Piedra Vista does plenty of damage in the ground game in Friday's District 1-5A football game at Milne Stadium in Albuquerque. Matt Hollinshead/The Daily Times, Farmington Daily Times
Piedra Vista vs. Farmington
Once again, the District 1-5A title boils down to the crosstown rivals at Hutchison Stadium.
This time, however, there’s a bit more at stake when it comes to higher playoff seeds.
If the Scorpions (8-1, 2-0) clinch their second district title in three years, they’ll have a strong case for a top-three seed in the 5A playoffs.
Farmington already has wins over Kirtland Central, Belen, Aztec and Highland – foes that are also jockeying for playoff spots or higher playoff seeds.
If the Panthers (7-2, 2-0) win back-to-back district titles, that should be plenty to at least secure the No. 5 seed. However, they’ll still need help to potentially lock up a first-round bye.
PV will also need Los Lunas, the first of the Panthers’ two losses, to lose their District 5-5A finale against Belen to have any shot at a first-round bye.
Roswell, which handed PV its second loss, has already done more than enough to earn a first-round bye at 9-0. So, it’d be more beneficial for Piedra Vista if Roswell beats Goddard in the District 4-5A finale.
Farmington’s been lighting up the scoreboard all year, averaging 45.9 points a game.
However, PV’s offense has had its dominant moments, including a combined 99 points during district play so far. The Panthers are also turning out stellar defensive outings behind plenty of group tackling. PV’s surrendered seven points or fewer five times this season.
If PV’s secondary can neutralize Farmington’s receivers, particularly on the quick little flat and out routes, they’ll be in great shape.
But if Farmington’s passing attack makes mincemeat out of PV, it’ll be a giant step toward possibly snapping PV’s five-game win streak over the Scorps.
Aztec vs. Bloomfield
The Bobcats (9-0, 2-0) have a golden opportunity to not only clinch the District 1-4A title outright, but also solidify a case for the No. 1 seed in the 4A playoffs.
Bloomfield’s defense continues to give opponents problems because of the speed they possess, from attacking the pocket to chasing down skill players dropping back into coverage.
The Bobcats, whose core group on defense is intact for this year, have surrendered just 12.3 points a game to complement an explosive offense, which is averaging 49.5 points a game.
However, the Tigers (7-2, 1-1) are back on track on both sides of the ball after blasting Gallup 53-0 on the road. Aztec has a daunting task ahead dealing with Bloomfield’s defense.
The Tigers must win and have Kirtland Central lose to Gallup to potentially clinch district. If that happens, they’ll have a solid case for a first-round bye after beating teams like Taos, St. Pius and Santa Fe.
Matt Hollinshead covers sports for the Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577 and on Twitter at @MattH_717.