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Bloomfield, Piedra Vista set to extend unbeaten campaigns


FARMINGTON − The Piedra Vista Panthers, the top-ranked football team in Class 5A, will make their first road trip of the season this weekend when they face Valley High School in Albuquerque on Saturday at 1 p.m.

Meantime, the Bloomfield High School football team, coming off a bye week, will look to remain unbeaten this season when they host Valencia on Friday night at Bobcat Stadium.

Here's a look at some of the top prep football games coming up this weekend.

Valencia (1-3) at Bloomfield (4-0), Friday, 7 p.m.

The Bloomfield Bobcats will hope to remain one of three unbeaten teams in Class 4A this season when they host Valencia on Friday night.

The Bobcats, boasting a number of strong playmakers on offense, have outscored their four opponents this season by a margin of 177-40, thanks to strong performances from senior quarterback Ryan Sharpe, as well as junior wideouts Drew Perez, George Rascon, Jr., and Andrew Bair.

Also giving the Bobcats a boost offensively has been junior Jesse Seitzinger, who has scored a pair of rushing touchdowns and three scoring receptions.

The Bobcats had a bye last week, which came at a good time for head coach Mike Kovacs.

"It gave us some time to get some players back at 100 percent," Kovacs said. "The bye week can be tricky but I think it gave us a little time to fine tune some things and get some playmakers back."

Among those playmakers expected to be on the field for the Bobcats is senior Andres Gordo, who'd missed a couple of games due to a nagging knee injury. Gordo recorded seven tackles in three games for the Bobcats and has also churned out some valuable yards as both a running back and receiver.

The Jaguars (1-3) come into the game hoping to end a two-game losing streak. Both of those losses came at home, most recently last weekend in a 28-22 overtime loss to Santa Teresa. Senior quarterback Rey Garcia has five touchdowns and six interceptions in three games this season according to MaxPreps, while Garcia and senior Matthew Chavez have combined for more than 310 rushing yards this season.

Senior receiver Adriano Ortiz has a pair of touchdown catches to go along with nearly 200 yards and 11 grabs this season.

Bloomfield fell from first to third this week in the most recent MaxPreps poll among Class 4A schools, with Portales ranked first ahead of Silver. The Bobcats are ranked second in the most recent coaches poll behind Portales.

Newcomb (3-1) at Shiprock (3-2), Friday, 7 p.m.

Both the Newcomb Skyhawks and Shiprock Chieftains will be putting two-game win streaks on the line on Friday night at Chieftain Stadium.

Newcomb, ranked 12th in Class 3A according to MaxPreps, narrowly prevailed last weekend at home against Crownpoint by a final of 20-16. Senior Charlie Benally, Jr. scored three touchdowns in the win. Prior to that, the Skyhawks rolled at home over Cuba by a final of 36-0.

Shiprock has a winning record for the first time since the end of the spring 2021 season and are coming off back-to-back wins over Monument Valley, Ariz. and Zuni. In those two wins, the Chieftains have outscored their opponents by a margin of 88-8.

Senior running back Jarvis Begay has seven rushing touchdowns and more than 530 yards on the ground, while also catching 13 passes for more than 220 yards and a pair of scores.

Rio Rancho (3-2) at Farmington (2-3), Friday, 7 p.m.

The Scorpions are coming into their final non-district game this season off a solid win on the road last weekend over Albuquerque High while the Rams lost their most recent game by a 30-20 margin on the road against Hobbs.

Rio Rancho is ranked seventh in the state in Class 6A in the most recent coaches poll, while Farmington enters the game ranked 11th. The Rams have played in the Class 6A state championship game in both 2019 and 2021, both times losing to Cleveland High School.

Sophomore quarterback JJ Arellano threw a pair of touchdown passes in the loss against Hobbs last weekend.

This is the first meeting between the Scorpions and Rio Rancho on the football field.

Navajo Prep (0-4) at McCurdy (1-4), Saturday, 1 p.m.

The Navajo Prep football team squandered a golden opportunity to earn their first win last weekend, getting blown out at home by Ignacio just one week after a near-victory on the road against Crownpoint.

The Eagles will look to end their four-game losing streak when they face the Bobcats in Espanola on Saturday afternoon. Navajo Prep has been outscored by a margin of 182-74 in their first four games of the season, while McCurdy saw their four-game losing streak come to an end last week with a 40-12 victory at home over Santa Fe Indian School.

Navajo Prep will come into Saturday's game boasting a number of talented playmakers, including Lucious Hale and Dayton Yazzie. Head coach Matt Melvin, who took over the position less than a month before the start of the season, is looking for his first win of the season.

Piedra Vista (5-0) at Valley (3-1), Saturday, 1 p.m.

The Panthers are looking to maintain their position atop the coaches poll and MaxPreps rankings in Class 5A when they take their first actual road trip of the season against fifth-ranked Valley.

Piedra Vista's first five games of the season have all been played at Hutchison Stadium. The lone time they were considered the visitors was in week one last month when they beat their crosstown rival Farmington High by a final of 53-31.

The Vikings are led by first-year head coach Billy Cobos, who took over the program from Judge Chavez following the conclusion of last season. Valley boasts a solid running game led by seniors Caeden Jojola and Richard Henderson, who have combined for more than 500 yards and 10 touchdowns this season. Junior Tazhe Wilson is averaging nearly nine yards per carry this season with a pair of rushing touchdowns.

"It's a pretty significant road test for us," said Panthers head coach Jared Howell. "There's a lot of potential distractions there for us. It's our first day game, our first Saturday game, our first road game. Those are a lot of reasons to rely on excuses and we're trying not to focus on that."

The Panthers have scored 93 points in their last two games, most recently outscoring Goddard by a final of 47-29 last weekend at Hutchison Stadium.

Kirtland Central (1-2) at Grants (1-4), Saturday, 2 p.m.

The Kirtland Central High School football team will be looking to bounce back off a 40-16 loss at home against Montezuma-Cortez, while the Pirates are hoping to snap a three-game losing streak when they host the Broncos on Saturday afternoon.

Coming off a bye week, Kirtland Central will likely turn to sophomore Bryle Matthews and junior Demusico Edcitty for the bulk of their offensive attack. The two have combined for three rushing scores and more than 350 yards on the ground. Junior Noah Dineyazhe has caught nine passes for nearly 150 yards this season and a pair of scores.

Grants has been outscored in each of their last three games by a combined margin of 132-14.

St. Michael's (4-0) at Aztec (2-3), Saturday, 6 p.m.

The St. Michael's High School football team is one of three schools to remain unbeaten in Class 3A. The Horsemen are coming into Saturday's game at Aztec off a bye week after back-to-back blowout wins at home over Santa Fe and Los Alamos.

The Tigers, currently ranked in the top 10 in Class 4A in both the coaches poll and on MaxPreps, have lost two in a row after starting the season with a 2-1 record. Senior Tristen McNeal and junior Baylor Seabolt have a combined 36 receptions for more than 470 yards and four touchdowns. Quarterback Marcquis Henry has thrown five touchdowns this season, but has also recorded six interceptions.

Aztec is coming off a 28-14 loss on the road last weekend at Silver, one of the top-ranked Class 4A teams in the state. The Tigers trailed 21-14 heading into halftime and allowed only one touchdown in the second half against a Fighting Colts team that averages more than 34 points per game.

The Horsemen are led by a pair of senior quarterbacks, Zachary Martinez and Jacob Katko, who have combined for seven touchdown passes and no interceptions through three games this season.