Artesia High School’s five-year state championship drought ended Saturday afternoon with a 27-14 victory over Piedra Vista in Farmington.
The Bulldogs defeated the Panthers for the 5A state title and the 31st title overall in the program’s storied history.
Welcome home Jeremy Maupin
Maupin, a second-year coach, lost to the Los Lunas Tigers in the 2021 state championship game.
He coached at Los Lunas before being named Artesia’s head coach prior to the start of the 2021 season.
Maupin also quarterbacked the Bulldogs to a state title in 2004 as Artesia shutout Silver High 42-0 at the Bulldog Bowl.
After the game, Maupin said the Bulldogs appear to be on the right track for future titles.
"I'm so excited for our guys and our program," he said.
Playoff game not easy at start
The Panthers grabbed an early lead on the game’s opening drive as Paul Brown caught a 6-yard pass from Riley Paquin early in the first quarter. The Panthers converted the extra point kick and led 7-0.
"They came out a little different and caught us off guard," Maupin said.
Piedra Vista’s lead lasted nearly four minutes as the Bulldogs answered on a 3-yard run by Diego Wesson. Peyton Greathouse kicked the extra point and tied the score at 7.
Artesia broke the tie and never looked back for the rest of the game as Julian Estrada caught a 24-yard pass from quarterback Nye Estrada late in the first quarter. Greathouse converted the point after touchdown kick and Artesia maintained the lead for the rest of the game.
"I love how our team responded. That set the tone," Maupin said.
Bulldogs cash in insurance policy
Greathouse scored on a 19-yard touchdown in the second period and kicked the extra point as Artesia extended the lead to 21-7.
The Bulldogs put the contest out of reach as Cayden Joy caught a 34-yard touchdown pass early in the third quarter. The extra point kick was blocked as the Bulldogs led 27-7.
The Panthers scored early in the final period. Artesia held Piedra Vista in check for the rest of the fourth quarter ensuring the victory.
Both teams wrapped the season with 11-2 records.
Ruidoso gets redemption from 2021 in Santa Fe
The Warriors made up for last year’s 41-21 loss to the Lovington Wildcats in the state title game defeating Santa Fe St. Michael’s 12-0 for the 3A state title Saturday.
Ruidoso quarterback Cooper Pritchett threw two touchdown passes to wide receiver Logan Sandoval in the first quarter. The Horsemen thwarted the Warriors 2-point conversions.
Sandoval caught 10 touchdown passes coming into Saturday’s game.
Defense took over for both squads the rest of the contest as neither offense scored for the rest of the game.
Ruidoso ends the season at 12-1 and St. Michael’s wrapped up 2022 with an 11-2 record.
Mike Smith can be reached at 575-628-5546 or by email at MSmith@currentargus.com or @ArgusMichae on Twitter
This article originally appeared on Carlsbad Current-Argus: Artesia Bulldogs Ruidoso Warriors win state football titles on road