FARMINGTON — A rare Thursday night football game this week features two of the top teams in the Four Corners.
Farmington High (3-0) hosts Durango High (3-0) in a showdown of unbeaten teams tonight at Hutchison Stadium in Farmington.
"It is going to be a great night. There is nothing wrong with watching football on a Thursday night and going to work on Friday, or take Friday off," said Farmington High head coach Gary Bradley. "I think the whole town should just take a long weekend and start it with Thursday night football."
Both teams have gotten out to quick starts this year. Durango has beat its opponents by a combined score of 131-24 while Farmington has outscored its opposition 136-20.
FHS, which is ranked No. 4 in the MaxPreps.com poll and No. 5 in the NMPreps.com poll, is coming off a 47-14 victory in its home opener against Miyamura, while the Demons beat Piedra Vista 35-3 last week.
"Durango made some plays in that game. They had two interceptions for touchdowns. Those guys really fly around the field," Bradley said. "It looks like they have a lot of fun getting after it. I don't know if they took PV by surprise or not. It is not my place to say, but they did look aggressive."
Offensively, Durango was led by senior running back Tyler Worley in last week's win. In 2012, Worley torched the Scorpions for 208 yards and four touchdowns in a 25-28 win for the Demons.
"Regardless of who we are playing, if we don't stop the run game, then the passing game opens up a lot better," Bradley said. "We can't focus on just one person, because Durango's quarterback (Jeremy Szura) is a great athlete who can beat you throwing it or running it."
Last year's game was a sloppy contest as the two teams combined for double-digit turnovers. Farmington High turned the ball over six times in that contest. The Demons also doubled up the Scorpions in time of possession, controlling the ball for more than 30 minutes while FHS possessed it for less than 15 minutes.
"That was a hard game to have any rhythm offensively," Bradley said. "We had a few big plays, and we played hard and tough. It just didn't work out because all of the turnovers."
Durango now has a new head coach, David Vogt, who has already greatly improved the Demons. The Demons believe they can continue that early success this week.
"We're a hungry team. We're going to want to keep fighting," Durango linebacker Caleb Lloyd said to The Durango Herald after last week's win against Piedra Vista. "We're going to stay hungry. That's just who we are."
The two teams will look to grind out a win with their ground game as both have a stable of running backs who can all go for over 100 yards.
Brian Farley leads the way for the Scorpions. Farley had three touchdowns and 129 yards on just seven carries a week ago against Miyamura. Austin Foutz also had a big game, contributing with a touchdown run and an interception return for a touchdown on defense.
The Scorps also received big special teams contributions, including a blocked field goal by Foutz and a kick return for a touchdown by Kyle Reynolds, who also caught a 70-yard touchdown pass on offense in the game.
The key for the Scorps will be limiting Durango's ability to run up the middle while keeping Szura in the pocked. Szura completed just one pass last week against Piedra Vista, and he was 8-of-15 passing for 116 yards and an interception last year against the Scorps.
Thursday's forecast is clear, and Bradley hopes that will bring more fans out for the big game.
"I don't know if the weather last week scared some people off, but it looks clear this week, and we hope to see everyone out there," Bradley said.
John Livingston covers sports for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4648.