FARMINGTON — Four San Juan County high school football teams have made the state playoffs.
Those four teams learned late on Saturday night where they will be seeded when the New Mexico Activities Association held its state selection show.
Farmington High (9-1) was awarded the No. 2-seed in 4A, giving the Scorpions a first-round bye and home field advantage in the state quarterfinals. The Scorpions will anxiously await the winner of No. 7 Valencia (6-4) and No. 10 Piedra Vista (7-3).
Farmington High head coach Gary Bradley could not be reach for comment by press time.
Piedra Vista will have to go on the road next week to face the Valencia Jaguars in the first round. PV is 3-2 on the road this season, and Valencia is just 2-3 at home, including a 33-12 loss to Farmington on Sept. 27.
"We are just pleased to play anybody," said PV head coach Jared Howell. "Getting in the playoffs is exciting. Everybody has a good reason to be there. Playing Valencia is nice because it isn't on the other end of the state, and we have some film on them from when they played the other team in town."
PV is coming off a 21-6 loss to Farmington in the District 1-4A championship game on Friday. A win against the Jaguars gives the Panthers one more crack at Farmington High this year.
"It doesn't really matter who we play or who the next one is," Howell said. "But is it cool for our town? Sure. Personally, I do think it is a cool deal. It was a neat experience playing Farmington for a district title. The only way to make that better is if both schools play for a state title. That won't happen this year, but we are a step closer to that scenario."
Bloomfield (7-3) earned a first-round bye in the 3A state bracket with a No. 4 seed. The Bobcats will await the winner of No. 5 Taos (8-1) and No. 12 Hot Springs (3-6).
"We would have preferred a No. 3-seed, and we thought we had a legitimate shot at a No. 3-seed," said Bloomfield head coach Bruce Hatch. "Four is nice, though. Taos is a good team. I don't know much about Hot Springs, but Taos has two good running backs, a good receiver and a decent quarterback. They have big kids who go hard, but I think it is a good match up for us."
The Bobcats are on the same side of the bracket as No. 1 St. Michael's, who beat the Bobcats by three points in Week 1. Bloomfield could see St. Mike's in the semifinals.
"If we are fortunate to meet them in the semis, we look forward to it. The state championship runs through St. Mike's, no question about it," Hatch said. "They have won every regular season game the last three years and won state last year. If we beat Taos or Hot Springs, we look forward to that game."
Navajo Prep head coach Rod Denetso did everything he could do get his Eagles (9-1) a home game as his team blew out its competition in all nine wins this season, finishing eight of those games early via 50-point mercy-rule victory. That goal was accomplished Saturday night when the Eagles earned a No. 8 seed in the 2A bracket.
Navajo Prep will host No. 9 New Mexico Military Institute (5-5). It will be the first home game for Navajo Prep since it changed its name from Navajo Missionary in 1971. The school hasn't won a playoff game since 1970.
"It is awesome. We wanted a bit lower seed like a No. 6 or 7, but we can't complain," Denetso said. "We don't know anything about (NMMI), but we will start finding out as soon as we can."
Denetso said he is excited for Prep's fans and the whole city of Farmington, which he hopes comes to support the Eagles next weekend.
"I am happy for the kids and the community. It has been a great year for us, and it says a lot for us to get this home game," Denetso said. "The kids, their parents, our alumni and the community of Farmington deserve this game. There used to be a time when there wasn't even a field here at Navajo Prep, and now they get to watch a playoff game here."John Livingston can be reached at email@example.com; 505-564-4648. Follow him on Twitter @jlivi2.