Escalante (4-2) at Fort Sumner (6-0)
• When: 7 p.m. Friday
• Last meeting: 2009, the Foxes beat Escalante 30-23 in a first-round Class 1A playoff game at Fort Sumner.
• Last week: Fort Sumner made three first-quarter touchdowns stand up in a 20-7 vicory at Loving. The Lobos were edged at home by Hope Christian 27-20.
• Of note: The Lobos played “up” in their two losses, to Class 3A Hope and Class 2A Estancia (44-12), ranked sixth this week. … Foxes coach Matt Moyer said his team will have to deal with Escalante’s speed, notably junior RB/LB Isaiah Maldonado. He also lines up at WR on occasion, Moyer noted. “It’s been a while since we’ve lost to Escalante,” he said, “but last year they played us tough.” … As a crossover against a District 1-1A opponent, Moyer said today’s game could figure into the playoff seedings and the Foxes don’t want to get caught looking ahead to next week’s District 2-1A opener against top-ranked Hagerman. “It’s a big game — not as big as a district game, but important because of the seeding process,” he said.
Mountainair (6-0) at Melrose (5-1)
• When: 7 p.m. Friday
• Last meeting: 2009, Melrose cruised to a 64-8 victory over the Mustangs at Mountainair.
• Last week: Mountainair blanked Foothill 50-8, while the Buffaloes cruised to a 46-6 win at Springer.
• Of note: The game matches the top two teams in the 8-man rankings — Mountainair at No. 1 and the Buffaloes at No. 2. They have also won the last three 8-man titles — Mountainair in 2007, Melrose in 2008 and 2009. “They’re by far the best team in 8-man this year,” Buffs coach Dickie Roybal said. “They’ve got the size, the speed and the experience.” … Most of Mountainair’s key players are seniors. … Could it be a playoff or possibly championship game preview? “It could be,” Roybal said. “You never know. We’re just going to come out and play the best we can and try to get away without any injuries.” … The Buffs begin 8-man District 3 play next week at home against Floyd.
Slaton (0-5, 0-2) at Muleshoe (4-1, 1-1)
• When: 7:30 p.m. (CDT) today
• Last meeting: 2003, the Mules beat Slaton 33-0.
• Last week: Slaton lost to Amarillo River Road 40-19. The Mules dropped their first game of the season, a 27-20 decision at Bushland.
• Of note: Despite their record and the fact the Tigers have been outscored 145-42, Mules coach David Wood said they have ability. “They’re talented; they just haven’t put it all together yet,” he said. … Slaton will try to spread the field, Wood said, adding that the Tigers throw about half the time. … Six turnovers proved too costly in last week’s loss to Bushland. “We have to hang on to the football,” Wood said.
House (0-5, 0-1 6-man District 2) at Dora (1-5, 0-1)
• When: 3 p.m. Friday
• Last meeting: 2009, House defeated the Coyotes 62-45.
• Last week: House lost to Elida 47-0. Dora lost to Hondo 52-6.
• Notes: The Coyotes come into the game banged up and have struggled to move the ball since their game against San Jon on Sept. 17.
Lake Arthur (3-3, 2-0 6-man District 2) at Elida (4-2, 2-0)
• When: 4 p.m. Friday.
• Last meeting: 2009, Lake Arthur defeated Elida 70-25.
• Last week: Elida beat House 47-0. Lake Arthur beat Valley Christian 71-22.
• Coach’s comment: “Lake Arthur is a disciplined team and really fundamentally sound. We’re going to work to contain their running back Angelo Rivera with some different defensive schemes we’ve been working on.” — Elida’s Clay Ferguson.
• Notes: Elida senior Kevin Mitchell leads the team in all defensive categories. Tigers senior Alex Varela has three kick-off returns for touchdowns. ... Rivera who rushed for 225 yards and scored five touchdowns against Dora three weeks ago.
— Freedom New Mexico