What: Española Valley at Kirtland Central
When: 7 p.m. Friday
Where: Bronco Stadium
KIRTLAND — Kirtland Central came out after its bye week looking refreshed in a victory over Los Alamos.
The Broncos controlled the Hilltoppers throughout most of the contest in a 27-9 win on Friday night at Bronco Stadium.
"It shows what our team is about and how far we've come," said KCHS quarterback Jacob Flack, who threw two touchdowns in the victory.
Flack and Rashaan Sorrelhorse split time at the quarterback position during the game, and Bronco head coach Kevin Graham said both players will play important roles for the team going forward.
"Jacob had a good game when he came in against Durango in mop up duty and impressed us, so we wanted to go with the hot hand," Graham said. "They are both quality quarterbacks and will both play a lot."
Neither team was able to generate much offense early with the first five drives ending in punts and the next four resulting in turnovers.
The Hilltoppers (1-3) were on the verge of punching home the opening touchdown early in the second quarter, but KCHS defensive back Rashad Jones intercepted Los Alamos quarterback Brice Van Etten at the 1-yard line.
"We bend a little bit, but we don't break. Those goal line stands are big, and it doesn't get better than that," Graham said.
The Broncos offense responded to the defensive stand with a 12-play, 99-yard drive capped by a 28-yard touchdown pass from Flack to Christian Mackey to give KCHS a 6-0 lead.
Jones intercepted Van Etten again on the next drive, then scored the Broncos' second touchdown on a 21-yard pass from Flack to give the Broncos a 14-0 lead following the two-point conversion with 40 seconds left in the first half.
Poor offensive execution plagued the Hilltoppers through the first half, resulting in four interceptions. Los Alamos head coach Garett Williams said that has been a problem all season for his team.
"Offensively, we haven't executed well enough to sustain drives, and we haven't put the kind of points on the board that I think we're capable of," Williams said. "We've got to get that fixed before we can win football games."
Kirtland (2-1) came out of the halftime break and scored on its first drive, moving 72 yards down the field before Sorrelhorse punched in a 1-yard touchdown run.
"They were running right at us. They've got big strong kids, and we didn't stop it," Williams said.
Los Alamos was able to get on the board late in the third quarter when Flack was sacked in the end zone for a safety.
The Hilltoppers followed up the safety with a 4-yard touchdown pass from Van Etten to Tyler Thorn to trim the Broncos' lead to 21-9.
That was as close as Los Alamos would get, though, as KCHS salted the game away late in the fourth quarter on a 29-yard touchdown run by Keishaun Aspaas.
Aspaas combined with Jacob Belin and Bryceson Arthur for 200 yards on 21 carries in the victory.
"All three are going to start, and they're never coming off the field on defense, so they've got to be that three-headed monster on offense," Graham said of the trio. "They've got to be unselfish, block for each other and not care who gets the ball."
The Broncos will look to build on this win heading into next week's homecoming game against Española Valley.
"It gives us confidence, but we've got to come back even harder next week during homecoming against Española," Mackey said.