Three area teams will host playoff games

Kirtland Central leads way with No. 4 seed

Matt Hollinshead,
Kirtland Central's Brock Dowdy fights for extra yards against Bloomfield's Angelo Atencio (45) during a District 1-4A football game on Oct. 26 at KCHS. The Broncos earned a first-round bye in the 4A playoffs, while the Bobcats earned the No. 5 seed in 4A.

FARMINGTON — Big victories over the course of 2018 yielded big rewards for Kirtland Central, Piedra Vista and Bloomfield, as all three will host state football playoff games.

PV (7-3, 3-0) is the No. 5 seed in Class 5A and will host 12th-seeded Del Norte in the opener.

Kirtland (7-3, 3-0) earned a first-round bye as the No. 4 seed in the 4A playoffs, while BHS (6-4, 2-1) earned the No. 5 seed in 4A.

"This time of the year, it feels good so that little nicks and bruises can heal. That's probably the biggest thing," KC coach Greg Jenks said. "Our seniors won't allow (a rusty postseason start) to happen. They've already exceeded expectations. I think there's going to be some foaming at the mouth (going for a playoff win)."

The Bobcats, back in the playoffs for the first time since 2015, will host No. 12 Moriarty in the first round. KC will host the winner of that game either Nov. 16 or Nov. 17.

"A lot of cheers (happened) when (the seedings) came up on the TV. It's exciting. We knew the game against Aztec was going to have a big impact on our seeding. Getting a five (seed) is a good draw for us," said Bobcats coach Bob Allcorn, who was the head coach at Moriarty from 2003 through 2013. "Most of the staff were assistants for me. A lot of fond memories there."

The Broncos enter the postseason on a seven-game win streak, having scored 283 total points during that span. KC’s key wins during that stretch include PV, Farmington and Moriarty.

The Panther defense averaged just 10.2 points allowed per game this season. PV’s key victories include St. Pius, Valley and Belen.

"The schedule we played helped us prepare for the playoffs. I feel like the kids have always felt like we belonged," Panthers coach Jared Howell said. "It's great to have a home game. We figured we'd have a home game."

Howell said the Panthers could've been among the top three seeds had they beaten Los Lunas and Roswell this year, but he's still fine with the fifth seed.

Aztec, Farmington clinch berths

The Tigers (5-5, 1-2) earned the No. 9 seed in 4A and will play at No. 8 Ruidoso. The Scorpions (5-5, 2-1) will be the No. 10 seed in 5A and will travel to No. 7 Deming.

Aztec played a tough nondistrict schedule, which included 4A power Taos and 6A’s Clovis. FHS won three of its final four games entering the playoffs.

First-round games will be played Friday and Saturday.

Matt Hollinshead covers sports for the Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577.