The best things come in threes.
The Three Musketeers. Charlie’s Angels. Kurt Cobain, David Grohl and whoever that third guy was in Nirvana.
Add this weekend’s slate of games to the list.
The Field of Dreams is the place to be on both Friday and Saturday with three 6A state tournament games set to take place in the two-day football festival.
It’s a schedule more jam packed than an NFL lineman in skinny jeans, and we’re here for it.
These are the top five things to watch in the opening round of the state tournament.
5. A high school hat trick
Sorry, wrong football.
You get the point, though. Three games are going down in the city of Las Cruces this weekend, and every game could be a team’s last in the single-elimination playoff format.
The action begins with No. 5-seeded Las Cruces taking on No. 12-seeded Sandia on Friday at 7 p.m. Meanwhile, Saturday boasts two contests. No. 6-seeded Centennial battles No. 11-seeded Cibola at 1 p.m., and No. 8-seeded Mayfield faces No. 9-seeded Carlsbad at 7 p.m.
Why are you still reading this? Go buy some tickets.
UPDATE: I’ve been told that I probably shouldn’t tell readers to stop reading. Please purchase your tickets after you finish this article. Support local journalism.
4. Show some 5A love
It isn't 6A football, but there's another showdown worth keeping an eye on in the area.
No. 8-seeded Santa Teresa is set to take on No. 9-seeded Alamogordo this Friday in the opening round of the 5A state playoffs. The match up serves as Round Two between the squads after the Desert Warriors escaped with a 14-7 road win over the Tigers on Sept. 13.
Santa Teresa is led by sophomore Adrian Rodriguez, who should have his own stat sheet at this point. The young running back has 904 rushing yards and four touchdowns to his name this season.
But Alamogordo has a weapon or two as well. Anchoring the Tigers' offense is Sean Hays, whose stats look more like algebra equations.
The junior running backs ran for 1,473 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns this season to go along with three 200-plus-yard performances.
It's sure to be another grind-it-out affair before the two teams.
3. Return of the top Dawgs
To be the man, you gotta beat the man.
No team in District 3-6A was able to do that against Las Cruces this regular season, and the group went undefeated en route to a district title.
Can I get a "WOOOOO?"
Now the Bulldawgs enter the postseason with more swagger than Ric Flair himself, and their postseason journey begins with a home game against Sandia.
Las Cruces is led by running back Johnny Terrazas, who has a second home in the end zone for the winter. The senior has 18 total touchdowns to his name, and seven of them are from the team's last three contests alone.
But the Bulldawgs are also packing some bite on defense. Las Cruces allowed just 17.4 points per game during the regular season thanks in part to senior Austin Salas, who recorded two sacks in the team's most recent win over Mayfield.
Sandia enters the tournament with a 3-7 (1-3 District 2-6A) record, but the team isn't to be taken lightly.
Senior quarterback Junior Silva is the man to watch after throwing for 779 yards and seven touchdowns. Silva recorded an average of 14.4 yards per completion in the regular season.
2. Take off time
Show a little respect.
Centennial finished second in the District 3-6A standings this time around, but it was just last year that the Hawks made it further than any other Las Cruces team in the postseason with a trip to the semifinals. Now the Hawks are back in the mix with an opening round matchup against Cibola.
Anchoring Centennial's offense is senior quarterback Aidan Trujillo, who is lethal enough to have Sarah Connor shaking in her boots. The terminator threw for 1,732 yards, ran for another 646 and recorded 35 total touchdowns this season.
On defense, the group is led by junior Karsten Rueckner. The cornerback has a hawk's vision like none other, and he recorded six interceptions in the regular season.
Cibola's biggest weapon is wide receiver Michael Garcia II. The 5-foot-11 senior went off for 909 receiving yards and nine touchdowns this regular season.
We'll see if Rueckner and company can contain him and advance.
1. Bradley Bowl 2.0
Let's end this football festival with a real fireworks display.
The final game in town this weekend is between Mayfield and Carlsbad, which is also known as the Bradley Bowl.
Mayfield head coach Michael Bradley and Carlsbad head coach Gary Bradley are meeting up in the postseason for the first time, and only one brother can advance to the quarterfinals.
The Trojans took home the W in the regular season meeting on Sept. 21 by a score of 27-14 thanks to a stellar performance by their two-headed running back monster.
Seniors Aaron Thompson and Matthew Riley each recorded two touchdowns, and the dynamic duo is looking to wreak havoc once again. But the Cavemen are trying to exact some revenge.
Leading the way is senior wide receiver Shamar Smith, who is harder to bring down than the spirit of a Chick-fil-A employee. Tackling the 6-foot-2, 215-pound bulldozer is a group effort, and he has more than 700 all-purpose yards to his name this season.
The Cavemen dabbled with rolling out Smith in the wildcat formation in the last meeting to create even more of a mismatch, and it'll be up to the Trojan defense to get enough stops.