The road to the Class 2A football state championship still goes through Hatch Valley.
The Bears won their third consecutive title on Saturday, beating Tucumcari 54-7.
Both teams finished their season 11-2.
Quarterback Darren Gillis threw for four touchdowns and ran for a fifth as Hatch Valley unleashed a torrid offense.
Gillis, who finished with 255 yards passing, threw scoring passes of 21, 53 and 60 yards to Rafael Martinez and Frank Angel scored four times, including a 90-yard interception return of a pass by Tucumcari quarterback Josh Benavidez.
Tucumcari scored in the second quarter on a 3-yard run by Nathan McDonald that capped off a six-play, 57-yard drive. The score was set up by a 14-yard run to the Hatch Valley 14 by D.J. Martinez.
Tucumcari or Hatch Valley has won all of the state’s 2A football titles since 2002, when the Rattlers wore the crown.
Hatch Valley next year moves up to Class 3A.
For a complete report on the game with photos, see Wednesday’s Quay County Sun.