Steers football on verge of league title, playoff berth

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After starting the season 1-3, the Steers football team has found its stride and reeled off four straight wins to put itself in prime position for a District 3-1A championship and a playoff berth. A post-season appearance would be the first since Mag made the switch to 11-man football. All it has to do now is get through a good Capitan team.

"They have an explosive offense no doubt, but I think we compare with who they've played," Steers head coach Billy Page said.

He's referring to the fact Capitan's schedule might indicate to some it has faced a rougher path this year in playing second-ranked Hagerman and perennial power Ft. Sumner. But Page pointed out his squad has faced some stiff competition this year as well. The Steers have played undefeated Escalante, third-ranked McCurdy and Hatch Valley, the fourth-ranked team in Class 2A.

"We've actually been battle-tested ourselves," Page added.

If Magdalena wants to give the Tigers a run for their money on Friday night though, they'll have to find a way to get going early on. While it has outscored its last two opponents 75-24, Page said, those scores weren't necessarily indicative of how the games transpired.

"Particularly in Cloudcroft, they were up on us early. They scored right out of the gates," he said. "We had to make some adjustments, but we were able to adjust how we wanted to in the second half, and basically took care of business. It was the second half where we finally got it together. We've been fortunate that we've been defensively able to make some adjustments."

Page said his team's focus this week in practice will be to make sure it's executing from the start of the game to the end of the game, a strategy virtually all football teams wish to employ, but it will be of the utmost importance against Capitan.

"They're big, they're strong and they don't do things real flashy," Page said. "They're simple, but they're really good at what they do. It's going to be a fun game."

Kickoff will be in Magdalena at 7 p.m., Friday, Nov. 2.