Val­ley pulls away, ad­vances in 5A

Ci­bola, El­do­rado earn 6A road up­sets

Albuquerque Journal - - HIGH SCHOOLS - JOUR­NAL STAFF RE­PORTS — Patrick Newell

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.”

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