BLOOMFIELD — The Bloomfield defense just couldn't find a way to slow down Kirtland Central's Keishaun Aspaas.
The sophomore running back ran for 143 yards and two touchdown as the Broncos knocked off Bloomfield 25-14 at Bobcat Stadium.
"I was just focused all week on preparing for this game," Aspaas said.
Aspaas helped KCHS (6-1) strike first when he scored a three-yard touchdown run to give the Broncos a 6-0 lead late in the first quarter. Aspaas accounted for 70 of the 71 yards for KCHS on the five-play drive.
Both defenses settled in after the opening score, and neither team really gained any momentum until late in the second quarter.
After the Broncos' defense forced a Bloomfield turnover on fourth down around midfield, KCHS marched down the field for a second touchdown when quarterback Rashaan Sorrelhorse scored from nine yards out with 3:05 left in the second quarter.
Sorrelhorse was efficient through the air as well for the Broncos, completing 9-of-13 for 108 yards.
"He's our leader out there, and both those guys do a really good job," said KCHS head coach Kevin Graham of his quarterbacks Sorrelhorse and Jacob Flack. "Sorrelhorse might have had the hot hand tonight, but Flack didn't do anything wrong and was steady."
Kirtland tacked on a 31-yard field goal from Karson Costner as time expired in the first half, giving the Broncos a 15-0 lead heading into the locker room.
The Bobcats (4-3) finally started to click on offense early in the third quarter.
Quarterback Robert Lyon hit wide receiver Tytis Nez on a 31-yard touchdown pass, and then Lyon and Nez connected again on the two-point conversion to cut Kirtland's lead to 15-8.
The Broncos extended their lead on the first play of the fourth quarter when Costner kicked a 35-yard field goal to cap an 11-play drive.
"He's a tremendous weapon and a special athlete," Graham said of his kicker.
The Bobcats replied quickly with a 73-yard touchdown from Lyon to Nez. Nez had four receptions for 149 yards in the loss, before leaving the game late in the fourth quarter with a leg injury.
Aspaas scored for a second time in the game to seal the win, running in from four yards out with 2:31 left in the game.
The Broncos finished with 225 yards rushing as a team against the Bloomfield defense.
The KCHS defense limited the Bloomfield rushing attack to nine yards on 10 carries as the Bobcats sat star running back Adrian Vigil with a knee injury.
"Anytime you can't run the ball, it's not good," said Bloomfield head coach Bruce Hatch. "It definitely makes things tough. We had other problems though with dropped passes and misread plays."
Penalties were another problem for Bloomfield. The Bobcats had eight for 92 yards while KCHS committed five penalties for 46 yards.
Lyon struggled throwing the ball for the Bobcats, completing just 13 of 34 for 269 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.
"Our defense has been playing really, really good for several weeks now. I keep stressing running to the football and getting eight or nine men around the ball," Graham said. "As long as we keep doing that, we'll be OK, and we'll be able to compete with some people."
Both the Broncos and Bobcats will begin district play next Friday.
KCHS opens with Piedra Vista (5-2) before facing Farmington and Aztec.
"It's always a tough district with those three teams," Aspaas said. "We just have to come out and play hard. It will be exciting."
Hatch hopes his team can stay healthy as their district season begins with a trip to Thoreau (5-2).
"We've got to get back on track," he said. "We have to get ready for the playoffs, these last two games have hurt us. We'll keep battling, and we'll be all right."Joshua Perry can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org; 505-564-4577. Follow him on Twitter @jperrysuu.