The Mayfield Trojans will face the Cleveland Storm in the Class 5A State Football Championship game on Saturday at 1 p.m.
Cleveland has to be the prohibitive favorites in this one. The Storm haven't lost a game this season and are led by senior quarterback Cole Gautsche — he verbally committed to NMSU and has been a stud on the high school level this year.
The Storm throw the football — that's their main mode of attack and defending the pass has been the Trojans' achilles heal this year.
But none of that means I'm counting out Mayfield in this football game.
First off, the Trojans have a great coaching staff that will make the appropriate adjustment to at least give their players a chance to win the game.
They're a winning program and playing them in a state championship game — in Las Cruces no less — is no easy task.
The No. 1 key in this game will be Mayfield's ability to slow down the Storm's passing attack.
Mayfield will have to pressure Gautsche and when they do get to him, get him on the ground — he's big and fast.
Will Mayfield make personnel adjustments in the secondary? Tough to say and it would be an unconventional move at this point of the year, not that the team hasn't made such moves in the past. This is for the state title.
Some other early-week keys: controlling the clock by moving the chains — sustained drives as opposed to a quick-strike offense — and playing mistake-free football.
Again, Cleveland is the favorite — a very good team that hasn't lost all season.
But counting against Mayfield in a game like this wouldn't be a wise move.
I'll have my prediction later in the week. For now, just some early-week notes and ramblings on Saturday's game.
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