SPORTS LLHS Cibola Derek Chavez .JPG

Derek Chavez waltzes in to the end zone during the first half of Friday's game at Los Lunas High School. The Tigers beat Cibola 42-12 and Chavez finished with two touchdowns.

The Los Lunas Tigers had no problem with Cibola on Friday night, coming away with a 42-12 victory to kick off homecoming weekend.

“I thought we had a really good week of practice,” Tigers head coach Jeremy Maupin said. You always want to know how your team is going to respond after you get beat and beat pretty good.”

The Tigers struck early, jumping out to 7-0 lead thanks to a touchdown from Cesar Ortega Meza, which was where the score stayed into the second quarter.

Los Lunas doubled the lead shortly after when Devin Gallegos scored, putting the Tigers up 14-0. On the first play of Cibola’s next drive, LLHS safety Joseph Klaus intercepted the ball and put the offense back on the field.

“I thought Derek Chavez had a really good night, Joseph Klaus had a great interception, I think we made it hard for them to run,” Maupin said of his team’s standout performers. “Our front four on defense was really good. Our back end against a team that ran a lot of screens, I thought we came up and it was one of our better tackling games.”

Kade Benavidez and the offense didn’t waste time taking advantage of the opportunity Klaus had provided them, scoring on a Chavez run up the middle to make the score 21-0 and give Chavez the first of his two touchdowns.

The lead stretched to 28-0 when Benavidez hit Andrue Garcia on a pass to the flat and Garcia snuck around the end and into the endzone.

In the third quarter, it seemed like the Cougars had some momentum, finally getting on the board on a run from Slayd Campos as well as stopping the Los Lunas offense on two consecutive possessions, including one interception on a pass that would’ve put the Tigers in the red zone. Cibola had the ball once again and was driving at the end of the third quarter, down 28-6.

The momentum abruptly swung back in the Tigers’ favor a few plays later, as Cibola quarterback Aden Chavez fumbled and Tyler Kiehne picked it up for the Tigers.

On the first play of the drive, Chavez broke free for a 71-yard touchdown run to extend the lead to 35-6, taking the ball along the left sideline into the end zone.

On the ensuing kickoff, Campos fumbled the ball attempting a handoff, which set the Tigers up with a short field. They took advantage with another touchdown run to push the score to 42-6.

Cibola scored again on their next possession but a failed two-point conversion left the score at 42-12 and LLHS was able to run out the clock.

“That’s a good football team we played tonight, but our guys were excited,” Maupin said. “It’s the first home game so there’s a lot of excitement, our guys had a good week and showed up and played some really good football.”

Next up, the Tigers will welcome Goddard to town at 7 p.m. on Sept. 27. The Rockets were idle this week and will come into the contest with a 4-0 record.

Currently, the Rockets are ranked No. 5 in the state across all classifications and second in 5A to Roswell.

Valencia

The Jaguars dropped to 0-4 on the season on Friday night as they fell 27-0 to Santa Teresa on the road. The Warriors scored once in each quarter to get past the Jaguars.

VHS has only played one home game so far this season, and as a result won’t have to leave Valencia County the rest of the season, as the team’s only remaining road game is against Belen.

This week, the Jaguars welcome Bloomfield to town. The Bobcats are 5-0 and coming off of a 32-7 win over Hope Christian.

Belen

The Eagles played their penultimate home game on Friday and took a beating from the Piedra Vista Panthers, 49-7.

The Panthers struck early and often via the running game, scoring six of their seven touchdowns on the ground to run away from BHS.

The Eagles scored their lone touchdown in the final minutes of the game when things were already out of hand.

This is the second straight week that the BHS offense has been held to a single score, as they only mustered one touchdown against Highland on Sept. 13.

Next up for BHS is a trip to Roswell to take on the Coyotes. RHS improved to 5-0 on the season on Friday with a 57-7 win at Miyamura.

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