Friday, November 30, 2007

Santa Rosa in today’s Class 2A state championship

Wolverines, Santa Rosa meet for 2A title
By Dave Wagner: Freedom New Mexico
November 30 2007 12:28 AM

TEXICO — Texico coach Mike Prokop figures there won’t be many surprises when the Wolverines host District 2-2A rival Santa Rosa in today’s Class 2A state championship game.

Texico will try to mix in some passes with a steady ground attack, while the Lions will come after the Wolverines with their unique single-wing formation.

“He’s going to do what he does best,” Prokop said, referring to longtime Santa Rosa coach Frank Ortiz, “and we’re going to try to do what we do best.”

Santa Rosa (11-1) has been on a roll lately, routing Tucumcari twice and Lordsburg by a combined 131-7 in its last three outings.

Meantime, Texico (9-2) is coming off a 15-14 semifinal upset of top-seeded Dexter.

Both teams lost at Dexter during the regular season. Santa Rosa handed Texico its other loss, a 26-7 setback Oct. 19, a game in which the Wolverines committed five turnovers.

Texico senior cornerback Billy Scott said having played the Lions helps.

“We’re going to have to come in and execute,” he said. “We have a better idea of what they’re going to run, and that will help us ready our keys better.”

The first order of business in facing a single-wing is figuring out who has the ball.

“You have to cover just about every gap in the line,” Prokop said. “Everyone has gap responsibilities, so that slows you down a little bit on defense.

“They’re huge up front. It’ll be a big test for us.”

Prokop said the Lions will throw just enough to keep a defense honest. Senior Jesus Roybal, who scored twice in the first meeting, is the “spinner” back and usually takes the snap.

Texico’s cornerbacks will be largely responsible for containing any passing game.

“I think whenever they do split (receivers) out, we can cover them,” he said. “We just need to be able to execute.”

Texico is playing in its sixth state championship game in seven years. The Wolverines were in five consecutive Class 1A title clashes (2001-05), winning twice, before moving up to 2A last year and losing in the first round at Santa Rosa.

“They’re big, strong and fast, kind of like Dexter,” Prokop said. “It’s a tribute to our district that we both made it to the finals.”

* What: Santa Rosa (11-1) at Texico (9-2)
* When: 7 p.m. today
* Where: Texico
* Of note: The visiting Lions already own a 26-7 win over Texico during District 2-2A play. … The teams have met in the regular season since 2004, with Santa Rosa holding a 3-1 series lead.

Freedom Newspapers of New Mexico

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