Farmington's offense fires on all cylinders as Scorps top KCHS 63-26

Jake Newby The Daily Times
The Daily Times

KIRTLAND — The visiting Farmington football team couldn't be stopped through the air or on the ground Friday night, and the Scorpions steamrolled Kirtland Central 63-26 at Bronco Stadium.

Farmington quarterback Kody Becenti went 16 for 29 for 218 yards and three touchdowns through the air. He added six carries for 85 yards and a fourth TD on the ground.

Also on the ground, sophomore running back Axel Fowler shredded the Kirtland defense for 184 yards and three touchdowns.

First-year FHS coach Jeff Dalton said he thought his offense played about as well as it could have.

"In all aspects, the offense was phenomenal tonight," he said. "The run game was great, the pass game was efficient. I think we spread the ball around a little more tonight than we did in week one."

Farmington was the far better team in the first quarter, totaling 124 yards rushing and two touchdowns on offense, while the Scorpion defense forced Kirtland to punt twice.

Fowler capped off Farmington's two first-quarter drives with a pair of 1-yard rushing scores to make it 14-0.

Kirtland came alive in a major way, though, midway through the second quarter.

Senior running back Keishaun Aspaas put an exclamation point on a 10-play drive with a tough 6-yard rushing touchdown to cut Farmington's lead in half.

The Broncos then stunned Farmington by attempting and recovering an onside kick, then connecting on a 44-yard TD through the air from Bryson Dowdy to Riley Hamblin on the first play from scrimmage.

KC scored twice in a span of nine seconds. The whirlwind turn of events tied the game at 14 and gave Kirtland coach Greg Jenks and his team an emotional boost. But Jenks' defense just couldn't hold up in the second half.

"We definitely got a little momentum going with the two quick scores," he said. "We couldn't get a pass rush tonight — that was the main problem. (Becenti) sat back there way too comfortably."

Farmington would answer with two more scores before the half, courtesy of Diego Elebario.

The dynamic quarterback-turned-receiver caught a 53-yard touchdown pass from Becenti at the 6:16 mark of the second quarter to break the tie.

Then, on a slow-rolling punt just four minutes later, Elebario scooped up the ball, shed a few weak arm-tackle attempts, and cut across the right side of the field en route to a 93-yard touchdown return.

The Scorpions converted a two-point attempt and took a 29-14 lead into halftime.

Despite the 15-point advantage, Dalton expressed concern over the 17 penalties his team committed in the first half.

"That's something that will be addressed," Dalton said. "We have a lot of growing up to do. We have a lot of young guys playing that haven't necessarily dealt with the emotional part of the game before. They didn't handle their emotions well at some points."

Farmington kept its momentum going when junior Donovan Gonzalez returned the second half kickoff 72 yards for a touchdown to put the Scorps up by 22.

On Kirtland's next drive, Dowdy threw his second interception of the game, right into the hands of senior Cruz Dubick.

Dowdy struggled on Friday, throwing two touchdown passes — but completing only five passes total — while throwing two interceptions.

"Bryce is a kid that's just a sophomore," Jenks said. "He's young, and we believe he'll get better every week."

The Scorpions put the game away midway through the third quarter with a seven-play, 55-yard scoring drive. The five-and-a-half minute drive was capped by a 14-yard touchdown pass from Becenti to Dubick to make the score 43-14.

Dalton praised Becenti for his stellar game and management of the Scorpion offense.

"Kody's a kid that grew up a lot last week and that showed tonight," he said. "Last week was his first varsity start. The focus right now — not just for Kody, but for everybody — is to just get a little bit better each day."

Kirtland would add two late touchdowns to give its offense something to build on for next week. Aspaas caught a 27-yard over-the-shoulder touchdown and Avery Washburn ran one in from 6 yards out.

Jenks said Aspaas' shiftiness and ability to pick up big chunks of yardage were bright spots.

"I remember watching (Aspaas) play a few years ago when I was with Farmington and just thinking 'Why doesn't this kid play more?'" Jenks said. "We know he has that kind of ability."

Now 0-2 on the young season, KC will look to pick up its first win against Aztec (0-2) Friday in its first road game. The 2-0 Scorpions will host 0-2 Belen in their home opener.

Jake Newby covers sports for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577 and Follow him @JakeNewby07 on Twitter.