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The Albuquerque Aardvarks are virtually assured of being the top DII club out of New Mexico as they defeated their closest rivals, the Santa Fe Scorpions at Balloon Fiesta Park Saturday.

Paced by a Man of the Match performance by captain Jonathan Gray and with debutant Kevin Thomas scoring twice, the Aardvarks won 74-26.

Gray, who was an all-territory player with Red Mountain in Arizona before moving to New Mexico, scored four tries a week ago in their defeat of El Paso.

This result means Albuquerque has beaten El Paso twice, and they cannot be caught unless something really surprising happens.

This sets up a playoff matchup for Albuquerque with the Arizona champion, which will likely be decided APril 5 when 2nd-place Red Mountain visits 1st-place Tempe.