Tiger football makes quick work of Gallup Bengals

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It only took about 70 minutes for the Los Lunas High football team to put a thorough beating on its latest opponent Thursday.

News-Bulletin file photo: Los Lunas High placekicker Collin Keeton kicks out of the hold of Ruger Rodriguez in an early-season game. The Tigers scorched the Gallup Bengals, 56-0, on the road Thursday, and will host the Miyamura Patriots at 7 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 1.

The Tigers improved to 8-0 overall and 3-0 in District 6-4A play with a 56-0 win at Gallup in a game that only lasted one half.

Chris Sanchez’s 66-yard interception return for a touchdown, as time expired in the first half, ended the game by the 50-point mercy rule.

The win sets up the Tigers’ 7 p.m. home district game against Miyamura on Thursday, Nov. 1. Depending on the outcome of this weekend’s games, the Tigers might be able to clinch their first district title since 1992 by beating the Patriots.

The Tigers were mostly able to move the ball at will against Gallup, and had no trouble containing the offense of the Bengals (2-5, 0-3), forcing seven punts and three turnovers.

Gallup’s first possession resulted in a fumble that the Tigers recovered. Darron Gallegos then scored the first of the Tigers’ eight touchdowns with a 14-yard run.

The Tigers’ Jalen Chavez scored three touchdowns in the first quarter on runs of 1, 15 and 58 yards. He finished with 82 yards on the ground.

Gallegos, who had 74 rushing yards, added a 1-yard scoring run in the second quarter. A couple of minutes later, Jacob Holland scored on a 58-yard punt return.

Even Tiger reserves who haven’t played much varsity this year got into the act. Tyler Dykstra, a sophomore, scored on a 52-yard run with only 17.7 seconds left in the half.

It seemed the Tigers would go into halftime up 49-0, but Sanchez’s dramatic interception return at the buzzer ended the game.

Tiger placekickers Gustavo Muñoz and Collin Keeton each made all four of the extra-point attempts. Zach Perales added an interception.

LLHS senior quarterback Chris Wisneski only played the first quarter, completing one pass for 16 yards. Backup Ryan Kline had 29 passing yards in relief.

The Tigers had 246 yards of total offense, with 201 of it rushing. Los Lunas had 114 rushing yards in the first quarter alone.

The Los Lunas defense held Gallup to minus-2 yards of total offense.

The Tigers end the regular season by hosting Valencia High on Friday, Nov. 9.


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