KIRTLAND — After a big play to start off for Kirtland Central, Durango High dominated the Broncos.
The Demons blew out KCHS 42-7 Friday night at Bronco Stadium.
"They were more physical than us. No doubt about it," said KCHS head coach Kevin Graham. "They came out and hit and hit and hit. We didn't match the hits. They just outplayed us -- no excuses."
The Broncos came out firing on offense as Rashaan Sorrelhorse hit Christian Mackey on a 71-yard touchdown pass on Kirtland's first play of the game to give the Broncos a 7-0 lead.
"We did a little play action pass, and they bit hard on the run," Graham said. "It was pretty. We had the momentum, and that's what we wanted to do."
Durango head coach David Vogt said his team was just a little too anxious on defense at the start of the game.
"We were just too aggressive coming out on that first play, and we bit on the run," Vogt said. "That will be a good learning experience for us."
The Demons settled in after the Kirtland touchdown and scored 42 unanswered points thanks to a strong running attack.
Durango running back Tyler Worley capped off an 8-play, 65-yard drive with a 3-yard touchdown run to tie the game.
Worley finished the game with yards on the ground.
"We have to establish the run. That needs to be our goal every game," Vogt said. "We calmed down after that first score."
The Demons took their first lead of the game on the next drive when Casey Dunlap took a fake punt 48 yards for a touchdown with just over four minutes left in the first quarter.
After the Broncos missed a field goal, Durango expanded its lead to 21-7 on a 56-yard touchdown run by Lawrence Mayberry.
Mayberry joined Worley in breaking the century mark on the ground for the Demons with 130 rushing yards.
Graham said the missed tackles for the Broncos on defense led to the big plays by Durango.
"The first thing we'll work on is tackling, tackling and tackling some more," he said. "On offense, we have to execute, stay on blocks and move people out of the way."
The Broncos offense struggled most of the game, turning the ball over four times.
The Demons cashed immediately after the first turnover, as quarterback Hayden Sill found Dunlap on a 24-yard touchdown pass as time expired in the first quarter to give Durango a 28-7 lead.
Durango scored again at the end of the second quarter on a touchdown run by Isiah Mayberry to take a 35-7 lead into the locker room.
Graham didn't like his team's answer to Durango's physical play in the opening two quarters.
"We didn't respond in the first half. We came out in the second half and met the challenge a little better," he said.
Despite the better effort from the Broncos, Durango scored once more to start the fourth quarter when Jeremy Szura hit Daniel Gustavson on a 1-yard touchdown pass.
After scoring the opening touchdown for KCHS, Mackey sat out the final three quarters with an undisclosed injury. Graham said his availability will be reevaluated following the Broncos' bye week.
KCHS will be off next Friday and will take the extra week to prepare for Los Alamos in two weeks.
Graham expects his team to fight back after the tough loss and come back with a better effort.
"Football is a lot like life, not every day is going to be easy and not every day is going to be smooth," he said. "It's the man who steps up and overcomes some adversity who will be successful in life and football. I love these kids. They play their hearts out and do everything we ask of them."John Livingston can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org; 505-564-4577. Follow him on Twitter @jperrysuu.