On Oct. 17, the Texico Wolverines took over the No. 1 spot in state Class 2A football rankings and essentially clinched the District 2-2A football title with a 28-14 victory at Santa Rosa.
The Wolverines are looking for a repeat performance in today’s 7 p.m. state semifinal at Santa Rosa.
They face a Lions team that won the 2A championship last year with a 46-7 rout of the Wolverines in Texico.
Texico coach Mike Prokop said his squad will have to find the same energy and effort they had in last month’s tilt if they hope to advance.
“You’ve got to be honest with the kids,” Prokop said. “You can’t rely on what happened four weeks ago. It’s got to be a total team effort.”
Both teams are coming off lopsided wins at home in the quarterfinals — Texico over Cloudcroft 39-7; Santa Rosa (8-2) over Tularosa 62-21.
The Wolverines (10-0) will have to deal with Santa Rosa’s single-wing attack, which operates without a quarterback. Senior Ricardo Roybal is the “spinner back,” while sophomore Jason Martinez possesses a lot of speed and junior Joaquin Bachicha brings a third solid option in the backfield.
Prokop said the challenge is there, but last month’s win provided a psychological boost.
“They’re big, strong and fast,” he said. “(But) I feel not as nervous (as last year). I think our kids know what they have to do.”
Prokop said his team contained the Lions’ offense reasonably well in the earlier meeting, and also played well on special teams.
“I think special teams will be an important part of this game,” he said.
The winner advances to next week’s championship game against either Lordsburg or Dexter, who play Saturday at Dexter.
Prokop said if Texico wins, he expects next week’s finale to be on Saturday — either at Dexter with a 1 p.m. start, or against Lordsburg at Texico in a game which would kick off at 2 p.m.