With Saturday’s end to the regular season, the playoffs officially have arrived.
The Rams, Las Cruces, La Cueva and Sandia were the top seeds and get first-round byes.
As expected, Manzano’s late slide gave Valley a home game in the first round. The Vikings, the No. 8 seed, will play No. 9 Volcano Vista, probably next Friday night at Milne Stadium.
“We’re just looking forward to being in the playoffs,” Valley coach Enrico Marcelli said.
Volcano is one of two newcomers to the 5A playoffs. The other is Atrisco Heritage, the No. 10 seed.
The Jaguars played their way in Saturday and will visit Leon Williams Stadium to play No. 7 Clovis. The Wildcats clearly are pretty smart, because they had a contingent scouting AHA on Saturday.
“It’s so satisfying that we’re in the playoffs,” said first-year Atrisco head coach Patrick Johnson. “No one expected us to be here, and we’re here.”
Volcano Vista would have played itself out had it not survived an overtime scare Thursday against Cibola.
“It was kind of funny,” Hawks coach Chad Wallin said. “When we went to OT and Judge (Chavez, Cibola’s coach) took defense first, in my mind, I was thinking we’re not gonna let this come down to special teams. If we score, we’re gonna go for 2 and put the pressure on them.”
And that’s what Volcano did, winning 38-30.
Eldorado also played its way in, beating Manzano in Week 11. The Eagles, the No. 11 seed, are at No. 6 Cleveland. That will likely be Friday night in Rio Rancho.
“I thought we’d be an 8 or 9 (seed),” EHS coach Charlie Dotson said.
Manzano fell to a No. 12 seed. The Monarchs will visit Mayfield in the first round. The Trojans beat the Monarchs during the regular season.
Goddard and Los Lunas, a pair of undefeateds, are slated to meet, by seed, in the finals. Those were the top two seeds, followed by Artesia and Belen.
Moriarty’s win Saturday night got the Pintos a first-round home game as the No. 8 seed against Farmington.
St. Pius’ loss to Moriarty dropped the Sartans out of a top-eight seed and into the No. 10 slot. The Sartans visit seventh-seeded Piedra Vista in the first round.
Last month, St. Pius went to Farmington and beat the Panthers, which was Piedra Vista’s first loss of the year.
No. 12 Roswell at No. 5 Deming, and No. 11 Santa Fe at No. 6 Aztec are the other first-round matchups.
The Demons ended a long dry spell. They are making their first playoff appearance since 1986.
The unbeaten Horsemen were an easy choice at No. 1. Silver, Ruidoso and Bloomfield also get first-round byes. Defending champ Lovington was seeded fifth.
Hope Christian got a No. 9 and visits Taos in the first round.
Albuquerque Academy was the 10 seed. The Chargers will play at No. 7 Socorro next week. The Warriors just beat Academy 18-7 on Friday afternoon.
Santa Rosa and its tricky single wing offense was seeded first, followed by Tularosa, Texico and Hatch Valley. Defending state champ Mesilla Valley is 12th.
— This article appeared on page D8 of the Albuquerque Journal