Game Preview: Las Cruces vs. Mayfield

James Hall and his Las Cruces teammates have been our #1 team all season long. They face their toughest opponent this week against cross town rival Mayfield. This is a free story so talk it up on the boards.

Las Cruces vs. Mayfield
What can you say about this one that hasn't already been said?  This is the game of the week, the month and in all honesty the game of the year.  When these two line up you are going to get teams that are well coached and play with a great deal of passion.  Today we take an in depth look at key matchups and how this game may end up.

Mayfield offense vs. Las Cruces defense
The Trojan offense is predicated on the run game and being able to control the tempo and speed of the game.  QB Austin Hooker has gotten better every week and RB Jacob Ceniceros is one of the best in the state at his respective position.  The option scheme that Mayfield uses makes the defense play assignment football.  If one assignment is missed, you might want to tell the band director to start up the fight song, because it might end up being a touchdown.  Look for Las Cruces to try and string out the option, the longer the ball is going horizontally and not vertically the better off they will be.  Also, look for them to try and get the ball out of Hooker's hands right now and than run and rally to the football.  The big play of the option comes on the pitch man being alone because someone over commits and takes a bad angle.

Las Cruces offense vs. Mayfield defense
In reality both of these teams use an option based system.  Mayfield more I-Option and Cruces more spread option.  Both schemes are very hard to stop.  As good as Mayfield is offensively, Las Cruces may feature more speed with both Dante Caro and James Hall being players that can take it the distance.  One of the things that make this offense so special is that they can throw it just enough to keep teams honest and stop them from stacking the box.  The key for Mayfield is to win on 1st downs.  You have to set them up in 2nd and long situations, those situations forces Las Cruces into situations that don't best suite their style.  They are very explosive, but explosive offenses are predicated on being in neutral run and pass distances.  If Mayfield on defense can force Las Cruces into 2nd and long or 3rd and long situations that will go a long way in helping them win this game.

Bottom Line
This game is why I love high school football.  The schools respect and hatred for one another.  Great players and coaches, pride in the stands, community involvement the list goes on and one.  You can have all the glitz and money that goes with the football they play on Sunday's but for my money there is nothing like a rivalry game in high school football.  They biggest key in my mind is which team will find balance.  The winning team will find balance in every phase of the game and will come out on top.  This is a toss up in reality but since we have had Las Cruces as our #1 team all season we will go with the Bulldogs to win this one.  Las Cruces 28 Mayfield 24.

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