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Class 3A football: Eunice captures first state crown since 2000

EUNICE — Only two prep football teams in New Mexico won 13 games this season.

Manzano was one of them.

The Eunice Cardinals were the other.

No. 1-seeded Eunice on Saturday afternoon completed its own unblemished 13-0 campaign, beating visiting Capitan 34-13 to capture the Class 3A state championship.

The Cardinals outscored their District 4-3A rivals 24-7 in the middle two quarters.

Capitan (11-2) scored first, on quarterback Price Bowen’s 4-yard run for a 6-0 lead. Eunice QB Mason Caperton scored on a short run late in the quarter for a 7-6 lead for the Cardinals, and Juan Sosa added a 12-yard TD run late in the first half as Eunice led 17-6 at halftime.

Caperton threw two long TD passes in the third quarter, barely 90 seconds apart, as Eunice opened up a 31-6 lead on the Tigers. Tari York and Sosa caught the scores, which covered a combined 121 yards.

Bowen later threw a TD pass to cut the deficit to 31-13.

Pit Kramer kicked two field goals in the victory for Eunice, which won state for the first time in 17 years.

Capitan was the defending state champion, having beaten the Cardinals 27-26 last season. Capitan’s only two losses this year came against Eunice.