Shiprock and Navajo Prep do battle for the District 1-4A championship at Chieftain Stadium
FARMINGTON — The Aztec football team will have a lot on the line when the Tigers host Miyamura Friday night at Fred Cook Memorial Stadium in Aztec.
If the Tigers win, they’ll secure the District 1-5A title outright. If they lose, they could fall into a three-way tie with the Patriots and Farmington, if the Scorps are victorious against Bloomfield.
History will be on Aztec’s side for the tilt. The Tigers (6-3, 4-0 District 1-5A) have never lost to Miyamura (7-2, 3-1), although the two have only met five times. Four of those five meetings were routes, with the Tigers winning by 22 points or more.
The one exception was in 2014, when the Tigers won 36-35 in overtime, which clinched the district title for Aztec. Miyamura finished second in the standings that year.
Aztec is coming off of a 55-0 drumming of Gallup last week while the Patriots suffered their first loss in district play, falling to Farmington 48-12 in Gallup.
The game is scheduled for a 7 p.m. kickoff.
Navajo Prep at Shiprock
The Shiprock and Navajo Prep football teams collide for the fourth consecutive season Friday night in what will easily be their most significant match-up of the decade.
The District 1-4A title is on the line as Prep (4-5, 2-0 District 1-4A) heads to Shiprock (6-3, 2-0) for the 7 p.m. tilt at Chieftain Stadium.
The Chieftains hold the edge with a 2-1 record over the Eagles since 2013, but none of the previous three battles have been district games. Both teams come into the game unbeaten in district play, so the stakes couldn't be higher for the two class 4A playoff hopefuls.
Shiprock, which needed a late-game defensive stop to knock Prep off 20-13 last season in Farmington, has been on a roll of late. The Chieftains have scored 40 or more points in each of their last four games, which have all been lopsided victories.
Coach Eric Stovall's team hasn't allowed a single point since it defeated Crownpoint 44-14 on Oct. 7. The Chieftains should be considered the favorites at home with five wins in their last six contests.
The road to Friday's championship decider has been a bit rockier for first-year coach Victor Crawford and the Eagles. Still below the .500 mark, Prep has only recently began to play with consistency. In their last two games in September, the Eagles lost by a combined total of 63-14, at home, to Socorro and Window rock to fall to 1-5.
But Prep has gone 3-0 in October, thanks in large part to the emergence of the bruising 5-foot-11, 235-pound Kemahya Curley, who has been a solid complement to junior Alijah Uentille out of the Prep backfield.
Kirtland Central at Gallup
On the heels of a thrilling 41-27 win over rival Bloomfield last week at home, Kirtland Central has a great shot at nabbing its second straight victory when the Broncos visit Gallup on Friday.
KC (5-4, 1-3 District 1-5A) is riding high into Gallup (2-7, 0-4) after last week's win, which saw junior quarterback Bryson Dowdy rush for more than 115 yards and total three touchdowns.
The Bengals haven't won since Sept. 9 and have been getting rocked by their opponents ever since, losing by an average of 42 points per game since opening the season with a 2-1 record.
If the Broncos take care of business, they may be able to sneak into the 12th and final playoff position. Currently slotted at No. 13 in MaxPreps.com's playoff predictions, a loss by No. 12 Grants (5-4) to No. 5 Belen (7-2) would do wonders for KC's chances. The Broncos also have a 40-14 win over No. 16 Los Alamos, which is another team in the hunt for the 12th seed.
Farmington at Bloomfield
Bloomfield (4-5, 1-3) will have to silence Farmingon's high-powered offense on Friday night, and then the Bobcats need a lot of other improbable dominoes to fall in their favor if they hope to steal the 12th seed in the class 5A playoffs.
A win for Farmington likely would secure a playoff spot for the Scorps and could put them in a three-way tie atop the district standings if Aztec loses to Miyamura.
Farmington (3-5-1, 3-1) put together its best game of the season last week, handing Miyamura a 48-12 loss in Gallup.
Last week's loss to KC all but doomed Bloomfield's chances, so coach Bob Allcorn's team has to beat the visiting Scorpions and have Gallup shock KC before it can even think about a fifth straight trip to the postseason.
Since topping Valencia on Sept. 30 to go 3-2, the Bobcats have lost three of their last four.
The game is scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m. at Bobcat Stadium.
Piedra Vista at Rio Rancho
The Piedra Vista football team has had a rough go in District 1-6A.
The Panthers (5-4, 0-3 District 1-6A) have been outscored 122-21 in their three district games and will now have to face Rio Rancho, the consensus No. 1 team in the state, Friday night in Rio Rancho.
The Rams (9-0, 3-0), ranked first in the MaxPreps rankings and the New Mexico Overtime Sports Center’s coaches’ poll for several weeks, have dominated all season. Their closest contest was against Cleveland — ranked second in both polls — on Oct. 7 when the Rams won 42-28.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Rio Rancho High School.
Karl Schneider is the sports editor for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4648.
Jake Newby covers sports for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577.