Correction: The story published in the Aug. 31 edition of the Taos News incorrectly listed Anthony Maestas as one of the Taos Tigers who scored a touchdown in the game versus Hatch Valley. Mateo Sisneros was the receiver who caught a pass for a touchdown, adding to the 55 point total for Taos. The Taos New Sports Editor apologizes for the error.
Coach Art Abreu Jr. and his gridiron squad travel to Albuquerque to take on the Hope Christian Huskies at Milne Stadium Sept. 2.
The game will feature two currently undefeated teams, and could be considered a "rubber match" of sorts given the two teams have each won three games apeice since their regular season series began in 2011. Hope blanked the Tigers 50-0 in their first meeting at Wilson Stadium in Albuquerque in 2011. Taos then bounced back and won the next three consecutive games from 2012-2014. Hope has since won the last two games - thus beating the Tigers twice during the Abreu era. The point differential during the six outings is 142-118 in favor of the Huskies.
Stuck in the craw of Abreu’s memory is the manner in which the Tigers lost to the Huskies last year. “We lost that game because we were unable to convert on fourth (down) and one (yard) to keep our drive alive - and the ball out of the hands of Hope’s offense,” said Abreu. “The result of that play caused a whole trickle of events that ultimately defined our season.”
Taos was tied with Hope Christian late in the game and lost 21-14 when a kick was returned for a touchdown after a Taos score.
Abreu was alluding to the possibility that Taos was forced to travel for its playoff game in 2016 against Ruidoso – instead of hosting the game at home – due to the unlucky turn of events.
As of Sept. 1, the New Mexico Activities Association standings have Taos ranked No. 7 and Hope Christian No. 8 among class 4A teams. The Tigers are coming off a convincing 55-14 win against the Hatch Valley Bears. The Huskies beat the Albuquerque Academy Chargers 38-14 in last week's season opener.
“Right now, the game against Hope Christian is our focus,” said Abreu. “I’m not looking at any other game or team beyond our game Saturday.”
Kickoff is 5 p.m. Milne Stadium is located at 1200 Hazeldine Ave. in Albuquerque.