The 2021 football Spring season has come to an end in New Mexico. The Carlsbad Cavemen (2-3) were able to defeat both rival Artesia and Hobbs in back-to-back seasons and believe they have found the building blocks for the next several years of the team.
The Cavemen had a relatively small senior class. After graduating more than 20 seniors in both the 2018 and 2019 seasons only 10 seniors played on this year’s team. Cavemen head coach Gary Bradley gave his juniors and sophomores plenty of chances to make plays on both sides of the ball and they responded with leading the team in nearly every category.
Here’s who led the Cavemen in each category and the other top stat leaders in this COVID-19 pandemic shortened season.
Sophomore Dane Naylor and junior Jalen Macareno split quarterback duties throughout the season. The duo combined for 588 passing yards, six touchdowns and three interceptions.
Naylor had the slight edge in most statistical categories. In his four games under center Naylor went 22-for-40 for 368 yards, four touchdowns and one interception. On the ground Naylor ran 29 times for 162 yards and scored twice. Macareno played in five games and went 18-for-38 for 220 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. The junior ran 33 times for 151 yards and scored one touchdown.
Under Gary Bradley the running game has been Carlsbad’s strength. Five Cavemen recorded at least 100 rushing yards and six Carlsbad players scored a rushing touchdown. As a team Carlsbad averaged 217 yards a game on the ground.
Junior Jesse Rodriguez only played in the first two games for Carlsbad but ended up leading the Cavemen in rushing with 293 yards. He was one of four Cavemen to score two rushing touchdowns.
Junior Amorian Barnes was the other Caveman to rush for at least 200 yards. Barnes carried the ball 41 times and finished with 234 yards and two scores. Sophomore Uriel Mendoza finished with 33 carries, 151 yards and two touchdowns including the game-winning one against Hobbs with seconds left on the clock.
Sophomore Eli Asay Asay led Carlsbad in receptions (16), receiving yards (242) and receiving touchdowns (4) in the five-game season.
Carlsbad senior Kyle Ramirez added 212 receiving yards off 12 catches and scored the other two receiving touchdowns of the season to round out the double-digit catching players for the Cavemen.
Sophomore Saul Ramirez led Carlsbad in both total tackles (32) and assisted tackles (24) in his four games. Ramirez also had one tackle for loss.
Senior Kody Daniell finished with 26 total tackles and recorded one interception, one forced fumble and a fumble recovery in his four games.
Junior Jonathan Fuentes led Carlsbad with two interceptions, both against Hobbs, and added 20 total tackles.
Sophomore Austin Blair forced two fumbles against Hobbs and led the Cavemen with three tackles for losses. He was one of two Cavemen to score a defensive touchdown, the other Caveman to do so was sophomore DJ Moore.
Matthew Asher can be reached at 575-628-5524, [email protected] or @Caveman_Masher on Twitter.