FARMINGTON — Bryson Martinez simply couldn’t be stopped on Friday night by Bernalillo.
The star senior for No. 4 Piedra Vista caught three touchdown passes and intercepted two Bernalillo (0-6) passes en route to the Panthers’ 54-0 win against the Spartans on homecoming night. PV is now 6-0 to start the season.
“I don’t deserve the credit. It is our offensive and defensive lines. They killed it,” Martinez said. “The whole team played the best they have all year. It is a lot easier to go fast and play all out when everyone is doing their job.”
Martinez finished with 100 yards on the three catches that he turned into three touchdowns.
“I am not surprised by his game at all because it is well within his capabilities,” said PV head coach Jared Howell. “He has been very unselfish. Last year he was the guy. This year we have a lot of guys. Martinez has no problem sharing the spotlight and you are always happy to see a guy like that go have a big game.”
Junior quarterback Isaiah Valdez was 7-8 passing in the game for 265 yards and four touchdowns. He didn’t throw the ball again after the 10 minute mark in the second quarter.
“I appreciate Valdez a lot. He trusts us and we trust him,” said PV senior wide receiver Jacob Armijo, who finished with 124 yards and a touchdown on three catches. “He is a miniature Peyton Manning out there, making checks at the line and letting us go fight for the ball in man coverage.”
PV’s rushing attack was tough to stop again as well. Beau Clafton scored two touchdowns to go with his 67 yards on just three carries.
Kolt Munoz, a transfer from Volcano Vista, also scored a rushing touchdown for PV.
Leading 41-0 at halftime, Piedra Vista used its second string offense on the final two drives of the game with the clock running.
Stratton Waller got a bulk of the carries for the Panthers, rushing for 76 yards on seven carries as he lowered his shoulder and powered through the Bernalillo defense.
Freshman quarterback Ryan Montoya got the game-winning score on a three-yard touchdown run up the middle halfway through the fourth quarter.
Leading 54-0, the Panthers got the win via mercy rule.
“We never want to mercy rule a team. We weren’t trying to run up the score or anything,” Howell said. “We were running straight up the middle. I know coach (Ken) Noel probably doesn’t think that was the case, but it was nice for us to see the junior varsity guys be successful because the last couple of games they moved the ball backward.”
To go along with Martinez’s two interceptions, linebacker Kason Wilkinson also recovered a fumble in Bernalillo territory on the Spartans’ first drive of the third quarter.
PV committed just one penalty all night, a holding call that did negate a Ryan Rino touchdown run.
But overall, there wasn’t much Howell could complain about.
The game was played in front of the biggest crowd at Hutchison Stadium PV has seen in years.
“The crowd was outstanding. It is awesome to win your homecoming game, but it was even better to win it with the love and support the crowd gave us,” Valdez said.
With a 6-0 record, PV now faces a bye week before hosting No. 7 St. Pius X, which fell 21-13 to No. 12 Farmington on Friday night.
“Whenever a team from your district goes and plays somebody, you want to do better than they did to send a message,” Martinez said. “With Farmington beating Pius, it is definitely more important of a game, though every game the rest of the year will be our biggest game of the season.”
Howell is happy to have the bye week to rest his players. He also knows it is the perfect opportunity for his coaches to see a lot of the competition the Panthers face the rest of the year with Aztec hosting St. Pius next Friday and Farmington playing down the road at Bloomfield.
“The coaches will be doing a lot of scouting. It gives us a great chance to get eye balls on people,” Howell said. “Film is great, but there is nothing like seeing a team live. We will take advantage of that.”