FARMINGTON — Beau Clafton was a one-man highlight reel on Friday night as Piedra Vista picked up its second win of the season.
No. 6 Piedra Vista took down Grants 47-21 to move to 2-0 in the season. Clafton had 289 total yards and four touchdowns on 19 touches in the game. He was also 2-for-3 kicking field goals and had an interception on defense.
"Beau is obviously a special player," said PV head coach Jared Howell. "When you give him the ball, he is a legitimate threat to take it all the way every single time."
PV quarterback Isaiah Valdez had no problem finding Clafton through the air as he hit Clafton for three touchdown passes in the game. Valdez was 11-13 passing with 226 yards in the first half before finishing 19-26 for 352 yards.
"Isaiah was hot in the first half. Absolutely on fire," Clafton said. "He is showing what a three-year starter should do."
PV scored quickly in the game, going 61 yards in just three plays before Valdez hit Clafton on a 26-yard touchdown pass.
Grants answered back with a three-play, 44-yard drive ending with a 44-yard touchdown run by quarterback Cassius Corley, a New Mexico State University commit.
Corley finished the game 15-35 passing with 179 yards and two touchdowns to wide receiver Jacob Willcox. Piedra Vista held Grants to 116 rushing yards in the game, most of which went to Corley.
"We knew (Corley) could run. I coach track, too, and watched him and know how fast he is," Howell said. "It took us awhile to figure out after he made some plays against us, but we kept him from totally taking over. Good athletes will make plays, but you have to make sure they don't take the game over."
PV went up 14-7 just five minutes into the first quarter when Valdez capped off a five-play, 70-yard drive with a three-yard run that was set up by a long 30-yard pass completion to Sean Reed. Reed emerged as a solid tight end for PV with a pair of catches for 56 yards.
The Panthers took a 21-7 lead late in the first quarter when Valdez hit Clafton on a 21-yard touchdown pass over the middle of the field.
"We knew Grants would bring their safeties down toward the line and blitz them," Valdez said. "The offensive line did a great job picking up the blitz and we knew we could go to Beau all day. Shaun Reed also stepped up going over the middle of the field. We knew we could throw a lot if they blitzed. They did, so we did."
The second quarter was mostly scoreless until Clafton broke a 41-yard touchdown run to give PV a 28-7 lead going into halftime.
Grants head coach Nic Williams said his defense simply couldn't contain Clafton and Valdez.
"Coach Howell had those guys ready to go. We knew coming into this game those guys would be a test, and they definitely gave us 100 percent," Williams said. "PV gave us problems. It was a big home win for them and a big loss for us on the road."
Out of the gates, PV scored on a four-play, 68-yard drive thanks to a 20-yard Ryan Rino touchdown run.
A muffed punt by the Panthers set up Grants for its second score as Corley hit Willcox on a 4th down touchdown pass. But four minutes later Clafton was in the end zone again on a 26-yard pass from Valdez.
Clafton tacked on a 31-yard field goal and then a 27-yard field goal to help PV wrap up the victory.
Though PV won in convincing fashion, 17 penalties were assessed to the Panthers worth 150 yards.
"We were sloppy in that fourth quarter, and I wish that wouldn't have happened," Howell said. "We need to do more work. Penalties will beat you in closer games."
Grants (1-1) will turn around and travel to Bloomfield (1-1) next Friday while the Panthers will travel for the first time this season when they face Durango (2-0).
"I hear they have a great quarterback. We go into every game as if we are playing one of the best teams. We will have to break down film and have a great week of practice before we see what they have Friday," Valdez said.
John Livingston covers sports for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4648 or jlivingston@daily-times. Follow him on Twitter @jlivi2.