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Here are key players to watch in 4A football finals between Bloomfield and Portales


Matt Hollinshead, mhollinshead@daily-times.com  |  Farmington Daily Times

Bloomfield running back Kenyon Mosley

Mosley is making good cuts, running around defenders in the 4A playoffs.

He had 183 rushing yards and three touchdown runs in last Saturday's 4A state semifinals win over Grants.

He can turn a little 3-yard burst into an easy first down because he’s pivoting upon initial open-field contact and making defenders miss.

He’s crossing the goal line that way, and he’s not afraid to drop his shoulder and fight for the 1 or 2-yard score between the tackles.

If Mosley can resume doing those things, he will be a giant weight off of Vince Marquez’s back in the passing game.

Bloomfield defensive end Brodie Utley

Utley is coming alive in the 4A football playoffs, constantly scoping out his latest chance to grab hold of opposing quarterbacks.

Once he sees a tight end break off the line, and with a tackle too far away from him, he’s gone. Whether he attacks point-blank or looping around from the back side, Utley is blitzing with great instincts.

After logging two sacks against Ruidoso, he delivered again during the final seconds facing Grants. He came back around, grabbed Grants quarterback Brandon Furbee from behind and brought hims down to make it fourth and long.

Portales defensive lineman Philip Blidi

At 6-foot-4, 255 pounds, the Texas Tech University football commit must be accounted for up front.

After making the initial push against a blocker, Blidi can reset, accelerating off of his back foot, and easily slip by. From there, he gets his arms up when he’s ready to strike in the pocket.

He also waits patiently back at the line of scrimmage for incoming players running forward, ready to make the stop point-blank or shifting to the sides.

Blidi can chase down players coming off the edge, but he’s also used as a defensive tackle because of his quickness and motor in both A gaps up the middle.

Portales wide receiver Kellan Hightower

Hightower has solid breakaway speed and agility after the catch.

He can take a quick, flat route to the house by simply slashing left and right for open creases, and he can also do damage as more of a downfield threat.

Bloomfield cannot afford to give Hightower the slightest bit or extra room once the ball is in his hands.

Matt Hollinshead covers sports for the Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577 and on Twitter at @MattH_717.