LAS CRUCES – Centennial finished unbeaten in district play for the second straight season with a 35-14 victory over Las Cruces on Friday at the Field of Dreams.
The Hawks finished the season 8-1 and 5-0 in District 3-6A and will likely be a Top 4 seed with a first round bye when the seedings are released on Saturday.
The Bulldawgs finished 2-7 and 1-4 in district play and will miss the playoffs for the first time since 2006.
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How it happened
Centennial quarterback Daniel Hernandez scored three rushing touchdowns in the first half to lead the Hawks to a 20-14 halftime lead.
Hernandez scored two 1-yard touchdown runs and broke a 14-14 tie with a 12-yard run with 2:58 left in the first half.
The Hawks rushed for 185 yards in the first half and Las Cruces gained 143 yards of total offense in the first half.
The Hawks made it a two-score lead with special teams. The Hawks forced the Bulldawgs to punt on their first two possessions of the second half and Jordan Lucas burst through the middle on the second punt, making the block and scooping up the loose ball and racing 20 yards for the score. The two-point conversion put the Hawks up 28-14 with 4:35 left in the third.
Hernandez rushed for 155 yards and running back Mikah Gutierrez rushed for 123 yards with a 1-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Centennial scored 28 unanswered points, rushed for 351 yards on Friday and the Hawks held the Bulldawgs to 199 total yards.
Las Cruces freshman quarterback Gunnar Guardiola led touchdown drives on the Bulldawgs first two possessions. Guardiola converted two long third down conversions and the Bulldawgs pulled even on a 33-yard touchdown run by Jacob Maes on an end around to tie the game at 7-7. After a Centennial three and out, the Bulldawgs took over at the Hawks 43. Guardiola put the Bulldawgs up 14-7 with a 22-yard touchdown pass to Maes, who won a jump ball in the back of the end zone.
Jason Groves can be reached at 575-541-5459 or [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @jpgroves.