Posted On: 09/18/20 2:53 PM

Before ascending to the summit of the Class 5A football mountain, Roswell first had to conquer Artesia Ridge.

Once they did, the Coyotes haven’t looked back.

Between 2004-2018, Roswell lost 15 straight regular season games to Artesia, and many of those defeats were by 30 or more points.

Everything changed, though, on Nov. 23, 2018 when Roswell finally beat the Bulldogs, 48-42, in dramatic fashion in the semifinals of the Class 5A playoffs about a month after losing to Artesia by a single point (36-35) in the regular season.

Roswell QB Ethan Valenzuela connected with WR Dylan Tucker on a game-winning catch-and-run TD in the final seconds. A week later, the Coyotes trounced Los Lunas in the 5A championship game.

What’s important to know about that close, agonizing loss to Artesia two years ago is that district showdown marks the last time Roswell has fallen short on the scoreboard. Since then, the Coyotes have won 18 straight games, including a perfect 13-0 record in 2019 en route to a second consecutive Class 5A title.

Unquestionably, finally slaying the Artesia albatross after more than a decade of frustration jumpstarted Roswell’s recent surge.

“That 2018 team had to put some things to

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