Muleshoe (10-0) vs. Amar. River Road (7-3)
When: 7 p.m. (CDT) in a Class 2A Division I bi-district playoff game at Plainview, Texas
Last week: Muleshoe defeated Friona 28-21 to clinch the District 2-2A championship. River Road got past Sanford-Fritch 32-14 to secure a playoff berth.
Last meeting: 2006, the Mules beat their then-District 2-2A rivals 47-0 at Muleshoe.
Of note: The defending Class 2A Division I state champion Mules bring a 25-game winning streak into the match. … River Road either needed to beat Sanford-Fritch or have Spearman beat Panhandle to make the playoffs; as it turned out, both happened. … Mules coach David Wood said it’s been about a decade since the Wildcats have been in the playoffs. “They’re very talented, (and) very hungry,” he said. “Their linemen are strong and their skill people are quick.”
Keys: Wood said the Mules must limit River Road’s big plays. “I feel like they’re going to have to have big plays to manufacture points, so field position will be a big key,” he said.
Quotable: “We played our best football of the year in the second half (last week at Friona). Something just clicked with our guys.” — Wood, after the Mules overcame a 14-0, second-quarter deficit to beat Friona.
Estancia (8-3) at Texico (8-1)
When: 6 p.m. today in a Class 2A quarterfinal game.
Last week: The fifth-seeded Bears advanced with a 28-20 over New Mexico Military. Texico, seeded fourth, had a first-round bye.
Last meeting: Oct. 30, the Wolverines broke a scoreless tie with 28 third-quarter points but had to hang on for a 28-24 District 2-2A win at Estancia.
Keys: Texico coach Ryan Autrey said his team will try to play ball-control against the Bears. “They’ve got the ability to score quick,” he said. “Hopefully, we can maintain drives and drain the clock.”
Of note: Autrey said if Texico reaches the semifinals, it would host the winner of the Tularosa-Eunice game.
Quotable: “We know what they’re going to do — they’re going to spread it out and throw it. … It’s going to be a dogfight.” — Autrey, on Estancia.
Melrose (11-0) at Mountainair (7-3)
When: 7 p.m. today in an 8-man semifinal game.
Last week: The Buffaloes trounced Gateway Christian 94-12 while the Mustangs got past Reserve 46-20 in quarterfinal matchups.
Last meeting: Oct. 9, Melrose routed the Mustangs 64-8 at Mountainair.
Of note: The defending 8-man champion Buffs have a 24-game winning streak since the start of the 2008 season. … The winner faces either Tatum or Clovis Christian, who play on Saturday at Yucca. If it’s Melrose, the Buffs would play at Tatum or have to have a coin flip with CCS. … Buffs coach Dickie Roybal admits he’s surprised his squad has reached this point of the season unbeaten, but noted that in all but one game Melrose’s starters have sat out the second half. The Buffs are averaging 68 points a game and have allowed more than eight only twice.
Quotable: “(The earlier meeting) was a good game until halftime. They’re fast and they’re physical. They’re playing with a lot of confidence.” — Roybal, on the Mustangs.
Fort Sumner (8-3) at Hagerman (9-1)
When: 7 p.m. today in a Class 1A semifinal game.
Last week: The Foxes, seeded third in the six-team field, knocked off Escalante 30-23 at Fort Sumner in a quarterfinal matchup while the second-seeded Bobcats had a bye.
Last meeting: Oct. 23, Hagerman administered a 56-0 pasting on Fort Sumner at Hagerman.
Of note: The four-time defending 1A champion Foxes, who have battled injuries all season, got senior G-MLB Cameron Simmons and sophomore C-DE Micah Lyssy back from injury before last week’s game, but senior WR-CB Dax Moyer, who caught two TD passes against Escalante, was lost this week with a broken hand suffered in practice. … Hagerman’s only loss was a 21-7 decision to Class 2A contender Texico … The Bobcats beat Fort Sumner 17-7 at Fort Sumner for the 2000 Class 1A title, but the Foxes have captured six of the eight state crowns since. … If Fort Sumner advances, the Foxes will either host Clayton or play at Jal in next week’s championship game.
Quotable: “We’ve been working really hard this week. They have some good athletes, but last time we played them we were way down. We think we’ve found some of their weaknesses.” — Moyer, on Hagerman.
Muleshoe (10-0) vs. Amar. River Road (7-3)
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