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Prep football: Cleveland overwhelms Las Cruces, finishes 4-0

Cleveland’s Luke Wysong makes the catch and heads into the end zone for one of his touchdowns Friday. (Jim Thompson/Albuquerque Journal)

A third perfect season for the Cleveland Storm.

This one with an asterisk.

The Cleveland High football program was limited to just four games this spring, but made the most of it, chopping its way through some of Class 6A’s heavyweights. First Clovis. Then Centennial. Then Rio Rancho.

And on Saturday, a complete demolition of Las Cruces High.

Future Lobo Luke Wysong caught five touchdown passes on his future home turf, the Cleveland defense forced six turnovers, and the Storm swarmed the Bulldawgs 56-7 on Saturday at University Stadium to cap the short spring prep football season.

“They’re damn good, all of them,” Las Cruces coach Mark Lopez said of the Storm.

It was another memorable display of talent by Cleveland (4-0) in this psuedo “bowl” game arranged by the New Mexico Activities Association.

The Storm put up 20 points before many people had even settled into their seats on a warm late afternoon/early evening.

And it was pretty much Wysong shredding the Bulldawg defense at every turn.

He caught a 51-yard touchdown pass from Jeff Davison five minutes into the game. He took a shuttle pass 65 yards to the end zone three minutes later. And ge grabbed a 30-yard scoring pass 75 seconds after that. It was a 20-point bulge for the Storm barely nine minutes after kickoff.

“We might as well go to UNM and let him start his career at University Stadium, and show them exactly what he’s capable of,” Cleveland coach Heath Ridenour said.

Wysong – who finished with six catches for 254 yards – took another shuttle pass late in the first half and did most of the work himself on a 73-yard touchdown. It was 27-0 at halftime. He added a 35-yard TD reception late in the third quarter.

“I just think the stars aligned for it,” said Wysong, who signed with the Lobos last December.

Even Cleveland’s two rushing touchdowns needed to be part of the highlights package, with Demetrius Banks scoring on a 50-yard run, and Tyler Jenson adding a 40-yarder. The last touchdown was a 7-yard TD pass from Davison to Fresno State-bound Tre Watson for the game’s final points.

Cleveland won state with undefeated teams in 2011 and 2015.

Eric Fernandez caught a 14-yard TD pass from Marcos Lopez early in the third quarter that briefly gave Las Cruces (3-1) some hope, as the deficit was sliced to 27-7. But Lopez was intercepted five times, leading to three Cleveland touchdowns.

“We did a lot of little things wrong today,” Mark Lopez said. “It looks like big things, then you look on the iPid, and it’s the little things. … To be honest, we had some guys who weren’t ready for their opportunity.”



Cleveland 20 7 21 8 — 56

Las Cruces 0 0 7 0 — 7

Scoring: C, Luke Wysong 51 pass from Jeff Davison (Trey Ortega kick); C, Wysong 65 pass from Davison (Ortega kick); C, Wysong 30 pass from Davison (kick failed); C, Wysong 73 pass from Davison (Ortega kick); LC, Eric Fernandez 14 pass from Marcos Lopez (PAT); C, Tyler Jenson 40 run (Ortega kick); C, Wysong 35 pass from Davison (Ortega kick); C, Demetrius Banks 50 run (Ortega kick); C, Tre Watson 7 pass from Davison (Ortega pass to Watson). Records: C 4-0; LC 3-1.

First downs: C 15; LC 14. Rushes-yards: C 16-167; LC 32-118. Passing: C 11-18-1—323; LC 13-25-5—128. Total offense: C 490; LC 246. Punts-avg.: C 1-52; LC 3-41.7. Fumbles-lost: C 0-0; LC 1-1. Penalties-yards: C 7-81; LC 8-73.

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