Bloomfield edges clear late to hand Albuquerque Academy first loss of football season

Steven Bortstein
Farmington Daily Times
Bloomfield running back Jesse Seitzinger finds open space between Albuquerque Academy defenders and breaks free for a first quarter touchdown, Friday, Sept. 10 at Bobcat Stadium.

BLOOMFIELD — Homecoming night was also a victory celebration for the Bloomfield Bobcats, who slugged it out early with Albuquerque Academy before earning a 35-21 win at Bobcat Stadium. 

Meantime, emphatic victories for Farmington over Aztec and from Piedra Vista over Kirtland Central, as well as a stinging loss by Shiprock at the hands of Bernalillo, headlined a busy fourth week of the high school football schedule.  

Here's a look back at the prep football scoreboard.

BLOOMFIELD 35, Albuquerque Academy 21

Quarterback Ryan Sharpe threw for three touchdowns and the Bobcats defense came up big in the right moments to propel Bloomfield to a 35-21 homecoming night victory Friday over Albuquerque Academy.

With the game very much in the balance at four minutes remaining in the fourth quarter and Bloomfield leading 22-21, Chargers quarterback Andres Rivera threw an interception to Jeremiah Sandoval, who returned the errant pass 34 yards for the game-breaking score. Bloomfield tacked on one more score in the final minutes to add to the margin of victory. 

Albuquerque Academy receiver Tyler Wilson muscles his way past a group of Bloomfield defenders on his way to a first quarter touchdown, Friday, Sept. 10 at Bobcat Stadium.

The win, which keeps Bloomfield (4-0) unbeaten this season, was a good reality check for how tough the road ahead may be for the Bobcats, currently ranked second in Class 4A in both the state coaches poll as well as on MaxPreps.

"We wanted a great test, and that's a really good team against us tonight," said coach Mike Kovacs after the win. "We needed to be punched in the mouth and see how we'd respond and I thought we did well."

Bloomfield vs. Albuquerque Academy: Live blog from our Daily Times game of the week

Both teams exchanged scoring drives for much of the first half, with the Chargers (3-1) getting two touchdown strikes from Rivera to wide receiver Tyler Wilson while Bloomfield countered with a couple big plays of their own, opening the scoring a with a 55-yard touchdown run from Jesse Seitzinger in the first quarter followed by the first of three Sharpe touchdown passes and one of two on the night to Marc Armenta, the first of which tied the game at 14.

"Our offense wasn't clicking right away, but we finally got the motor turning and (Armenta) is such a big part of that," said Sharpe after the game.

Defensively, Bloomfield had some early challenges bringing down some of the Chargers bigger players, especially Wilson, who shredded through Bobcat defenders for his first touchdown reception and played havoc with their secondary.

Bloomfield vs. Albuquerque Academy in battle of unbeatens headline Week 4 of high school football

A halftime adjustment made by the Bobcats created some opportunities to put pressure on Rivera, who threw two interceptions on the night, including the game-changer to Sandoval late in the fourth quarter that sealed the Bloomfield victory. 

"At halftime, we flipped our coverage a bit and put (Sandoval) onto Wilson and he had a couple really big plays for us," Kovacs said. "We also were able to get Rivera off his spot where he needed to get outside the box and that created some opportunities defensively as well."

Bloomfield outscored Albuquerque Academy 21-7 in the second half, thanks to a strong running game that churned up yards and chewed up a lot of time. On separate drives both late in the third quarter and again early in the fourth quarter, running back Diego Snell-Martinez, who ran for more 85 yards on the night, had big plays which extended drives and kept Bloomfield's offense off the field.

Bloomfield will be on the road Friday night to face Miyamura (2-2), who lost this weekend to Belen by a final of 23-7.

FARMINGTON 54, Aztec 0

For the fourth straight week during this unbeaten campaign, the Farmington Scorpions defense has yet to give up a point, and their offense continues to pour it on, putting up a 54-0 mercy rule victory Friday night over Aztec at Fred Cook Memorial Stadium.

The Scorpions, ranked atop the latest coaches poll in Class 5A and third in the state on MaxPreps, got rushing touchdowns from Julian Gomez, Chance Carrillo, Dylan Etcitty and AJ Garcia. Quarterback Brandon Furbee ran for a pair of scores and also tossed a scoring strike to Jeven Smith.

All of that within the first half of the game for the Scorpions (4-0) who have outscored their opponents this season by a margin of 202-19.

"Our offensive line is doing such a good job creating open space for our backs," said Farmington head coach Jeff Dalton. "That allowed us to get some big plays from our backs and set the tone for us."

Demons roll over Aztec while Farmington remains unbeaten

On the defensive side of the ball, Broden Cahoon returned an interception for a touchdown while also preventing the Tigers offense from doing much of anything in the shortened event.

"The defense has been our rock," Dalton said after the game. "I still think on offense we have a ways to go before we're totally there, but the defense has stood up for us all season."

For Aztec (1-3), back-to-back mercy rule losses have not deterred head coach Eric Stovall from seeing the team achieve better results in the coming weeks before district play opens later this month.

"The positive for me and my coaching staff is that we're battle-tested," Stovall said after the game. "We'll be better down the road and now we can turn our attention to our next opponent."

Aztec will be at home for their next game, Friday night against Bayfield, Colo. The Wolverines had a bye this weekend but are 1-1 on the season with their most recent game resulting in a 26-13 home win over Englewood.

Farmington's team will likely get their first real test of the season on Friday when Colorado's defending Class 3A state champion Durango visits Hutchison Stadium. The Demons rolled over Aztec at home a week ago, but suffered their first loss of the season this weekend when getting clobbered on the road at Montrose 39-7. 

"That's the only game that matters right now is the next one," Dalton said. "All we can do is keep the focus on ourselves and how we get better. It will definitely be a good gauge on where we are as a team."    

PIEDRA VISTA 34, Kirtland Central 7

Quarterback Logan Howell threw for a pair of touchdowns and ran for another as Piedra Vista rolled at Hutchison Stadium 34-7 over Kirtland Central.

Howell teamed up for two first half scoring strikes to Brian Monclova to give the Panthers a 14-0 lead at the break. Coach Jared Howell said he was relieved to see his offensive skill players showing some progression after low-scoring affairs in their past few games.

"There's definitely some production in that offense," Howell said. "On both sides with the passing game and the running game we're starting to see that."

Running backs Caleb Sanchez and Jacob Ramsted had big games as well. Sanchez scored a pair of rushing touchdowns and Ramsted ate up a lot of yards during the victory, the Panthers third straight on the season.

"As a coach, we always want to see things that we can do better," Howell said. "The progression we're making on offense is a good sign."

Kirtland Central (1-3) running back Zakk Thomas, coming into the game off a school-record eight touchdown performance a week earlier against Taos, provided the lone score for the Broncos against Piedra Vista, scoring midway through the third quarter on a 50-yard touchdown run that narrowed the Panthers lead to 14-6.

"Defensively, we did a good job all night long, but (Thomas) is a legitimate backfield threat," Howell said. "We did a good job containing him but there were some gaps where he was able to get some positive gains on us."

Piedra Vista will be on the road Friday night to take on Belen, while the Broncos will head north of the border Friday to face Pagosa Springs.

BERNALILLO 67, Shiprock 0

The perfect season continues for Bernalillo's unbeaten team. The Spartans traveled to Shiprock and came away with a 67-0 mercy rule victory over the Chieftains.

The Spartans are now 4-0 on the season and have not been scored upon at any point this season. Their average margin of victory is a fraction more than 51 points per game.

Meantime, Shiprock falls to 0-3 on the season and has yet to score a point in either of those contests.

Shiprock's next game will be a home test Friday night against Taos.

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