Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

Prep football roundup: Centennial stuns Cleveland; Volcano Vista rolls

RIO RANCHO — For the first time in three years, the Cleveland High School football team lost a game.

On Friday night, quarterback Daniel Hernandez’s 5-yard sneak with 44.7 seconds left turned out to be the winning points as No. 5 Centennial stunned the No. 1 Storm, 38-35, in a season opener for both teams.

Centennial, winless in five previous meetings with the Storm, ended two streaks for the two-time defending Class 6A champion Storm: It ended a 22-game winning streak as well as a 15-game winning streak at home.

Hernandez ran the read-option offense to near-perfection — knowing when to hand the ball off to running back Mikah Gutierrez, who carried the ball 21 times for 194 yards and scored a touchdown on an 81-yard run in the second quarter — and when to keep it.

Hernandez ran for 83 yards on 16 carries, which included that 5-yard sneak to paydirt in the final minute.

Cleveland senior slot receiver Nic Trujillo scored all five touchdowns for the Storm: he caught TD passes from fellow senior Evan Wysong of 68, 37, 35 and 22 yards, and had a 90-yard kickoff return.

His 68-yard TD reception and the long kickoff return happened before the contest was four minutes old.

“They kicked our butts,” first-year Storm coach Robert Garza said. “They came out, played harder than we did. They got it done.”

— Gary Herron

VOLCANO VISTA 34, LAS CRUCES 17: At Nusenda Community Stadium, despite returning a significant amount seniors from last year, Hawks head coach Chad Wallin knew there would be some growing pains with a 2022 squad he could only describe as “green.”

That was reflected in an uneven effort on Friday night that saw Volcano Vista lose a couple of early fumbles and commit numerous penalties throughout the game in an eventual win over visiting Bulldawgs in their season opener.

“I’ve never been part of a game we won and had this many mistakes,” Wallin said. “To beat Cruces is an accomplishment for these guys, but we’ve to get better and clean some things up, obviously.

“Thirty-three seniors, not many returning that played a lot last year,” he added. “Just green. They need experience and they need playing time.”

It wasn’t all gloom and doom, however. Volcano Vista never trailed, and many of its mistakes were masked by the big-play ability of quarterback Elliot Paskett-Bell, who only made a couple of spot starts last season. On Friday, Paskett-Bell showed off a big arm and his legs, throwing for touchdowns of 47 and 14 yards while also rushing for a 21-yard score to propel the Hawks to a 21-10 lead heading into halftime. His last first-half drive, which went 68 yards in less than a minute, culminated in a 14-yard scoring toss to Tristan Cordova with 11 seconds left in the second quarter.

All told the Hawks (1-0) had several plays of 25 yards or more — the majority of which were orchestrated by Paskett-Bell in some fashion.

“On offense that’s kind of what we’re looking for,” Wallin said. “We’ve got a quarterback that’s very dynamic. Not a lot of people know about him. As the season goes on, his name’s gonna pop up. He can run the ball. He’s very good about getting the ball downfield. And we’ve got two or three guys with some speed.”

— Tristen Critchfield


Las Cruces 3 7 7 0 — 17

Volcano Vista 7 14 7 6—34

Scoring: VV, Isaiah Crespin 47 pass from Elliot Paskett-Bell (Kevin Martinez kick); LC, Dalin Walters 21 FG; VV, Paskett-Bell 12 run (Martinez kick); LC, David Barela 1 run (Walters kick); VV, Tristan Cordova 14 pass from Paskett-Bell (Martinez kick); LC, Jacob Maes 25 run (Walters kick); VV, Alijah Gonzales 3 run (Martinez kick); VV, Gonzales 7 run (kick blocked). Rec.: VV 1-0, LC 0-1.

ALSO FRIDAY NIGHT: At Wilson Stadium, Cibola spotted Eldorado the first 14 points, but the Cougars scored the next 25 points and eventually held off the Eagles 39-29. Earlier in the day, Cibola learned that senior Aden Chavez would be eligible to return as the Cougars’ quarterback in Week 2 versus Valley. He was given eligibility by the New Mexico Activities Association appeals committee. … Albuquerque High picked up a huge 22-20 road win at the Field of Dreams against Organ Mountain. … In Belen, Los Lunas’ debut as a Class 6A program was a 45-0 victory over Belen. … In Artesia, the Bulldogs scored in the game’s final minute and downed visiting Carlsbad, 30-27, in the Eddy County War. … Moriarty opened the season with a 50-0 home win over Gallup. … Legacy Academy made its program debut in Melrose, losing 50-0 in 8-man action. … Alamogordo had two pick-sixes in a 41-0 triumph at Valencia.



Albuquerque Academy 37, Rio Grande 0

Crownpoint 40, Sanders Valley, Ariz. 6

Cuba 49, Santa Fe Indian 6

Jal 65, Tucumcari 0

Sandia 59, Atrisco Heritage 37

Valley 36, Bernalillo 0

West Mesa 56, Santa Fe 12


Alamogordo 41, Valencia 0

Albuquerque High 22, Organ Mountain 20

Artesia 30, Carlsbad 27

Centennial 38, Cleveland 35

Cibola 39, Eldorado 29

Cobre 13, Chaparral 6

Deming 75, Del Norte 0

Duncan, Okla. 27, Lordsburg 19

Elida 72, Carrizozo 22

Gateway Christian 57, Ramah 0

Grant’s def. Capital, forfeit

Hatch Valley 55, Laguna-Acoma 0

Hobbs 46, Clovis 7

Hozho 57, Ramah 0

Jal 65, Tucumcari 0

La Cueva 30, Rio Rancho 7

Los Lunas 45, Belen 0

Melrose 50, Legacy 0

Menaul 50, Navajo Pine 0

Moriarty 50, Gallup 0

NMMI 43, Mescalero Apache 12

Portales 31, Highland 16

Raton 42, Eunice 14

Roswell 69, Lovington 29

Ruidoso 20, Gadsden 0

Santa Rosa 40, Dexter 0

Silver 52, Kirtland Central 0

Socorro 50, Pojoaque 0

Tohatchi 12, Shiprock 7

Tularosa 30, Hot Springs 0

Volcano Vista 34, Las Cruces 17

West Las Vegas 34, Escalante 13


McCurdy at Hope Christian, Community, 11 am

Eastmark High, Ariz., at Robertson, noon

Bloomfield at St. Pius, Milne, 1 pm

Manzano at Mayfield, Field of Dreams, 1 pm

Roy/Mosquero at Dora, 1 pm

Taos at St. Michael’s, 1:30 pm

Estancia at Texico, 2 p.m

Grady at Animas, 2pm

Logan at Alamo Navajo, 6 p.m

Clayton at Questa, 6:30 p.m

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