Farmington and Artesia squared off in Saturday's 5A state semifinals at Hutchison Stadium. Matt Hollinshead/The Daily Times
Scorpions' season comes to close one game shy of trip to finals
FARMINGTON — The Farmington football team's hopes of a possible blue trophy were quickly halted by New Mexico football power Artesia in today's 5A state semifinals.
The Bulldogs showed no mercy on both sides of the ball, pounding the Scorpions 47-22 at Hutchison Stadium. Farmington's season ended at 8-4.
"It's tough, man. These guys worked their butts off for nine months for this opportunity. Time kind of ran out on us today, but I'm just super proud of these kids' effort and their resilience all year, fighting through ups and downs," Scorpions coach Jeff Dalton said.
Farmington quarterback Isaiah Jaramillo struggled to evade Artesia's constant pressure up front.
"We've got a good rotation of guys that are able to come in and get pressure. Each one of them takes their turn, and I think that group has done a good job. The pass rush, those guys are relentless," Artesia coach Rex Henderson said. "And the coverage was good down the field, which I think maybe we were able to do some things (Farmington) hadn't seen possibly this year. That gave them some looks that were different, that allowed (our) pass rush to get to them, as well."
As many of his passes sailed off target, Jaramillo scrambled around the backfield trying to find a way out and get something going.
"They dialed up a few timely blitzes and just beat us one on one at times," Dalton said.
Meanwhile, Artesia's potent pass-first spread offense carved up Farmington's secondary inside and out. The Bulldog backfield found openings through the middle and along the sidelines, and their receivers slanted through the inner gaps for quick grabs.
Artesia (10-2) will face Belen in next weekend's 5A state title game. After losing in last year's state finals to St. Pius, the Bulldogs look to win their 30th blue trophy in program history.
"We're really excited. They've wanted to get back there after last year," Henderson said.
Matt Hollinshead covers sports for the Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577.