Area football players to watch this weekend

Five San Juan County teams taking part in playoffs

The Daily Times staff
Piedra Vista's Mckay Cook takes a handoff and darts to the left against Farmington during a District 1-5A game on Friday at Hutchison Stadium. Cook had three rushing touchdowns in the game.

FARMINGTON — Five San Juan County football teams will be in action this weekend for the state playoffs.

Piedra Vista, Bloomfield, Farmington and Aztec will all kick off first-round games, while Newcomb will play in the 2A quarterfinals.

Here are some players to watch Friday and Saturday:

Piedra Vista's Mckay Cook

The PV running back had three rushing touchdowns in Friday's 28-7 win over Farmington, helping the Panthers clinch the District 1-5A title.

Cook created space breaking off tackles, especially fighting his way through the middle creases. His big touchdown run against the Scorpions came on a 42-yard gallop as he slashed into the inner-right gap and took off.

If he can distance himself the same way from Del Norte defenders, he can have another strong night in the backfield and help PV overpower the Knights.

Bloomfield's Angelo Atencio

The Bobcat linebacker recorded 18 tackles in Friday's 27-14 win over Aztec. It was Atencio's seventh game this season in which he logged 10 or more tackles.

Atencio has 141 tackles this season, including 81 solo tackles and 18 1/2 tackles for lost yardage.

He has helped bring some extra pressure up front, but he also has taken part in group tackles while dropping back into zone coverage.

Expect him to help both causes again and post double-digit tackling numbers against Moriarty's backfield, which features four players (Xavier Romero, Pedro Sandoval, Santiago Montoya and Bryan Wright) with 2,419 combined rushing yards.

Aztec's Zach Taylor

The Tiger quarterback has taken a big load off Aztec's backfield with 576 rushing yards and six rushing touchdowns in his last four games.

Previously a wide receiver, Taylor has run for 833 yards so far this year to go with his 2,247 passing yards.

If he can have another strong performance on the ground in Saturday's playoff opener at Ruidoso, that could help take some pressure off Alex Parra and the backfield.

Playoff schedule

Piedra Vista vs. Del Norte, 7 p.m. Friday

Bloomfield vs. Moriarty, 7 p.m. Friday

Aztec at Ruidoso, noon Saturday

Farmington at Deming, 1 p.m. Saturday

Newcomb at Fort Sumner, 1 p.m. Saturday