The unbeaten Estancia Bears took a giant leap toward defending their state crown last Saturday by stomping the host No. 5 Lordsburg Mavericks 61-14 in the Class 3A state semifinals.

With the win the Bears advance to the 3A title game against the No. 3 Eunice Cardinals.

Adam Lujan rushed 16 times for 186 yards and five touchdowns, Zeke Tapia had 23 carries for 188 yards and two TDs, and Caleb Ortiz chipped in a TD as the Bears erupted for the most points they’ve scored all season.

Estancia head coach Stewart Burnett acknowledged offensive linemen Michael Lascano, Trevor Noblitt, Matthew Urban, Gabe Garcia, and Daniel Luna for opening up the holes for the Bears’ running backs.

“Our offensive line probably played its best game of the season,” Burnett said. “We ran the ball 47 times for 402 yards and seven TDs—the unit as a whole racked up 59 knockdown blocks.”

The Bears are averaging 48.8 points per game and have outscored their opponents 271-14 over their last five games.

“We’re excited to be back in the title game, it’s something we’ve been working towards for the last year,” Burnett said. “But we have to finish this weekend.”

The Bears will host their second consecutive 3A state championship game Saturday at 1 p.m.

Leota Harriman
Leota Harriman

Leota started working for The Independent in 2006, working her way up through the ranks. An employee buyout in 2010 led to her ownership of the newspaper. Leota has served on the board of the N.M. Press Association, and is currently its First Vice President. She is passionate about health and wellness, especially mental health, and loves making art. She can be reached at [email protected]