Prep football forecast: Journal's Yodice, KOAT's Miller pick Saturday's championship winners - Albuquerque Journal

Prep football forecast: Journal’s Yodice, KOAT’s Miller pick Saturday’s championship winners


No. 2 Rio Rancho (9-1) at No. 1 Cleveland (12-0), 1 p.m. Saturday: Every one of the four title games feels like a tossup, including this one. As I type my picks here on Thanksgiving afternoon, there is no official word on whether Rio Rancho running back Zach Vigil (ribs) will play or not. And this is not an insignificant thing, seeing as he went off for 323 yards in the first Cleveland game on Oct. 29. Vigil’s status gives me pause; hard to take the Rams on Saturday without knowing for sure if he’ll A) play; and B) be effective. If Vigil doesn’t play, the Rams’ other fine back, Devin Rice, and especially that staunch Rio Rancho defense, are both going to have to do some heavy lifting. Cleveland 28, Rio Rancho 21. (Bethany Miller’s pick: CLEVELAND)


No. 4 Artesia (9-3) at No. 1 Los Lunas (12-0), 1 p.m. Saturday: If the Tigers are going to win that first football championship for themselves and their starved fan base, they are going to have to summon all their talents and courage on Saturday. The onus may fall to a shorthanded Los Lunas defense, which hasn’t surrendered more than 21 points to anyone all year, to play particularly huge against a balanced Bulldogs offense. If Los Lunas quarterback Paul Cieremans can mirror the level he played at in the fourth quarter in the semifinals against Goddard for an entire game, it’s going to be hard to deny the Tigers that first blue trophy. Los Lunas 33, Artesia 28. (Bethany Miller’s pick: LOS LUNAS).


No. 6 Ruidoso (8-5) at No. 1 Lovington (9-3), 1 p.m. Saturday: District rivals meet in Lovington, with the Warriors looking to close out a magnificent playoff run by trying to win four games in four weeks, and also trying to follow in the footsteps of previous No. 6-seed state champions, like Estancia in 2014 and Mayfield in 2010. Although I am going higher seed in the other three games, I’m going to play a hunch and ride Ruidoso’s momentum with this upset pick on Saturday. Ruidoso 29, Lovington 27. (Bethany Miller’s pick: LOVINGTON)

KOAT’s Bethany Miller


No. 4 St. Michael’s (9-3) at No. 3 Robertson (10-2), 1 p.m. Saturday: No surprise that District 2-3A produced the two state finalists; it was just a matter of which two emerged. Each of the coaches (Joey Fernandez for the Horsemen, Leroy Gonzalez for the Cardinals) have won state championships with his school, but who knows what to expect Saturday, since it’s unfair to place too much emphasis on Robertson’s one-sided win last month. Robertson has dropped its last four trips to the finals (2015-18), and I’m calling this a law of averages pick Saturday. Robertson 23, St. Michael’s 19. (Bethany Miller’s pick: ST. MICHAEL’S).

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

Nativo Sponsored Content

taboola desktop


Gonzales plans to stay the course regarding staff
University of New Mexico coach Danny ... University of New Mexico coach Danny Gonzales remains determined to turn Lobo football into a winnin ...
Bears get jump on Jaguars
Boys' Basketball
LA CUEVA 57, ATRISCO HERITAGE 43 ... LA CUEVA 57, ATRISCO HERITAGE 43 LA CUEVA (1-0): Exodus Ayers 12, Ced Yates 8, Josiah Guliford 14, B ...
Lobos win big, then celebrate
Bradbury's, De La Cerda's milestones recognized ... Bradbury's, De La Cerda's milestones recognized after victory
House, Lobos keep Aggies in the dark
ABQnews Seeker
Jaelen House scored 31 points and ... Jaelen House scored 31 points and the UNM Lobos hit 12 of 14 free throws in the final 1:53 to ice a 101-94 rivalry ...
Emptying the Notebook: Lobos light up scoreboard in win ...
ABQnews Seeker
Here are some notes, quotes, odds ... Here are some notes, quotes, odds & ends and whatever else I could empty out of the old notebook after UNM's 101-94 win over ...
Lobos must toughen up mentally for rivalry with Aggies
ABQnews Seeker
The UNM Lobos have work to ... The UNM Lobos have work to do before being ready for a tough road environment like they'll see Tuesday against the NMSU Aggies.
Sanchez has another tough foe in COVID-19
Fighter hospitalized with pneumonia Fighter hospitalized with pneumonia
NMSU football: Martin era comes to close with win
In a contest finally announced as ... In a contest finally announced as head coach Doug Martin's last at New Mexico State, the Aggie ...
Wildcats overcome two-TD deficit for blue trophy
Featured Sports
Class 4A: LOVINGTON 41, RUIDOSO 21Wildcats ... Class 4A: LOVINGTON 41, RUIDOSO 21Wildcats overcome two-TD deficit for blue trophyBy JAMES YODICE Jo ...