Football

Taos now in prime position to make playoff push

By Matthew Narvaiz
sports@taosnews.com
Posted 10/22/19

On Friday night (Oct. 18) after the Tigers defeated St. Pius X in a thrilling victory, head coach Art Abreu Jr. said that he finally saw his team's full potential.

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Football

Taos now in prime position to make playoff push

Posted

On Friday night (Oct. 18) after the Tigers defeated St. Pius X in a thrilling victory, head coach Art Abreu Jr. said that he finally saw his team's full potential.

Taos, in the second half of the game, played defense with a purpose and found success behind quarterback Noah Armijo's smart-play ability. It also found success in its strong running game with the duo of Armando Valerio and Matthew Suazo handling duties in the backfield.

More than anything, though, they showed heart - and that isn't something that shows up on a stat sheet after the game.

That heart and desire to win might have given the Tigers the perfect opportunity to make it into the Class 4A playoffs, too.

As of press time on Monday (Oct. 21), Taos sits in second place in the district right behind Grants. Overall in the Class 4A football standings, according to MaxPreps, Taos sits 10th overall.

According to the New Mexico Activities Association (NMAA), the governing body of organized high school football in the state, the 12 top teams in the state make the playoffs.

Some factors included in the seeding are: record during district play, head to head matchups, wins against district champions regardless of classification, overall record and the final ranking in MaxPreps after the season.

While in 10th place, Taos still has two more games to play against the likes of Pojoaque Valley and Bernalillo -- the latter of which will be played at home for the Tigers.

But these are both winnable games.

St. Pius, the team Taos just beat, defeated both Pojoaque Valley and Bernalillo in back-to-back weeks in its lead up to the game with the Tigers on Friday night (Oct. 18). The Sartans outscored those two teams 98-0.

Currently, Bernalillo sits at fourth in the MaxPreps rankings in the overall standings even after its loss to St. Pius. A win for Taos over them can only add to the Tigers uphill climb in the lead-up to the playoffs.

Meanwhile, some of the teams fighting for playoff positioning are the Sartans - who now sit at 3-5 overall and 11th in Class 4A - and Ruidoso, according to MaxPreps.

While the district winners of class 4A automatically advance - four teams will have a bye in the first round of the playoffs - the remaining eight teams are selected by NMAA staff, according to the bylaws in the association's handbook.

Final seedings will be released by the NMAA on Nov. 2 after the regular season ends.

But first, the Tigers need to win both of their next two games to secure a playoff spot. Their heart has gotten them this far - maybe now it can get them even further.

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