Jags eliminate Farmington; will play at Aztec

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Valencia High’s football team is headed to the state semifinals for the first time.

 

The Jaguars’ running combination of Noah Brown inside and Isaac Gonzales outside led the Jaguars to a 39-12 Class 4A quarterfinal victory at VHS on Saturday. The No.3 seed Jaguars got 188 yards from Gonzales and 104 from Brown to dominate the No. 6 Scorpions.

The win moved the Jags (11-0) into the state semifinals for the first time in their four-year history. They’ll travel to Aztec on Saturday, Nov. 26, for a 1 p.m. game against the host Tigers, who blanked visiting Roswell High 35-0 Saturday in another quarterfinal.

Against Farmington (9-3), Brown scored four touchdowns in the decisive win.

Caleb Crum added a 26-yard field goal to Brown’s first quarter touchdown to stake the Jaguars to a 10-0 lead. Farmington struck back with a 20-yard scrambling run from quarterback Daniel Lacey. The Jaguars scored on a second quarter pas form Jude Pepke to Robert Carrasco and a 2-yard Brown touchdown to take a 25-6 lead into halftime.
Valencia stopped the only Farmington comeback attempt early in the second half. The Scorpions drove 48 yards on 12 plays, only to turn the ball over on downs at the Jaguar 32.
Valencia head coach Kelley Lee thought the defensive stand was crucial.
“They made some nice adjustments at halftime,” said Lee. “We got the stop and then scored. That pretty much sealed it.”

Lee met with Aztec coach Brad Hirsch on Saturday for a coin flip to decide the semifinal location, and Aztec won the toss. The coin flip was mandated because the two teams have never faced each other, so it was neither team’s “turn” to host a game.

No. 1 Goddard and No. 4. Artesia advanced this weekend with wins over Moriarty and Los Lunas, respectively. Goddard will play at Artesia on Friday night with the victor facing Valencia or Aztec in the 4A state title game on Dec. 2 or 3.

Look for more playoff coverage in the Wednesday, Nov. 23 issue of the News-Bulletin.