The Eddy County War was decided in dramatic fashion Friday night at the Bulldog Bowl in Artesia.
After Carlsbad took a 27-22 lead with 20 seconds remaining, Artesia’s Matthew Saiz returned the ensuing kickoff for a score with six seconds left to give the Bulldogs a 30-27 win in the season opener for both teams. Diego Wesson found Riley Jarrett for the 2-point conversion after the Saiz score for the final margin.
Eli Asay put the Cavemen up 27-22 on a 73-yard touchdown run on an option play. He finished the night with three touchdown runs and teammate Dane Naylor added a 9-yard rushing touchdown for the Cavemen.
Carlsbad erased a 9-0 lead and led 21-9 halfway through the fourth quarter. But Artesia rallied to take a 22-21 lead on a pair of Nye Estrada touchdown passes to Peyton Greathouse and Juan Diego Duran, respectively, before the dramatic final 20 seconds of the game.
Close first half
Artesia took a 9-7 lead into halftime. Greathouse kicked a 37-yard field goal for the Bulldogs and Bradley Valenzuela caught a 37-yard touchdown pass from Estrada, but the extra point failed.
Carlsbad answered with a long Esay touchdown run in the second quarter to trim the lead.
Phillip Finley and Jessie Armendariz each had interceptions for the Bulldogs in the first half. Rene Ramos had an interception for Carlsbad.
Artesia takes on Hobbs and Carlsbad plays Roswell Goddard.