The Associated Press
ROSWELL, N.M. — Artesia halfback Jeremy Duran ran 6 yards for a touchdown to lift the Bulldogs to a 30-23 victory over Goddard in the Class 4A championship game Saturday.
The TD, with nine minutes remaining in the game, gave Artesia (13-0) its 25th state football title — more than any other school in New Mexico.
“Me and most of the guys on this team have been dreaming of this,” Duran said. “We’ve been working together, most of us, since the seventh grade.”
Duran finished with 107 rushing yards — all but 10 of them coming in the first half.
The Bulldogs led 22-10 at halftime.
But the Rockets (10-4) scored on consecutive drives in the third quarter to take their only lead of the game.
Gabe Flores scored a touchdown on a 1-yard run that came five plays after Goddard forced a fumble.
Ruben Coronado put the Rockets ahead on a 5-yard TD run three minutes later.
Duran’s scoring run in the fourth quarter capped a five-play march by the Bulldogs.
Goddard had two drives that stalled in the last two minutes.
The first lasted 15 plays and was kept alive by a fake punt in which Richard Moreno completed a deflected 22-yard pass to Kade Wooten for a first down.
The drive ended a few plays later when Artesia’s Isaac Sanchez broke up a pass on fourth down from the 18 with 1:44 left.
The Bulldogs, trying to run out the clock, gave the Rockets another chance when quarterback Landry Jones was stripped of the ball at his own 25 with 55 seconds remaining.
He was bailed out when cornerback Austin Helton intercepted a Moreno pass inside the 5 with 17 seconds left.
Jones finished with 235 yards and two touchdowns.