Class 3A football preview: Is a state championship finally in the Cards for Robertson? - Albuquerque Journal

Class 3A football preview: Is a state championship finally in the Cards for Robertson?

Los Lunas, Lovington and Robertson will host state championship games at 1 p.m. Saturday as the curtain is lowered on 2021 fall high school football season.

Today, the Journal previews the Class 3A game. Look for previews of the 4A and 5A games later in the week.

Class 3A

NO. 4 ST. MICHAEL’S (9-3) at NO. 3 ROBERTSON (10-2): Looking back at a Cardinals’ 44-7 District 2-3A victory over the Horsemen on Oct. 22, Robertson coach Leroy Gonzalez said, “we throw it out. We throw that game out, like we never played it.”

St. Mike’s was minus 10 players, in COVID quarantine, in the first meeting. They’re back, but of course Horsemen coach Joey Fernandez has another more pressing matter on his mind: slowing down Robertson senior quarterback Matthew Gonzales, who has accounted for 1,206 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns, plus 1,320 passing yards and 14 TD passes.

“Nobody’s figured it out yet,” Fernandez said. “Our thing is to play our game, physical football, and we’ve gotten a lot better because of that first game.”

The trick, Fernandez said, is keeping Gonzales in tight quarters and reducing his operating space.

In the open field, he’s perhaps 3A’s most sensational playmaker.

But St. Michael’s last week blanked a potent Raton offense, holding the Tigers to 144 yards in a 7-0 semifinal victory even though it only gained 123 yards itself. So the Horsemen don’t suffer from a lack of self-assurance on that side of the ball.

“We think we’re playing at our best right now,” Fernandez said. “I think we can get one more game out of them.”

Robertson didn’t play a spring season earlier this year; the program is in the state final for the fifth time in the last six full seasons. But the Cards haven’t won state since 2013.

“We’re still trying to find where we want to be,” Gonzalez said. “We’re a year behind everybody. … But maybe that year off will reset everything.”

Robertson is counting on secondary weapons, like freshman running back Jesse James Gonzales (the QB’s brother who has 800 yards and seven TDs) and senior running back Adrian Rivera (five TDs), plus sophomore receiver Mateo Contreras (40/636/5 TDs), who caught three scoring passes in Robertson’s 38-29 semifinal win over Socorro, to supplement Matthew Gonzales on Saturday.

The Horsemen ground game is led by Daymon Lujan (813 yards, 8 TDs). Quarterback Zachary Martinez has thrown for 730 yards and 12 scores.

Devin Flores, who caught the only TD in the Raton win last week, has 40 grabs and a dozen touchdown receptions.


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

Nativo Sponsored Content

taboola desktop

MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS

1
Emptying the Notebook: Aggie/Lobo rivalry is heated again
ABQnews Seeker
Here are some extra notes, quotes, ... Here are some extra notes, quotes, stats, video and whatever else I could empty out of the old notebook after Monday's overtime thriller between ...
2
United's Academy team to play for third place in ...
Featured Sports
The New Mexico United Academy played ... The New Mexico United Academy played to a 1-1 draw against Weston (Fla.) FC in the final match of the USL Academy playoff group ...
3
Prep cross country: Kuykendall's time at elite meet thought ...
ABQnews Seeker
  Hope Christian junior Rendon Kuykendall ...   Hope Christian junior Rendon Kuykendall on Saturday placed 14th in the gold division of the Garmin RunningLane Cross Country Championships in Huntsville, Alabama. ...
4
LaToya Duff is 'a game-time decision' for Lobo women's ...
College
LAS CRUCES – The ... LAS CRUCES – The University of New Mexico women's basketball team has a Sunday contingency p ...
5
Prep basketball roundup: Salazar sparks Centennial girls to OT ...
Featured Sports
The Centennial High School girls basketball ... The Centennial High School girls basketball team isn't going to look as the Hawks necessarily envisi ...
6
Yodice: Here are the winners and losers in prep ...
Featured Sports
Whenever New Mexico's high schools are ... Whenever New Mexico's high schools are realigned, and this occurs every two years, it usually drives ...
7
Rivalry Part II: Lobos want to play in a ...
ABQnews Seeker
The UNM Lobos are playing faster ... The UNM Lobos are playing faster this season, and controlling the tempo was a key in their rivalry victory last week over New Mexico ...
8
Lobo forward Jay Allen-Tovar happy (playing) on the outside
ABQnews Seeker
Lobo forward Jay Allen-Tovar has flourished ... Lobo forward Jay Allen-Tovar has flourished playing on the outside, but has been admittedly frustrated when asked to playing inside.
9
Girls prep basketball overview: Volcano Vista is primed to ...
Featured Sports
No amount of coachspeak is going ... No amount of coachspeak is going to allow Lisa Villareal to dodge the inescapable truth that her Volcano Vista Hawks are running the proverbial ...