FARMINGTON – Picture a speedy defensive front, but it turns out it’s only the first blockade.

One gets past the line of scrimmage, only to encounter fast linebackers, the second blockade. If the ball carrier makes it past that point, a quick secondary – the third blockade – is there to take care of business.

That’s what opposing offenses must contend with against the Farmington Scorpions’ defense in 2017, a faster unit front to back.

“It’ll wear out the offense very fast, and we’ll definitely keep going,” senior defensive tackle Austin Bordy said. “We’ll do everything we can (to keep the tempo high). We’ll keep up with anybody, and we’ll be able to get into the backfield faster.”

And as long all 11 communicate with each other and are ready for their respective assignments, the Scorpions expect their defense will help carry a team that’s lost some key pieces of its offense from last year.

“I want to have a solid defense. I want to make sure we know what we’re doing every down,” senior inside linebacker Austin Cahoon said. “Once I tell (the defensive linemen) what’s happening, whether it’s a run or pass, they’ll be able to choose and be able to figure out what’s happening and go their hardest.”

Bordy, who missed all of 2016 after injuring his Achilles tendon, said he’d like the defensive line be more aggressive in reading opposing backs quickly and increasing tackles that way. He is seeing some encouraging signs, though.

“They get that first step off really well, and they’ll keep going until the whistle,” Bordy said.

Coach Jeff Dalton said he hopes Farmington (5-6-1 last season, 4-1 in District 1-5A play) can overwhelm opponents with its speed on defense, track down the ball quickly and have an easier time with tackling.

“We feel like we can play some simple schemes with the athletes we have, let these guys fly around,” Dalton said. “Field position’s everything for an offense. Our defense getting stops is going to be crucial, not letting other teams wear us down with long drives. We feel like we have seven or eight guys that can run with anybody. Hopefully, we can stay a little fresher into the fourth quarter.”

Key returners on defense include Cahoon, Bordy, senior outside linebacker Justin Williams, senior free safety Ethan Todd, senior defensive back Jacob Brown.

“We’re two-deep at every position, which is really fortunate for us,” Dalton said.

The Scorpions will open 2017 against cross-town rival Piedra Vista at 7 p.m. Friday at Hutchison Stadium.

Matt Hollinshead covers sports for the Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577.