Cleveland did its part.
Class 6A’s second-ranked Storm revved up for its meeting next week against No. 1 Volcano Vista with an easy 41-7 District 1-6A victory over the Cougars on Friday night at Nusenda Community Stadium.
Stepping in again for injured starting quarterback Jeff Davison, junior Trey Ortega ran for 194 yards on nine carries, tossed a 59-yard touchdown pass and booted five PATs.
The Storm (6-1, 2-0 in 1-6A) scored on its first three drives, and led 21-0 before the Cougars (3-4, 0-2) managed a first down.
In the decisive first period, the Storm had back-to-back 63-yard scoring drives, the first a seven-play drive capped on a 12-yard run by Luke Wysong; the second was a five-play drive, ended on a 6-yard by Dorian Lewis.
The third possession needed just one play, a 59-yard TD pass from Ortega to Treavon Dennard, giving the Storm a 21-0 lead heading into the second quarter.
Lewis, accumulating 143 yards on a dozen carries, scored on an 8-yard run after a defensive stand, making it a 28-0 game. Ortega’s 73-yard TD run, as he scrambled out of danger, made it 35-0 at halftime.
“Our defense is playing really good right now. That’s what you like to see this time of year,” Cleveland coach Heath Ridenour said. “I’m pretty proud of our guys.”
As for the Ortega-led offense, Ridenour said, “Trey’s a competitor, man. I’ve got no problem putting him in the game. When Jeff’s down, he can step in and play that stuff — it makes us a little bit different. … Heck, I don’t know what he’s going to do sometimes.”
It is not yet known if Davison will return when Cleveland meets Volcano Vista next Friday at Community Stadium.
Until the game’s final minute, the Cougars had been no closer to the goal line than the Storm 26, but sophomore Tristan Tabaha came in, connected on a 59-yard aerial to get his team into the red zone, and two plays later Anthony Garcia scored on a 7-yard run.
Volcano Vista closes out Week 8 at 5 p.m. Saturday against Atrisco Heritage at Community Stadium.
— Gary Herron
LOS LUNAS 44, ALAMOGORDO 21: In Los Lunas, the home team scored early and often in the first half and won its final nondistrict game.
Class 5A’s second-ranked Los Lunas (5-2) went up 6-0 less than three minutes into the game, and led 14-0 behind a run from Devin Gallegos, the first of two first-half touchdowns for the sophomore. He also caught a TD pass from Kade Benavidez late in the first quarter for a 21-0 lead.
The lead swelled to 28-0 on a TD run by Derek Chavez following a turnover.
In the decisive first half, Alamogordo (2-4) managed only 86 yards of total offense, compared to 287 for Los Lunas.
The visiting Tigers kicked off the second half, and rode workhorse running back Sean Hays to a touchdown to cut the deficit to 30-7.
LLHS pushed the lead back to 30 a few minutes later behind a Chavez run up the middle from two yards out.
Andrue Garcia stole the show on the next offensive possession, fighting off a defender and securing the ball off a bobble for an 80-yard touchdown from Benavidez to go up 44-7 and activate the running clock.
Alamogordo added two cosmetic scores late in the game.
— Cameron Goeldner
CENTENNIAL 33, MAYFIELD 7: At the Field of Dreams in Las Cruces, Darren Rodriguez caught three touchdown passes, and the sixth-ranked Hawks (7-1, 3-1 in 3/4-6A) whipped the eighth-ranked Trojans (4-2, 2-1) to keep alive their slim hopes of winning a district title.
ALSO FRIDAY: At Leon Williams Stadium in Clovis, the seventh-ranked Wildcats (5-3, 2-0 in 2/5-6A), pulled away in the second half for a 44-9 victory over Manzano (2-5, 0-2). … Menaul (6-0) won its District 2-8-Man opener, 48-28 at Mountainair (4-3, 1-1). … At Milne Stadium, Rio Grande (3-5) put up 14 quick first-quarter points on Valley (0-7) and eventually held off the Vikings 21-14. … In Farmington, Class 5A’s No. 1 Roswell (7-0) remained perfect with an impressive 35-0 road win over No. 5 Piedra Vista (5-2). … Also from District 3/4-6A, ninth-ranked Carlsbad (5-3, 2-2) pounded Oñate 50-7, and Hobbs (2-5, 2-1) blanked Gadsden 43-0. … Santa Teresa (5-1) fell from the ranks of the unbeaten, falling 49-0 at third-ranked Goddard in Class 5A.