Las Cruces High football can go, and perhaps should go, to the state championship game in early December.
Simply put, the Bulldawgs have very few holes on their team. None offensively and just one on its entire club: Their pass defense, more specifically the defensive secondary.
Yes, depth behind senior quarterback Jonathan Joy is shaky and the team has suffered some gut-wrenching playoff losses in recent seasons. Like any program this time of year, the Bulldawgs must keep their starting QB healthy and avoid a postseason letdown.
If they do those things, however, playing for a state title becomes a realistic scenario. For the Bulldawgs it’s all about the matchups, and assuming they get the right ones the rest of the way, will find themselves in good position.
Take this weekend’s State Championship Quarterfinals opponent, the Clovis Wildcats. Yes, Clovis is a battle-tested program with a first-rate head coach in Eric Roanhaus. They’re also a run-first team that relies heavily on standout back Kamal Cass, who essentially does it all for the Wildcats attack.
Such is simply a good scenario for the Bulldawgs, and their beastly defensive front-seven. Why with players such as Sam Denmark, Taylor Tisby and Kamryn Dixon, LCHS is typically too big and too strong up front for teams to run the ball successfully.
On the other hand, a bad matchup for LCHS? Their last loss, a 42-21 defeat at Rio Rancho on Sept. 21. The Rams like to spread out the opposition and throw the football often, a test for the Bulldawgs defense.
Granted, the Bulldawgs have played better since that game and, if they saw the Rams once again for the state championship, it would likely be a very good contest and a tough one to project at that.
Of course, both teams must navigate through their respective brackets to reach that point. But both are also top-ranked — the Rams are seeded No. 1, the Bulldawgs No. 2. On the surface, it appears to be a collision course at the top.
Assuming both take care of business in the coming weeks. For LCHS, it starts this Friday at home against Clovis.
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