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Friday, May 17, 2024

Bulldog football ends season on high note

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Artesia closes out district play with 43-7 win over Mayfield

There was one more job to do in the second season: finish strong.

The drama of the District 4-AAAAA championship and the war of attrition it became were well in the past Friday at Bulldog Bowl. What remained against Goddard and Mayfield was to focus inward, correct mistakes, and build a solid head of steam going into the playoffs.

And following a big win over the Rockets last week, the Bulldogs bid farewell to autumn nights under the lights for another year with an equally decisive victory over the Trojans, 43-7.

“I thought we came out and did what we wanted to do,” head coach Jeremy Maupin said Saturday. “We jumped on them early on both sides of the ball, and we played well. We had a few mistakes here and there, but it was a good game to wrap up district on.”

The ‘Dogs’ starting offense scored on each of their five first-half series, racking up all 43 of their points in the opening quarters and shortening the final 24 minutes by way of the 35-point mercy-rule clock.

Mayfield’s lone touchdown came in the final minutes of play following a blocked punt that set them up inside the Artesia five-yard line, and the Orange Crush forced three turnovers and three turnovers on downs in the near-shutout.

The Bulldogs’ first 36 points of the night came in quick and devastating fashion.

Following a big return of the opening kick to the Trojan 45 by Izac Cazares, a 33-yard pass from senior quarterback Nye Estrada to Frankie Galindo propelled Artesia into the red zone. Galindo would finish off the drive from there, scoring from 13 yards out, then adding his own conversion run to put the ‘Dogs up 8-0 just over a minute into the game.

Two plays later, an attempted halfback pass by Mayfield became a fumble instead, and senior corner Phillip Finley was there to scoop up the bouncing ball and return it 12 yards to the house before tacking on his own PAT to give Artesia a 15-0 lead.

A quick three and out by the Trojans was followed by another equally quick Bulldog score, with Estrada hitting Matthew Saiz twice and Cazares once en route from the Artesia 25 to the Mayfield 36. He found Juan Diego Duran in the end zone from there to put the ‘Dogs on top 22-0 with 6:29 still to go in the first quarter.

Another Trojan plunt was blocked and picked up by Finley at the Mayfield five, and Galindo would punch it in from the four to make it 29-0. Senior corner David Hammond then picked off Trojan QB Luke Linnan on Mayfield’s first play from scrimmage to give Artesia time for one final first-quarter touchdown.

Alternating between their rushing and passing games, the ‘Dogs overcame a personal foul call amidst a march from their own 12 to midfield, and Galindo would cap off the scoring onslaught with a 39-yard run with 1:43 to go in the first.

Mayfield was able to pick up its inaugural first down of the night as the second quarter began. But although the Trojans were able to breach Artesia’s half of the field, they’d stall at the 18-yard line, and the ‘Dogs would get the last word of the first half from there.

Galindo saw the boys in orange to midfield, and a 34-yard pass from Estrada to Duran would find the Bulldogs in the red zone again. Another 15-yarder to Duran set Artesia up with a first and goal at the Mayfield four, and a three-yard push by Diego Wesson made that the one.

Unfortunately, what should have been a play to celebrate — as offensive lineman Rickey Armendariz snuck up from the backfield and took a direct snap over the goal line — became a lengthy debate after Armendariz was whistled for stepping on a Trojan defender as he was making his way out of the pile.

Armendariz didn’t appear to have done it maliciously, and Mayfield’s reaction was one of several instances during the evening of the Trojans acting first and then acting in the dramatic sense afterward. But the officials not only levied an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, they ejected Armendariz as well.

“I thought there were some missed things with the officials that ended up leading to some other things,” said Maupin. “Rickey had gotten hit a couple of times low on some plays that weren’t called, and I think his frustration just showed. And they caught the second guy, you know; that’s the age-old saying.”

The ‘Dogs began working their second and third strings into the contest as the second half began, and while the offense experienced a few hiccups — a fumble and a pair of interceptions — the defense continued to hold the Trojans at bay through the third quarter with a three and out and a pair of turnovers on downs.

But as the final 12 minutes began, Artesia had a punt blocked, and Mayfield was able to recover the ball at the Bulldog three. Linnan was hoisted into the end zone by his offensive line from there to put the Trojans on the board with 8:05 remaining in the game, 43-7.

That would be it for the boys in gold and green, however, as junior DB Brody McDonald ended the game on an interception in the end zone, tipping the ball to himself before running out the final seconds.

Artesia finished with 378 total yards of offense on the night, 274 passing and 104 rushing. Estrada was 12 of 15 for 212 yards and a score through two quarters of play. Duran led the receiving corps with three catches for 85 yards and a touchdown, Galindo went 8-95 rushing with three TDs, and Finley was 5-5 on PAT.

Mayfield was held to 158 total yards, 114 passing and 44 rushing.

“For the most part, we executed everything we set out to do, and we were able to get a lot of guys involved, which is great,” Maupin said.

The ‘Dogs (9-1, 2-1) will now join the rest of the state in awaiting the results of this morning’s NMAA Seeding and Selection Show to learn where they’ll land in the Class 5A state playoff bracket.

“It’s Season Three now, and it’s win or go home,” said Maupin. “We don’t like using the word ‘last’; we alway use ‘best’ instead. So every game from here on out is our best game, every practice has to be our best, every film session has to be our best. Anything can happen in the playoffs, so we just have to make sure we’re showing up every time.”

FIRST QUARTER

Artesia- Frankie Galindo 13-run (Galindo run good), 10:58 Artesia- Phillip Finley 12-fumble return (Finley kick good), 9:39 Artesia- Juan Diego Duran 36-pass from Nye Estrada (Finley kick good), 6:29 Artesia- Galindo 4-run (Finley kick good), 4:41 Artesia- Galindo 39-run (Finley kick good), 1:43

SECOND QUARTER

Artesia- Rickey Armendariz 1-run (Finley kick good), 1:53

FOURTH QUARTER

Mayfield- Luke Linnan 3-run (25 kick good), 8:05

RUSHING

Artesia- Galindo 8-95; Derrick Warren 1-4; Diego Wesson 1-3; Bryce Parra 3-2; Armendariz 1-1; Ethan Conn 1-(-1) Mayfield- Linnan 6-30; Bobby Herrera 3-25; Julian Cornejo 2-1; Anthony Nevarez 7-0; Brian Coyle 1-(-12)

PASSING

Artesia- Estrada 12-15-212-1-0; Warren 2-4-46-0-1; Izac Cazares 2-3-14-0-1; Cael Houghtaling 1-2-2-0-0 Mayfield- Linnan 11-25-114-0-2; Xavier Ochoa 0-1-0-0-0

RECEIVING

Artesia- Duran 3-85; Galindo 2-52; Matthew Saiz 3-36; Diego Lopez 1-35; Cazares 3-27; Jack Byers 2-16; Conn 1-12; Kaden Beauregard 1-9; Jaden Waldrip 1-2 Mayfield- Justin Madrid 5-51; Nevarez 3-30; Coyle 2-22; Jayden Villalpando 1-11

1D:

Artesia 12; Mayfield 8

Pen:

Artesia 5-70; Mayfield 7-41.5

TO:

Artesia 3; Mayfield 3

RUSH:

Artesia 104; Mayfield 44

PASS:

Artesia 274; Mayfield 114

TOTAL:
Artesia 378; Mayfield 158

Brienne Green
Daily Press Editor

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