School football

Taos Tigers vs. Bloomfield Bobcats: It's 4A championship game day!!!

Battle of the northern titans for 4A championship on Anaya Field in Taos, 1 p.m., Dec. 1

By Sheila Miller
sports@taosnews.com
Posted 11/29/18

Bloomfield is only 1,500 feet lower in elevation than Taos and has similar temperatures, so the primary advantage to the Tigers of playing at home will be the physical comfort of not needing to travel and, of course, the Tiger fans.

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School football

Taos Tigers vs. Bloomfield Bobcats: It's 4A championship game day!!!

Battle of the northern titans for 4A championship on Anaya Field in Taos, 1 p.m., Dec. 1

Posted

This year the Class 4A State Championship title will go to a team from Northern New Mexico. The question is which one?

To its first ever appearance in the championship game, Taos brings its strongest team yet. Under the direction of Head Coach Art Abreu Jr., the Tigers are a united front of solid, reliable football and mature, athletic players.

Coached by Bob Allcorn, Bloomfield returns to the championship game for the first time since 1990 when they lost the 3A title to Lovington. Bloomfield also played for the title in 1980, 1978, 1967 and brought home the championship banner in 1966.

Bloomfield and Taos have had four common opponents this season. Both teams beat St. Michael’s and Aztec, though Taos won with a higher margin in each game. While Bloomfield beat St. Pius X 15-6, St. Pius delivered the only Tiger loss of the season. Finally, the Taos vs. Los Alamos Hilltoppers matchup was a 47-0 blowout while a single possession could have tied the 28-20 Bobcat win over the Hilltoppers

Bloomfield is only 1,500 feet lower in elevation than Taos and has similar temperatures, so the primary advantage to the Tigers of playing at home will be the physical comfort of not needing to travel and, of course, the Tiger fans.

Naturally, as this is a state title game, both teams are excellent. Here is a summary of the players’ seasons so far and a few player names to keep your eyes on as you watch the game.

Rushing

While Bloomfield has several players who can run, including Ayden Reinhardt (544 yards this season), Vincent Marquez (341 yards), Kenyon Mosley (300 yards), and quarterback Rogelio Gonzales (283 yards), none of them have as many rushing yards as Taos quarterback Justin Good (586 yards).

Taos has two ball carriers with nearly 300 yards (Brian Moraga with 267 and Adam Vigil with 298) and Jonathan Garcia with a truly astonishing 1,465 yards and a total of nine games when he covered more than 100 yards.

The top Bloomfield rushing scorer is the quarterback Gonzales with 8 TDs this season. Taos Tiger Garcia has 14 and Good claims 10.

Passing

The Taos defense will need to give special attention to juniors Noah Gurule and Kenyon Mosley who have 8 and 7 TD receptions, respectively, as well as 763 yards receiving for Gurule and 611 for Mosley. Also dangerous is J.T. Seitzinger, with 4 TDs and 607 yards receiving this season.

Angel Limas and Anthony Maestas lead the Tigers with 4 and 2 touchdowns and 434 and 305 yards receiving, respectively. Of course, as Aidan Leblanc demonstrated in the semifinal game Saturday (Nov. 24) against Portales, just because the Tigers don’t usually throw the ball doesn’t mean they can’t catch it.

Defense

Bloomfield has many strong defensive players. Among them are Josh Maestas, who has 40 solo and 94 total tackles, and Angelo Atencio, with 166 total tackles, 94 of them solo and 20.5 for a loss. Their sack specialists are Mosley with 6.5 and Jeremy Burnham with 6 and as a team they have 33 on the season.

The Taos defense will surely give the Bobcats a run for their money. The incredibly fast Leblanc has 12 sacks this season and 25 tackles for a loss, and Isaiah Martinez and Clayton Demas have five sacks each. Estevan Valerio has 4 sacks and leads the team in total tackles with 107.

The Taos defense, consisting most often of Leblanc, Simon Torrez, Maestas, Limas, Good, Garcia, Brian Moraga, Vigil, Valerio, Demas, Santiago Salazar, Dominic Lopez and Isaiah Martinez is remarkably consistent. They have seven players who have over 50 total tackles this season.

Thoughts on Saturday’s Game

As with any championship game, winning the contest for the state title on Saturday is as much a matter of mind as body. The Tigers have demonstrated that they can cultivate momentum and maintain focus.

It should be a fun game to watch as both teams boast some remarkable student-athletes.

(Statistics are from Maxpreps as of Nov. 27.)

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