Nov. 20—Artesia is 48 minutes away from its 31st high school state football championship. Standing in its way next weekend? A team that is looking for its first blue trophy.
The Bulldogs, the No. 1 seed in Class 5A, went on the road to Deming on Saturday afternoon and throttled the fifth-seeded Wildcats, 49-12 in the semifinals.
Artesia (10-2) will play at No. 3 seed Piedra Vista (11-1), a 13-7 semifinal winner over No. 2 Roswell, next Saturday at 1 p.m. at Hutchison Stadium in Farmington for the 5A championship.
Junior Jesse Leroch had two touchdowns for Artesia in a big first quarter; the Bulldogs raced out to a 22-0 lead in the first 9 1/2 minutes of the game. The Artesia defense registered four interceptions in the victory.
So did the Piedra Vista defense at the Wool Bowl in Roswell. The Panthers turned one of those four picks — and a long return — by Jacob Schreuder into the go-ahead, and game-winning touchdown. That was a 5-yard run by Jacob Ramstead in the third quarter to break a 7-7 tie.
The Panthers avenged a 32-14 regular-season loss to Roswell at the same stadium.
Also, Piedra Vista advanced to a football championship game for the first time since 2000.
In the Class 4A semifinals, No. 1 Silver and No. 2 Bloomfield won comfortably Saturday. The Colts (11-1) and their fantastic defense shut down No. 4 seed Lovington in a 23-7 victory in Silver City. The Colts scored the game's first 20 points.
Adan Jacquez ran for a score and also threw a 35-yard TD pass to Mason Lockett as Silver led 14-0 at halftime. Lockett rushed for a score early in the third quarter for a 20-0 bulge.
In Bloomfield, the Bobcats (11-1) also started fast, racing to a 25-0 lead against visiting Taos in what was an eventual 45-13 victory over the Tigers (10-2). Senior QB Ryan Sharpe ran for one touchdown and threw for two others in the decisive first half for Bloomfield.
Ruidoso went on the road and edged Raton 21-20 Saturday in the 3A semifinals. The second-seeded Warriors got a tying 5-yard TD run by Kaden Sago with 3 1/2 minutes remaining; the PAT put Ruidoso (11-1) in front and into the 3A championship game.
Earlier in the fourth quarter, after No. 6 seed Raton (9-4) took a 20-14 lead, Ruidoso's Reid Enjady blocked the PAT.
In the loss, Raton confirmed that senior running back Cayden Walton broke New Mexico's single-season rushing record, taking over the top spot from La Cueva's Ronnie Daniels, who had held the record since 2010. It was not immediately known what final yardage total Walton finished with Saturday.
Ruidoso will play at St. Michael's next Saturday in the 3A championship.
Road teams were 7-2 this weekend, with only the 4A finalists, Bloomfield and Silver, winning at home.
2022 Nusenda Credit Union State Football Championships 5A
2022 Nusenda Credit Union State Football Championships 4A
2022 Nusenda Credit Union State Football Championships 3A