Manzano High School’s football team passed its first test of the postseason by throttling the Atrisco Heritage Academy Jaguars in last Friday’s opening round of the Class 6A state playoffs at Wilson Stadium in Albuquerque.
Xavier Ivey-saud and Jordan Byrd scored three touchdowns apiece in the 47-0 blowout. “Our offense was bringing it and the defense was bringing it,” Manzano head coach Chad Adcox said. “We played well, we played like a playoff football team.”
The fifth-seeded Monarchs overpowered the No. 12 Jaguars from start to finish. Manzano jumped out to a 33-0 first-quarter lead and built a commanding 40-0 cushion by halftime.
Ivey-saud’s 23-yard touchdown run just over three minutes into the game gave the Monarchs a 6-0 advantage.
Quarterback Byrd’s 1-yard plunge on Manzano’s next possession made the score 12-0.
On its next possession Atrisco bobbled a would-be handoff that landed right in the arms of Manzano’s Jace Torrez to give the Monarchs the ball at the Jaguars 19-yard line. Two plays later Ivey-saud burst through a hole for a 12-yard scamper and the rout was on.
“That was the plan,” Adcox said. “To try and get the run game going to set up the passing game, and we did that—and Byrd had some really nice throws and the receivers made some good catches.”
One of those nice-throw-good-catch combinations was a 40-yard touchdown pass to Andrew Erickson.
On first-and-10 from the Atrisco 40, Byrd rolled to his right and lofted a 20-yard toss to Erickson who was wide open. Erickson darted down the sidelines the remaining 20 yards to the end zone. “I just broke off from their safety and Jordan hit me,” said Erickson, a 6-foot-1 junior from Sandia Park. “It was great, it was really nice.”
Byrd scored on touchdown runs of 3-yards and 7 yards just before halftime. Ivey-saud’s 12-yard touchdown late in the third quarter capped Manzano’s scoring.
Byrd, who started the season at running back, has emerged as a potent signal-caller for the Monarchs. “Byrd’s always been capable of playing quarterback for us,” Adcox said. “And when we can use the quarterback in the run game, that gives us an advantage in the box, so we made the switch and the rest is history—I mean, he’s just done so well.”
Manzano travels to Las Cruces on Saturday to play No. 4 Centennial in the 6A state quarterfinals.