LA misses out on at-large invitation

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For the second straight season, the Los Alamos Hilltopper football team wasn’t invited to the Class 4A state playoffs.
The Hilltoppers, who finished as the runners-up in the 2013 District 2-4A race, was left out of the postseason bracket, which was released Sunday by the New Mexico Activities Association.
For the fourth straight year, only one team was invited from District 2 to compete in the playoffs. The Santa Fe Demons, who topped Los Alamos for the district title, will be the district’s only representative, and even the Demons were admitted solely because they had an automatic bid.
The Demons (4-6 overall, 3-1 in 2-4A) will go into the playoffs as the No. 12 seed, the lowest in the bracket. They will face fifth-seeded Las Cruces Centennial in this weekend’s first round in Las Cruces and will be a huge underdog heading in.
Los Alamos finished 4-6 on the year. It was 3-1 in 2-4A play, but didn’t beat a 4A team outside of District 2.
This is the third time in four years the Hilltoppers will miss out on the postseason. They were invited in 2011, but, like Santa Fe this season, went in as a No. 12 seed following a District 2 title and were hammered in the first round by Los Lunas.
Los Alamos’ hopes of grabbing a district title were still alive until Friday night when Santa Fe topped Capital 46-22 to clinch the district’s top spot. Santa Fe beat Los Alamos 28-9 Oct. 11, giving it the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Hilltoppers.
Goddard, the defending 4A champion, is the No. 1 seed in 4A. Goddard’s Rockets, along with Farmington, Belen and Los Lunas, will have byes into next weekend’s quarterfinal round.
The 4A championship game will be played the weekend of Dec. 6-7.

Here are the matchups for the first two rounds of the Class 4A football playoffs. Dates and locations are TBA.

First round (weekend of Nov. 15-16)

(9) Artesia vs. (8) Moriarty
(12) Santa Fe vs. (5) Centennial
(11) Roswell vs. (6) Deming
(10) Piedra Vista vs. (7) Valencia

Quarterfinals (weekend of Nov. 22-23)

Artesia-Moriarty winner vs. (1) Goddard
Santa Fe-Centennial winner vs. (4) Los Lunas
Roswell-Deming winner vs. (3) Belen
Piedra Vista-Valencia winner vs. (2) Farmington