Friday high school football roundup: Farmington opens season with historic win over Roswell

Steven Bortstein
Farmington Daily Times
Farmington Scorpions prepare to take the field before a game at Hutchison Stadium.

ROSWELL — For the first time in more than 70 years, the Farmington Scorpions picked up a win over Roswell, crushing the Coyotes by a final of 42-6 at the Wool Bowl in Roswell.

The Class 5A champions in 2018 and 2019 fell behind late in the first quarter, thanks to heads-up special teams play by the Scorpions and an aggressive defense that kept Roswell off-balance.

"Our defense showed up all night, and they helped our offense find its time and rhythm," said coach Jeff Dalton after the win. "They did almost as much scoring as we did."

Since 1950, Farmington had never defeated Roswell in eight prior meetings, so this was a meaningful win for a program coming off a 5-0 abbreviated season last spring and looking to make a statement this season.

"It was a little extra motivation for us, that's for sure," Dalton said. "We wanted to embrace all of that because that's what it will take for us to maintain a championship level."

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Brody Stockham and Christian Baca played key roles for the Scorpions defensively while quarterbacks Brandon Furbee and Trel Griego complimented each other well in separate points during the decisive win.

Kayden Gonzalez and Luis Gonzalez, both defensive backs for the Scorpions (1-0), had big nights as well.

"They just blocked down receivers and the defensive line kept Roswell from running the ball, which is what they wanted to do," Dalton said.

The Scorpions, ranked 5th in the state according to MaxPreps, will be home this Friday night to face the Belen Eagles, who will be playing their first game of the season.

"We got to get all the rust off in this one, so that gives us a little advantage against (Belen)," Dalton said. "They're well coached and we know they'll give us a challenge."   

Los Lunas 42, Piedra Vista 0

The Los Lunas Tigers showed why they're considered one of the top teams in the state of New Mexico in Class 5A football with a resounding 42-0 win Friday night on the road over Piedra Vista.

The 7th ranked (MaxPreps) Tigers took advantage of several Panther miscues, including five turnovers, while junior quarterback Paul Cieremans electrified the offense with a pair of throwing touchdowns as well as a pair of scores on the ground.

"Turnovers will get you every time," said Panthers coach Jared Howell after the game. "We made more mistakes by far. It's hard to overcome that and it's hard to keep teams off the board when you keep turning it over."

The Tigers opened the scoring late in the first quarter after a Piedra Vista muffed punt attempt gave Los Lunas the ball inside the red zone, which three plays later resulted in a touchdown run by Keven Munoz.

The Tigers added to their lead twice before the end of the first half, both times off turnovers.

Piedra Vista wide receiver Hunter Schwartz splits defenders and pulls down a pass from quarterback Logan Howell in the first quarter of their game against Los Lunas, Friday, August 20 at Hutchison Stadium

Cieremans took advantage of a short field after a Panther fumble, four plays later scoring on a QB keeper from 12 yards out right before the 2-minute mark. 

The final 90 seconds of the first half was the deal breaker. After losing yards on three consecutive plays following the ensuing kickoff, the Tigers found themselves in scoring position once again late in the quarter. Cieremans, on a third down from the Panther 35-yard line, scampered away from defenders after the offensive line broke down and scored his second touchdown of the game, making it 21-0.

"If we're not turning the ball over, I think it's a different game," Howell said. "Even if we're not scoring, if we can prevent the mistakes, we're at least in the game."

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Los Lunas (1-0) scored three more times in the second half as the Panthers continued to struggle to maintain drives, turning the ball over twice on turnovers and once on downs.

For the Tigers and first year head coach Greg Henington, the win was a valuable lesson.

"Defensively, we played lights out, but offensively we have some things to work on," Henington said. "I think we made some steps in the right direction in confidence and attitude."

The Panthers (0-1) will look to bounce back on Friday when they visit Valley High, also looking for their first win after a season-opening loss to Sandia 47-13.

Silver 28, Kirtland Central 21

Despite three touchdowns on the night for new starting quarterback Kragen Cadman, the Kirtland Central Broncos fell in their home opener at Bill Cawood Field 28-21 to Silver.

The Broncos defense struggled from time to time slowing down the Fighting Colts offense, which slugged it out for most of the game.

"Our offense is definitely ahead of our defense right now," said Broncos head coach Jeff Schaum. "Everything that didn't go well seemed to happen last night, but they're all things that can be worked on."  

Kirtland Central running back Zakk Thomas pushes along for yardage while being tackled by Silver defensive back Anthony Rico in their game on Friday, August 20, 2021 at Bill Cawood Field

Cadman ran for a pair of Bronco touchdowns and also threw a touchdown in the loss while Zakk Thomas contributed on both sides of the ball, playing both at the running back and linebacker positions.

"I was impressed with what we did, considering where we were when we first got started a month ago," Schaum said.

The Broncos (0-1) will hit the road and face St. Pius Saturday at 1 p.m., while Silver (1-0) will be on the road again Friday night to face Hatch Valley.

Bloomfield 29, St. Pius X 26

The Bloomfield Bobcats came away with a big win over St. Pius X, Friday night at home with a 29-26 opening night triumph.

The Bobcats (1-0) haven't faced the Sartans since the 2018 state semifinal game which the Bobcats won 15-6 to advance to the Class 4A finals, so the win did have some meaning for coach Mike Kovacs.

"Definitely, considering our history this was a big night for us," Kovacs said after the win.

Kovacs was quick to praise running back Diego Snell-Martinez (11 carries for 87 yards) for his contributions on the field.

"That was a great running game he had," Kovacs said of Snell-Martinez. "He took a lot of pressure off the passing game."

That allowed quarterback Ryan Sharpe to have a good night mixing up the offensive playcalling. Sharpe finished the night completing 14 of 30 passes for 171 yards.

"(Sharpe) did well both through the air and on the ground," Kovacs said. "When the offense is working like that, it makes everything click."

The game was in doubt midway through the fourth quarter with St. Pius leading before the Bobcat defense got a key stop, giving the Bobcats time to put together a winning drive.

Bloomfield will be in action Saturday at Hope Christian while St. Pius (0-1) will look for their first win of the season Saturday at home against Kirtland Central (0-1).

Miyamura 28, Aztec 24

In a tale of two halves, the Miyamura Patriots escaped Aztec's Fred Cook Memorial Stadium with a 28-24 win Friday night, opening the season on the right note for the Patriots.

The Tigers fell behind early and had to play catch-up for the entire second half according to coach Eric Stovall. The Tigers did rally thanks to two onside kick recoveries that put them in a position for a game-winning drive but the rally fell short as time expired. 

"This one is on me," Stovall said after the game. "I have to do a better job to make sure we're prepared for situations like this one."

The Tigers (0-1) will look to get into the win column this Friday when they host Montezuma-Cortez in what will be their season opener.

Pojoaque Valley 52, Shiprock 0

The Pojoaque Valley Elks made short work of the Shiprock Chieftains Friday night, scoring a decisive 52-0 win at Shiprock to open the season.

The Chieftains (0-1) will look for their first win of the young season when they host Crownpoint on Friday while the Elks will look to improve their season start when they host Santa Fe Indian School.

Navajo Prep 53, Monument Valley, Utah 0

The Navajo Prep Eagles jumped out to a fast start, scoring 40 points in the first quarter of their season opener on their way to a 53-0 opening win at home over Monument Valley, Utah.

The Eagles (1-0) will be back in action Friday night when they hit the road to face Wingate.

Steve Bortstein can be reached via email at SBortstein@Gannett.com, via Twitter @DTSBortstein or on the phone at (505) 635-2680