If recent history is any indication, the Portales Rams can certainly make their way into Santa Fe for a matchup with the Horsemen.
Portales earned the No. 8 seed in the Class 3A playoffs, announced Saturday evening by the New Mexico Activities Association, and will host No. 9 Robertson in a 7 p.m. Friday contest at Greyhound Stadium.
The winner will face 10-0 St. Michael’s, which earned the top seed in the 12-team field.
Portales (6-4), the runnerup in District 4-3A, owns a 14-6 win over the Cardinals (5-5) in the season opener, also at Greyhound Stadium.
But Robertson is coming in playing well, going 3-1 in District 2-3A. The Cardinals ended the season with a 53-0 win over West Las Vegas.
“They’re a physical football team just like we are,” Portales coach Jaime Ramirez said, “and it’s going to be another tight ballgame, just like the last one.”
Portales was idle this week after posting a 20-17 win over Lovington at home on Nov. 1, ending a three-game losing skid. The win over Lovington was enough to catapult Portales into a home game, but Ramirez was hoping the Rams could have beaten out Albuquerque Academy (7-3).
“I thought we deserved the seven seed,” Ramirez said. “I thought our strength of schedule was stronger than Academy, but their record pushed them above us.”
Instead, it’s the Chargers who will host 10th-seeded Pojoaque Valley (5-5).
Hot Springs, at 3-6, edged out Lovington (1-9) for the 12th and final seed and will travel to fifth-seeded Taos (8-2). Ramirez said he thought Lovington was better than the Tigers, but understood a 1-9 record doesn’t do you many favors on seeding Saturday.
Hope Christian (5-5), which beat Portales earlier in the season, took the No. 6 seed and will host Raton (4-6).
The top four seeds, who receive a first-round bye, are:
• No. 1 St. Michael’s, which hosts Portales or Robertson.
• No. 2 Ruidoso (8-2), which hosts Albuquerque Academy or Pojoaque. The Warriors are the second seed thanks to a 31-28 win at home over Silver in October.
• No. 3 Silver (7-3), which will host Hope Christian or Raton.
• No. 4 Bloomfield (7-3), which will host Taos or Hot Springs.
First- and second-round games are hosted by higher seeds, while the semifinals and championship rounds are hosted by the road team in the previous playoff game between the respective teams.