Bloomfield outscores Hope Christian 36-27; Kirtland Central falls to St. Pius X 41-34

Steven Bortstein
Farmington Daily Times
Bloomfield quarterback Ryan Sharpe (10) gets past Hope Christian defenders Logan Saul (23) and Zach Lapierre (74) for a touchdown in the third quarter of their game, Saturday, August 29 at Milne Stadium in Albuquerque

ALBUQUERQUE — Bloomfield quarterback Ryan Sharpe had a big day through the air and on the ground, leading the Bobcats to a hard-fought 36-27 victory over Hope Christian in a rain-shortened game at Milne Stadium in Albuquerque.

The Bobcats, behind a pair of passing touchdowns as well as a couple of rushing scores from their junior quarterback, improve to 2-0 on the season with the win.

The game featured several momentum-changing plays early as the teams combined for 32 first quarter points before Bloomfield outscored the Huskies 21-10 the rest of the way.

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The game was called with 2 minutes, 38 seconds remaining on the clock when heavy rain and lightning interrupted the contest, first causing a delay before officials called the game about 30 minutes later.

Bloomfield, protecting a 9-point lead at the time of the delay, had the ball and were in the middle of a long offensive series that had chewed up several minutes on the clock.

Drew Perez also had a big game for the Bobcats, taking back a first quarter kickoff for a score and hauling in a 70-yard touchdown pass from Sharpe in the second quarter which proved to be the game-winning score.

The Bobcats led by as much as 17 points going into the fourth quarter when the Huskies cut into the lead. Styles Vigil scored a touchdown from 10 yards out, followed by a successful 2-point conversion play that gave the Huskies a bit of hope for a comeback.

On the ensuing possession and with the Bobcats facing 4th and 16 from inside their own 20 yard line, Sharpe lined up to punt with 7 minutes left. Instead, he faked the punt and found wide receiver Matthias Deherra wide open down the right sideline for a first down past midfield.

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The Bobcats, ranked second in the state in Class 4A (MaxPreps) ran the ball and the clock from that point on, featuring Diego Snell-Martinez picking up a pair of first downs as well as Sharpe, who kept the ball for a pair of designed quarterback sneaks. The rain, which had been intermittent earlier in the quarter, became increasingly heavier as time wore on. Lightning strikes in the area forced the game to be delayed before eventually being called.

Bloomfield's Marc Armenta (12) intercepts a pass from Hope Christian quarterback James Jenkins intended for Logan Saul (23) in the third quarter, Saturday, August 28 at Milne Stadium in Albuquerque.

The Huskies (1-1) got solid performances from quarterback James Jenkins, who scored both on the ground and through the air. Jenkins also paired with Vigil for a passing touchdown in the first quarter while also throwing a pair of interceptions in the contest.

Bloomfield will be on the road Friday at 7 p.m. to face Grants. Originally, the game was listed as being a home contest for the Bobcats on both the New Mexico Activities Association website as well as both the Bloomfield and Grants pages at MaxPreps. Bloomfield athletic director Ben Tensay and head coach Mike Kovacs stated on Monday morning that the game was indeed being played at Grants High School.

The Pirates (1-1) are coming off a 40-8 victory over Gallup. 

ST. PIUS X 41, Kirtland Central 34

Running back Marco Ybarra's 5-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter preserved the Sartans 41-34 win over Kirtland Central at Nusenda Community Stadium in Albuquerque on Saturday. 

The Sartans (1-1) led the Broncos for much of the game after both teams traded scores in the first quarter.

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Ybarra, who scored three touchdowns in the game, was simply too much for the Broncos (0-2) defense, which gave up more than 200 yards on the ground in the contest.

In addition to finishing the scoring for the Sartans, Ybarra started it as well, scoring from 66-yards out on their opening drive to give St. Pius a 7-0 lead.

The Broncos answered right back, when running back Nick Cambridge scored from 5 yards out, the culmination of a long drive which featured big plays from running back Zakk Thomas and wide receiver Jeremy Barber. The extra point attempt following that Bronco touchdown failed, leaving the Sartans with a 1-point lead.

The Sartans, leading 21-14 at the half, extended their margin in the third quarter when Dominic Esparza took the second half opening kickoff 80 yards for a score and a 14-point lead.

The Broncos answered back midway through the quarter when quarterback Kragen Cadman snuck up the middle for a 2-yard touchdown. That score was aided by a big play earlier in the drive from wide receiver Ethan Russsell which set up the eventual touchdown.

Ybarra erased whatever momentum the Broncos might have had at that point. With 3 minutes remaining in the third quarter, Ybarra broke free for a 50-yard touchdown run, his second of the game, which put St. Pius up 35-20.

The Broncos fourth quarter rally got them within a point of tying the game, thanks to a pair of scores from Thomas, both through the air as well as on the ground. His 75-yard score midway in the final quarter cut the lead to just 1 point.

With St. Pius leading 35-34 and the Broncos needing a successful 2-point conversion opportunity to take the lead, a running play failed to cross the goal line, preserving the Sartans lead.

Needing a stop as the clock wore down, the Broncos simply couldn't come up with the big play defensively as the Sartans ran the ball as time wore on, leading to Ybarra's victory-sealing score.  

Kirtland Central will be back in action Friday when they visit Taos to face the Tigers (0-2). Both teams will be in search of their first victory of the season with Taos most recently losing at Los Alamos by a final of 35-24.

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