Josh Perry has plenty of blockers ahead on this rush Wednesday, when the Tigers scrimmaged visiting Sandia. (Gary Herron/Observer)
The Cleveland High School football team takes a 22-game winning streak into its season-opener Friday at 7 p.m. when the Centennial Hawks visit Thunder Bolt Stadium.
Here’s the Storm’s ’22 schedule, along with a game-by-game look at their opponents.
CLEVELAND HIGH FOOTBALL 2022 SEASON
Date Opponent Time
Aug. 19 CENTENNIAL 7 p.m.
26 La Cueva 7 p.m.
Sept. 2 Amarillo 7 p.m.
10 Las Cruces/Field of Dreams 1 p.m.
16 ARTESIA/Homecoming 7 p.m.
23 Frenship, Texas 7 p.m.
30 VOLCANO VISTA* 7 p.m.
Oct. 14 Atrisco Heritage Academy* 7 p.m.
21 Cibola* 7 p.m.
28 RIO RANCHO* 7 p.m.
(Home games in CAPS; 1-6A games denoted with *.)
GAME BY GAME:
Centennial: The Storm and Hawks also met last August to open their seasons, a 49-21 Cleveland romp at the Field of Dreams. They also met in the 2021 season, played in Socorro in spring 2021, and in the 2019 state quarterfinals. Cleveland is 5-0 all-time vs. Centennial, coached by Aaron Ocampo.
La Cueva: The last time the Storm and Bears met was Dec. 1, 2018, in the 6A championship game, played at Thunder Bolt Field – a 33-14 La Cueva win. All-time, the Bears have won four of the seven meetings, with the home team winning the first six times they met.
Amarillo: The Class 5A Sandies and Storm have never met, and this will be AHS’s first game of the season, while it’s the third for Cleveland. AHS is coached by Chad Dunnam, who’s in his fifth season. The Sandies have had winning seasons every year since 2008, and were 9-3 overall last season, and district champions.
Las Cruces: Cleveland beat the Bulldawgs three times – in as many places – in 2021: 56-7 in a 2020 game played in spring 2021, a “bowl game” at University Stadium; 42-7 at Thunder Bolt Stadium in September in the regular season and 42-24 in a semifinal game at the Field of Dreams in November. Cleveland is 5-1 all-time vs. LCHS, the lone loss coming in a 2016 quarterfinal played at Cleveland.
Artesia: Cleveland has scored 42 or more points in every meeting with the 5A powerhouse Bulldogs, including a 70-29 rout at the Bulldog Bowl last season. Cleveland is 2-0 at home vs. Artesia, and 3-0 in Artesia. Artesia ultimately got to the 2021 5A championship game, which they lost, 40-28, in Los Lunas.
Frenship: Like their earlier game in the Lone Star State, this is the first gridiron meeting between the Storm and the Tigers, who were 5-5 overall and 2-4 in the district in 2021. They are led by sixth-year head coach Jay Northcutt, and are a Class 6A team.
Volcano Vista: The Hawks came oh, so close, to beating the Storm in their perfect 2021 season – the Storm were down 20-0 in the first quarter, then rallied for a44-33 victory. All-time, Cleveland is 11-2 vs. VVHS, with a 28-19 loss at Mile Stadium and a 35-7 loss at Nusenda Community Stadium in 2019.
AHA: The boys’ basketball team wishes it had this track record against the Jaguars: Cleveland is 5-0, with three shutouts, all-time vs. AHA. That includes a 48-0 homecoming win in 2021, with CJHS scoring 42 or more points every time.
Cibola: There was a time when you could say “42-28” to Heath Ridenour and he’d know what you were talking about: The Storm’s loss to the Cougars in the 2014 first round. But all-time, Cleveland holds an 11-2 edge over Cibola, with six wins in a row since that postseason setback.
Rio Rancho: The Storm have won the last seven times they’ve met the Rams, and that includes the last two championship games: 48-40 at Rio Rancho Stadium in 2019, 35-14 at Thunderbolt Stadium last season. The Rams, like VVHS, had a 20-0 lead over the Storm last season, only to lose 28-27. All-time, the Storm are 12-4 vs. the Rams, with three wins in the 2021 calendar year. Oddly, for seven seasons in a row (2011-17), the visiting team won each time in the regular season.