BHS erases 27-0, third-quarter deficit in OT win

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In one of the more dramatic comebacks in recent Belen football history, the Eagles walked out of Moriarty with a 34-33 overtime win on Friday night, thanks in large part to the never-say-die efforts of senior quarterback Nick Kurtz and others.

Rory McClannahan-Mountain View Telegraph: Nick Kurtz of the Belen Eagles speeds upfield in Friday’s dramatic 34-33 BHS overtime win at Moriarty. The Eagles overcame a 27-0 third-quarter deficit to win, and are set to play a 7 p.m. contest against Goddard in Roswell on Friday.

A trip to Roswell is up next Friday for the Eagles in what should be their toughest game all season. Goddard (2-0) entertains Belen (3-0) in a matchup of two undefeated teams. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.

The Rockets have posted 63-0 trouncing of defending Class 4A state champion Aztec and a 21-17 upset of Class 5A Rio Rancho so far this year.

Three fourth-quarter touchdowns, two in the last 2:51 of regulation, helped the Eagles overcome what had been a 27-0 third-quarter deficit.

Trailing 27-13, Kurtz scored on a one-yard quarterback dive. Tristen Baca added the extra point and Belen was within a touchdown, 27-20, but time was running out.

Moriarty’s Adam Smith, who carried the ball 18 times for 102 yards in the contest, fumbled at the Pinto 22-yard line on the next series. Eliseo Aguirre jumped on the ball, giving it back to Belen with 2:10 left in regulation.

Kurtz hit Wyatt Robinson for a 9-yard touchdown and Baca tied the game with 36 seconds left.

“We had a gut check at halftime,” Eagle coach John Lerma said. “We had a more determined half in the second half.”

In the overtime frame, Belen got the ball first and Kurtz scored on a 4-yard scamper. Baca added the crucial extra-point kick and the Eagles had posted a 34-27 lead.

Moriarty’s Chris Lucero, who scored the Pinto’s first touchdown in the first quarter, pounded it in from the 3-yard line.

Pinto coach Bob Allcorn called a timeout to discuss choices with his team. The Pintos decided to go for the two-point conversion and the Eagle defense rose to the task, stopping Lucero at the 2-yard line to secure the one-point win.

Moriarty outgained Belen 395 yards to 283, but Kurtz led a reenergized passing attack, hitting 10-of-25 for 133 yards and a touchdown.

“Give Moriarty credit,” said Lerma. “They played a heck of a game. I think we grew up as a team (Friday night). I’m proud of my team. They never quit.”

The letdown could have happened when Moriarty scored midway through the third quarter on Jonathan Wyrick’s 33-yard run to go up 27-0.

But the Eagles came up big on the kickoff. Andrew Castillo raced 90 yards to paydirt for the first Belen score on the return and Baca added the kick to make it 27-7.

Wyatt Robinson scored in the opening minute of the fourth quarter on a 25-yard run to narrow the margin to 27-13 and set up Belen’s last minute heroics.

Robinson led the rushing effort with 69 yards on 10 carries. Kurtz added 63 yards on the ground and Xavy Armijo was limited to 18 yards on just seven carries.

Robinson also led the team in receptions, snagging four passes for 59 yards.

Only five teams remain unbeaten in Class 4A, with Goddard and Belen being two. Valencia County rival Los Lunas (3-0), Artesia (3-0) and Piedra Vista (3-0) round out the top of Class 4A.

Portions of this story were contributed by Harold Smith of the East Mountain Telegraph.


-- Email the author at mstearns@news-bulletin.com.