Valley pulls away, advances in 5A
Cibola, Eldorado earn 6A road upsets
Valley took full advantage of its first state playoff appearance in five years.
The eighth-seeded Vikings (7-4) struck for two touchdowns early in the third quarter following Santa Teresa turnovers and pulled away for a 28-12, firstround Class 5A football playoff victory at Milne Stadium on Friday night. It sets up a quarterfinal date next week at the Wool Bowl against No. 1 Roswell.
“We didn’t go down (in classification); we’re playing where we’re supposed to play,” said Valley coach Judge Chavez. “I thought our kids did a good job the second half of the season. We had a couple tough losses, but we won one last week that we needed to win.”
Down 7-6 to Valley at the half, No. 9 Santa Teresa (8-3) — which was trying to win its first-ever playoff game — fumbled the ball away on the fourth play of the second half, setting up Valley at the Desert Warriors’ 41. Three plays later, Valley quarterback Manny Sanchez-Vargas connected with Jove Messenger on a 30-yard TD strike.
Following the ensuing kickoff, Santa Teresa quarterback Izaiah Velazquez was intercepted at the 30 by the Vikings’ Garrett Moseley, who returned it 17 yards to the Santa Teresa 13.
Moments later, Sanchez-Vargas hooked up with Jshawn McDaniel for an 8-yard TD.
Sanchez-Vargas finished 15-for-23 for 200 yards and four touchdown passes.
“The running game opened up the passing game, and the passing game opening up the running game,” Sanchez-Vargas said. “So, it worked out perfect.”
Velazquez rushing for 195 yards and one score in defeat.
“(Santa Teresa) came out with a whole different speed than what we saw on film,” Chavez said. “But our kids really stepped it up in the second half. … This is a huge win for us.”