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Third-ranked Rio Rancho staked their claim to the No. 1 ranking in New Mexico high school football Friday night, holding off top ranked defending state champion Las Cruces 30-22.
The Rams, 4-0, never trailed. The built leads of 10-0 and 24-7, then held off the Bulldawgs in the fourth quarter.
Las Cruces was ranked No. 1 by coaches and No. 2 by MaxPreps, while the Rams were third in both polls. Las Cruces Mayfield was No. 1 by MaxPreps. The Trojans defeated Alamogordo 51-20 Friday night.
Rio Rancho quarterback Eason Bruere connected with teammate Migguel Barreras on two touchdown passes Angelo Lujan unofficially rushed for 119 yards. He had two touchdowns, including the game winner, including a 50-yard jaunt in the fourth quarter that gave Rio Rancho an insurmountable 30-14 lead.
Across town, Cleveland High improved to 3-1 by beating Clovis 35-13.
Rio Rancho plays at Clovis next Friday night, while Cleveland plays Albuquerque Sandia at Wilson Stadium. The Storm was ranked seventh entering weekend play.