prepared program.

What we know about Mayfield: They still have an experienced quarterback in Axten Franzoy and a gamebreaker at running back in Ricky Milks. We believe their defense will be all right. That, and the fact they won their opener, which, you know, is nice.

What has to be answered: Do the Trojans have enough size on the line and enough playmakers at wide receiver to continue holding the No. 1 spot in the state?


As for Las Cruces High, the Bulldawgs were leading El Paso El Dorado 17-7 late in the third quarter, only to lose 26-23 in overtime.

LCHS was flagged for close to 20 penalties and quarterback Devin Perez turned the ball over three times. Look no further than those factors as to why they lost the game.

That and the fact El Dorado moved the ball on the Bulldawgs defense down the stretch.

El Dorado is like Chapin — one of El Paso’s better teams — and LCHS had its chances at winning the game.

Unfortunately, they didn’t.

What we know about Las Cruces High: Offensively, they have the talent to score points. That shouldn’t be an issue in 2011.

What has to be answered: Were Perez’s three turnovers an aberration, or a sign of things to come? That, and how will the defense hold up this season?


And on Friday night, the Oñate game was brutal.

Simply put, the Knights were overmatched by a bigger and far superior Franklin program.

Oñate is small, shallow in depth and inexperienced from a playing and coaching standpoint.

But I did like the offensive scheme first-year head coach Caleb Hull is implementing. The Knights showed they can run the ball while mixing in the pass. They spread the field and were more entertaining. That does mean something.

I would like the know who’s scheduling for this poor team. Franklin, at Americas, at Cleveland to open the season? How can the Knights build confidence against such a slate of games?

Further down the line there are some opponents that OHS should match up with. Just not early in the year.

What we know about Oñate: This team has a long way to go.

What has to be answered: Is there enough talent, depth and size on the roster and can they be competitive later in the season?


So there you have it.

For the record, Week 1 had some intriguing scores throughout the state — La Cueva appearing to struggle on offense in a 16-6 win over Volcano Vista; Clovis barely squeaking by Alamogordo 20-19; and Gadsden nearly tripping up Hobbs in a 24-21 loss were a handful that caught the eye.

The point is that opening games can be an anomaly.

I think Mayfield and Las Cruces High will still be fine football teams this year.
The Knights are building.

Oh, and the annual Trojans vs. Bulldawgs showdown — on Nov. 4 this year — won’t be a battle of unbeatens.

Today, we do know that much.

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