Football results from Aug. 31
Two of the county’s high school football teams won their Aug. 31 season openers, while the other is still looking for its first win.
The Los Lunas Tigers scored a major win for their program with a convincing 50-28 win on the home field of defending Class 4A champion Aztec.
The Belen Eagles eeked out a 14-7 win at Deming, while the Valencia Jaguars lost at home, 26-7, to Moriarty.
For Los Lunas, the win helped put behind them a 49-0 drubbing on their 2010 trip to Aztec, and a narrow loss at LLHS in last year’s season opener. The visiting Tigers used a flexible offense and a tough defense to get their first win in three tries over the hosts, also called the Tigers.
Los Lunas (1-0) never trailed in the battle of top Class 4A teams, scoring the game’s first 22 points, and, later, 28 fourth-quarter points. The visiting Tigers rushed for 265 yards.
Los Lunas junior tailback Jalen Chavez rushed for 166 yards on only 17 carries and scored twice. Fullback Darron Gallegos ran for 81 yards and another pair of scores, and he caught two touchdown passes from quarterback Chris Wisneski.
Wisneski was 8-of-11 with three TD passes. His 30-yard scoring toss to Chris Sanchez in the first half was a one-play drive; the Tiger defense gave LLHS great field position all night.
Aztec, the defending 4A champion, only rushed for 32 yards. Quarterback Adam Lucero was 26-of-44 for 391 yards with one interception and three scores, all to Brad Hardin, who had 257 receiving yards.
Los Lunas travels to Alamogordo on Friday, Sept. 7 for a 7 p.m. game.
Belen got first-half touchdown passes from Nick Kurtz to Wyatt Robinson, of 18 and 41 yards, for the Eagles’ only scores in their win. Host Deming scored just before halftime.
The Eagles were stuffed on four straight plays on the Deming 1-yard line midway through the third quarter, but the Eagle defense played well. On a Deming drive inside the Belen 10 late in the third period, a fourth-down sack by Jonathan Madrid ended the threat.
Xavier Armijo rushed for 83 yards on 11 carries, while Kurtz ran for 52. Kurtz was 8-of-9 through the air for 127 yards with two TDs and no interceptions. The Wildcats outrushed Belen, 191-165, but the Eagles had more total yards.
Belen hosts its Homecoming game against Del Norte on Friday, Sept. 7.
Valencia (0-1), under new head coach Kevin Jolley, lost almost all of their skill position players to graduation after last year’s 4A state semifinal run. Friday, the young Jaguars couldn’t stop Moriarty’s rushing attack, as the visiting Pintos ran the ball 46 times for 405 yards.
After a scoreless first quarter, Moriarty’s Adam Smith, who had 145 yards on only 15 carrie, scored on a five-yard run early in the second quarter.
The Jags scored their only touchdown in the second quarter to tie the game at 7-all. Anthony Gonzales scored on a one-yard run and Caleb Crum hit the extra point. The Pintos (1-0) added another short TD run later in the period to put the visitors up 13-7 at the half.
Moriarty recovered the second-half kickoff after the ball spun at Santiago Ibuado’s feet at the 25-yard line. The Valencia returner couldn’t gather the ball in, and Moriarty recovered.
The Pintos scored on the ensuing possession on Jonathan Myrick’s’ 33-yard run to put Moriarty ahead, 19-7.
The Pintos added a touchdown in the fourth quarter on Bobby Tapia’s 16-yard run. Smith added the extra point to bring the final to 25-7.
The Jags only rushed for 134 yards in the game, and were 5-of-10 passing with one interception. The Pintos had nine more first downs than Valencia.
The Jaguars travel to Milne Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 8 for a 1 p.m. game against Rio Grande. The Ravens, who are set to take on Del Norte late Saturday (Sept. 1) afternoon, are coached by former Belen coach and administrator Jim Danner.