By Martha Frost: QCS staff
Tucumcari faces Lordsburg in the football semifinals at 1 p.m. on Saturday at Rattler Stadium. Last weekend Tucumcari, seeded third, defeated Crownpoint 37-6 while Lordsburg, seeded second, defeated Eunice 35-7 in the 2005 Class AA football quarterfinals.
Lordsburg’s Head Coach Louie Baisa had only this to say about the upcoming game and lengthy trip into Rattler territory:
“We’re not worried about how far it is — we’re looking forward to going up there and playing Tucumcari. They have been ranked ahead of us and even number one at times during the season. They’re a great team and it should be a good game.”
What do Tucumcari and Lordsburg have in common? Both are high-scoring teams that don’t allow their opponents many points on the scoreboard, said Lorenzo Alba, editor of the Lordsburg Liberal, who has been following both teams closely all season.
And like Tucumcari, Lordsburg has only lost one game this season — Tucumcari to Santa Rosa and Lordsburg to T or C Hot Springs.
“It should be a defensive game,” Alba said, “and whoever is ahead at the end of the first quarter will probably win.”
Judging by their records, Tucumcari and Lordsburg are probably the two best defensive teams in the state, Alba said.
No team except T or C has scored more than 16 points against Lordsburg, with an average of only about eight points a game scored against them all season, he added.
Alba said that when Tucumcari and Lordsburg played each other in 2000 and 2003, both were close, low-scoring games that Lordsburg won 10-7 and 14-10, respectively.
At the top of the tournament bracket, last weekend saw first-seeded Santa Rosa defeat eighth-seeded Zuni 54-0 while fourth-seeded Hatch Valley defeated fifth-seeded Tularosa 19-14.
The winner of the Santa Rosa-Hatch Valley game at 2 p.m. on Saturday in Santa Rosa will face the winner of Saturday’s Tucumcari-Lordsburg 1 p.m. match in the championship game on Nov. 18 or 19, according to the Web site of the New Mexico Activities Association nmact.org.
In addition, the winner of the Tucumcari-Lordsburg contest will get to host the state AA football championship, Alba said.
Who: Tucumcari vs. Lordsburg
When: 1 p.m. on Saturday
Who: Santa Rosa vs. Hatch Valley
When: 2 p.m. on Saturday
Where: Santa Rosa
Football championship game:
Who: Winner of Tucumcari-Lordsburg vs.winner of Santa Rosa-Hatch Valley
When: Nov. 18 or 19
Where: Either Tucumcari or Lordsburg, depending on who wins Saturday
Lordsburg’s record: 9-1
Beat Morenci, Ariz. 41-16
Beat Academia Juarez 41-6
Beat Campo Chihuahua 34-6
Beat Tularosa 49-12
Lost to T or C Hot Springs 6-34
Beat El Paso Cathedral 19-14
*Beat Laguna-Acoma 35-0
*Beat Menaul 1-0 (forfeit win)
*Beat Hatch Valley 14-13
Quarterfinals: Beat Eunice 35-7