Live Blog: Kirtland Central (5-4) at Bloomfield (8-1)
11:05 p.m. The injury to Bobcats quarterback Ryan Sharpe may force him to miss the playoffs. According to head coach Mike Kovacs, the injury occurred early in the second quarter. Drew Perez filled in at QB the remainder of the game while regular backup quarterback Blake Spencer was forced to miss this game due to concussion protocols.
Kirtland Central coach Jeff Schaum on Tyler Beach's performance, "For a kid under pressure all night, he did some incredible stuff. You can build on everything he did tonight."
Bloomfield coach Mike Kovacs on Drew Perez filling in at quarterback, "We're so proud of him for doing what he did, taking himself off defense so he could focus on what he needed to do."
Farmington 33 - Piedra Vista 9
Gallup 52 - Shiprock 0 (Game ended early in fourth quarter)
Cuba 51 - Crownpoint 26
Thoreau 52 - Wingate 6
Navajo Prep 50 - Newcomb 6
The NMAA will announce brackets and seedings for the state football playoffs Saturday night approximately 9 p.m.
Farmington will wait for Saturday's game between Los Lunas and Belen, scheduled to kickoff at noon, to find out for sure if they're a #1 or #2 seed in the state 5A playoffs.
9:55 p.m. Will have some final thoughts when I get home. Great game overall. And we'll have full coverage of all the Friday night games coming up this weekend online and in the paper!
9:39 p.m. Onside kick recovered by Bloomfield with 1:45 to go. KC has no timeouts remaining. First down kneel by Perez brings clock to just over a minute. Second down kneel followed by KC penalty. Clock under a minute. Third down kneel will end it.
Bloomfield wins 34-29.
9:36 p.m. On first down, Beach pass falls incomplete and is nearly intercepted. Pass complete to Medina gets ball to 39 yard line as Bloomfield calls second timeout with 2:06 remaining. Beach long pass to Barber caught at 28 yard line. KC rushes to line with 1:58 to play, ball at Bloomfield 29 yard line. Bloomfield flagged for offsides, first and 5 at the 23. Beach TD pass to Barber cuts the lead as Kyler Joe’s PAT is good. 34-29 Bloomfield with 1:48 to go.
33-9 FHS over PV, 6 minutes left in game.
9:29 p.m. Perez reigns in a high snap but he is sacked for a 12 yard loss and it brings up fourth and 18 as KC calls their final timeout. KC flagged for too many men on the field moves the ball up to the 40 where Bloomfield punts and the ball settles at the KC 21 with 2:27 remaining. KC down 12 points and needs a quick score.
9:25 p.m. A huge third down completion to Marc Armenta gets Bloomfield 20 yards and a first down. Flag comes out after a short gain on first down. Personal foul on KC moves the ball to the 43 yard line as the clock nears 4 minutes remaining. Perez keeper to the right side results in a short gain but he stays in bounds as the clock keeps moving. No gain on second down and KC calls their second time out with 2:55 remaining.
9:20 p.m. Beach deep pass falls incomplete on first down. Beach complete to King for 20, and a penalty against Bloomfield moves the ball inside the 10. Thomas coughs up the ball on an inside handoff and Bloomfield recovers at the 5 yard line with 5:55 to play. Snell-Martinez tackled for a loss inside the 5. Clock continues to loom ominously for both sides. Low snap slows down exchange for handoff and a loss of a yard. Timeout with 4:45 to go. Still 34-22 Bloomfield.
9:16 p.m. Bloomfield takes over at the 20, no gain on running play on first down. Deep pass to Armenta is just out of reach. 7:40 to go and clock stopped with incomplete pass. Perez brought down behind the line, bringing up fourth down and Armenta again appears shaken up heading to the sidelines. Timeout KC with 6:39 to play. KC takes over at the Bloomfield 38.
9:10 p.m. Thomas short gain on first down. Under 9 minutes to go. Short pass complete but no gain. Beach throws a TD pass to Cadman!! 2-point conversion is no good as Thomas brought down behind the line, KC trims the Bloomfield lead. 34-22 Bobcats with 8:33 left to play.
9:06 p.m. Down 18 points to start the 4th, KC desperately needs to pick up the pace. Thomas gets a handoff for a gain of 10 and a third and short. Pass intended for Thomas is just out of his reach, bringing up fourth down and the punt team comes onto the field. Punt is downed at the 15, where Bloomfield takes over.
Snell-Martinez loses a couple on first down. Bloomfield in no hurry. Perez hands off to Seitzinger for no gain. Armenta picks up a few after a short pass, but a penalty negates the completion, backing the Bobcats inside the 10, where its third and long. Deep pass falls harmlessly incomplete, bringing up fourth down. Punt is a short one and goes to KC at the Bobcat 29.
19-9 FHS leading PV with 4:09 left in the third.
9 p.m. KC takes over at their own 35. Beach pass over the middle is incomplete. Beach on a keeper gets 14 and a first down. Thomas takes a pitch and loses a couple of yards as the third quarter comes to a close and Bloomfield leading 34-16.
8:57 p.m. Bloomfield starts their next drive at the 30, but Perez is sacked and loses 11. Rascon gets a short pass for a gain of 6. Perez next pass falls incomplete, bringing up fourth down and another Bobcat punt. However, Jeremiah Sandoval fakes the punt and breaks a couple tackles on his way to a 75-yard touchdown. PAT is no good, Bloomfield pushes their lead to 34-16 with 1:09 left in the third.
8:52 p.m. KC still can do little offensively to start the drive, but Beach gets off a pass and gets a first down at the Bloomfield 34 as he took a hard hit. On the next play, Beach is sacked for a 5 yard loss. Great pass play from Beach to Sebastian Gonzalez puts the ball inside the 10. Thomas carries the ball for a short gain on first and goal. Thomas stopped behind the line brings up third and goal. Julian Medina makes a great catch in the far corner of the end zone for a KC touchdown. Kyler Joe’s PAT is no good, Bloomfield’s lead is trimmed to 28-16 with 2:44 left in the third.
8:44 p.m. Bloomfield from the 30. Seitzinger gains 7 on first down, then another 9 yards on second down by Seitzinger for a first down. Seitzinger brought down behind the line on first down, then a short pass to Armenta picks up 5, Martinez brought down behind the line brings up fourth down and a Bobcat punt. KC takes over at their 30.
Matthews gets a couple on first down, Nick Cambridge picks up 3 off tackle, Thomas gets a couple and brings up fourth and 3. KC has done little offensively since midway through the 1st quarter. Personal foul on punt play keeps possession with the Broncs
FHS leads 19-7 in the third quarter.
8:34 p.m. Bloomfield will have the ball to start the second half. QB Sharpe is not expected to return for Bloomfield.
FHS leads PV 13-7 early in the third.
8:18 p.m. — Perez still at QB for Bloomfield. Snell-Martinez picks up 15 and then a couple short gains to move the ball past midfield with under a minute to go. Two incomplete passes bring up fourth and 5 and Bobcats fail to convert with 23 seconds left to the half. KC gets 25 yards by Thomas followed by a quick KC timeout. Beach throws a dying quail which falls incomplete on first down, long pass downfield nearly intercepted by Rascon on second down, big pass play to Thomas goes for 30 yards but that’s the end of the first half with Bloomfield leading 28-10.
PV leads FHS 7-6 at the half.
8:10 p.m. — Sharpe replaced at QB by Drew Perez, who’s been working out of the wildcat for a couple decent gains off the edge. The drive stalled at their own 39 yard line. The Bobcats punt the ball and KC takes over at the 15.
UPDATE: PV leads FHS 7-6 approaching halftime.
KC needs to get moving here. No gain on 1st down after an incomplete pass to Kragen Cadman. Thomas gets tripped up for a short gain on 2nd down. Another bad snap over Beach’s head rolls into the end zone. Beach attempts to get rid of the ball, but the play is ruled a safety, extending Bloomfield’s lead to 28-10 with 1:35 left in the half.
8:01 p.m. — KC takes the next possession from the 34-yard line and finds themselves down 16 points. At some point, the offense needs some more pace and rhythm to it. Thomas gets 3 on first down. Beach finds an open receiver down the field for a big gain to the Bobcats 25. Broncos penalized for illegal substitution, short gain by Matthews on 1st and 15, KC continues to be deliberate in the huddle, Thomas picks up 5 yards on 2nd and long, Thomas bottled up again for a short gain, forcing 4th and 11. Long field goal attempt by Kyler Joe is no good. 26-10 Bloomfield 4:32 left in half.
UPDATE from the Hutch! FHS leads PV 6-0 late in the first half.
7:54 p.m. — Diovanni Pinto (KC) takes the kickoff out near midfield. Zakk Thomas picks up 20 on first down. Thomas picks up 3 yards on the next play, again KC taking their time in the huddle, Beach to Troy King picks up 5 yards, Thomas stopped for no gain on third and short. Big stop by Seitzinger to force 4th down. Bad snap over the head of Beach turns the ball over to the Bobcats at the 44 yard line.
Sharpe again finds Armenta deep down the sideline and its suddenly first down inside the red zone. Armenta came off the field slowly. Snell-Martinez no gain on 1st down, Sharpe took the ball himself and nearly scored around the right corner, getting knocked out of bounds at the 2. No gain on 1st down, Sharpe comes up short on 2nd down up the middle, Sharpe throws a perfect pass to a leaping Marc Armenta for a Bloomfield score. Extra point attempt is good and suddenly it’s 26-10 Bloomfield.
7:44 p.m. — First play of the second quarter and Ryan Sharpe finds George Rascon wide open down the middle of the field for a touchdown from 40 yards out. 2-point attempt no good, but Bloomfield up 19-10 with 11:53 left in the half.
7:40 p.m. — KC took over at the 25 and lost 7 yards right away on a botched snap to QB Beach. Thomas gains little on 2nd down. Beach tried to get some yards on the ground, but came up well short, forcing them to punt on 4th and 10. Low punt gets downed around midfield. Bloomfield gets no gain on 1st down, Bloomfield gets no gain on 1st down, KC jumps offsides on 2nd down, Snell-Martinez gets 7 and moves the chains as the first quarter comes to an end, Bloomfield leading 13-10.
7:34 p.m — Bloomfield got the ball at the 25 yard line and moved quickly, thanks to a pair of completed passes from Sharpe and a pass interference call on KC. A pair of KC penalties moved the ball inside the 30. Ryan Sharpe found Marc Armenta open on the left sideline for a 25-yard TD pass, a thing of beauty. Extra point was blocked. Bloomfield leads 13-10 with 1:47 left in the first quarter.
7:26 p.m. KC took over and immediately went backwards after QB Tyler Beach was sacked. Thomas got much of that back on the next play before Beach took a QB keeper which comes up just short, bringing up 4th and short at midfield. Thomas got that and more, running off the right tackle for 26 yards. Thomas got stacked up for a short gain on the next play, 4:15 to go in the first quarter. KC running a slow-paced offense, taking their time in the huddle and at the line. Thomas picks up 3 more on 2nd down. Beach misses a receiver on an open corner route on 3rd down, FG attempt by Kyler Joe is good, giving KC a 10-7 lead with 3:12 left in the first.
7:20 p.m. — Kirtland Central’s next drive got them close to midfield before the drive stalled, as the Bobcats took over after a decent punt return by Jeremiah Sandoval at the 30 yard line. The Bobcats moved the ball quickly to midfield before their drive came up empty around midfield with a couple risky passes from Sharpe. The Bobcats went for it on 4th and 5 but came up short, turning the ball back to the Broncos at their own 40.
7:15 p.m. — Both teams scored TDs on their opening drives.
KC got on the board thanks to a Zakk Thomas 1-yard run, the drive set up by a big kickoff return by Randon Matthews.
The Bobcats answered back when Diego Snell-Martinez took a screen pass from Ryan Sharpe 25 yards for a tying score with 9 minutes left in the opening quarter.
6:50 p.m. Headed down for pregame festivities and early game photos. Will be back with updates as soon as I return to the pressbox. Gonna be a great night for football.
6:30 p.m. — An update from St. Pius where the top-seeded Sartans eliminated Aztec 5-0 in their quarterfinal match at the Girls Class 4A state soccer tournament.
St. Pius will move on to face the winner of the other quarterfinal match between Artesia and Los Alamos, Saturday at noon.
BLOOMFIELD — It's the regular season finale. The Bloomfield and Kirtland Central football teams each have much on the line tonight at Bobcat Stadium, including district championship honors and a berth in the state 4A playoffs, beginning next weekend.
In Farmington, a hometown rivalry is renewed, with similar implications at stake, as Farmington (9-0) faces off with Piedra Vista (6-3) for the 22nd time in their storied clash of football programs.
We'll be live at Bobcat Stadium for detailed analysis on the Bloomfield game vs. Kirtland Central, plus we'll have updates from Hutchison Stadium for the Scorpions vs. Panthers game.
Game time at Bobcat Stadium is set for 7 p.m., with Bloomfield's senior class to be recognized prior to kickoff.
Game time at Hutchison Stadium is also set for 7 p.m.
Also, tonight is the final game of the regular season for the Navajo Prep Eagles, who go on the road to face Newcomb at 7 p.m.
The final NMOT coaches poll for the 2021 football season was released earlier this week. Farmington and Los Lunas, once again find themselves flipped in order from the MaxPreps poll which shows the Scorpions as the top-ranked team in Class 5A.
Here's a look at this week's coaches poll.
Closer Look: Kirtland Central at Bloomfield
The defensive challenges for both Kirtland Central and Bloomfield will be an intriguing part of tonight's matchup.
For Bloomfield, the task appears simple. Stop Kirtland Central running back Zakk Thomas from having a big night. The problem is that very few teams have been able to do that this season.
High school football: Navajo Prep football forfeits three wins from season
Thomas has accounted for more than 1300 yards rushing and nearly 200 receiving yards while scoring 18 touchdowns this season.
Arguably, Aztec did the best job of all of the Broncos opponents, keeping Thomas from breaking free on multiple occasions when those teams met last weekend at Bill Cawood Field.
That said, Thomas did score twice in that game, including the game winner in overtime.
For the Broncos, their defensive strategy will likely be to focus on the Bobcats passing game, which has accounted for more than 1200 yards and 17 touchdowns this season, primarily between quarterback Ryan Sharpe and several receivers, including Marc Armenta, Drew Perez and Matthias DeHerrera.
History of Farmington vs. Piedra Vista
The hometown rivalry between Farmington and Piedra Vista dates back to their first game against each other, played in 2000. The Panthers have the slight edge in the overall series, with 11 wins to 10 for Farmington.
Last season, the Scorpions shut out the Panthers by a final of 55-0, the largest margin of victory between the two teams in this series.
According to New Mexico football historian Dan Ford, there are many potentially historic notes going into tonight's clash at Hutchison Stadium.
The Scorpions have currently won 14 in a row, one short of their longest winning streak in school history, over the course of three seasons from 1951 to 1953. A win tonight would equal that mark.
The Scorpions have shut out each of their last four opponents (Del Norte, Los Alamos, Miyamura, Capital). They accomplished this feat in 1972 as well, but the record for most consecutive shutouts by a Farmington team is in 1932, when they shut out Cortez twice, Sacred Hearts twice and Gallup.
One record that most assuredly will fall tonight will be the record for most points scored in a single season by Farmington.
In 2019, the Scorpions scored 461 points over the course of an 11-game season. This season, Farmington has scored 455 points after nine games.
And of course, there's the story of the milk can.
The unofficial trophy which goes to the winning team is an antique milk can, painted green on one side for the Scorpions, and blue on the other for the Panthers.
The tradition of the trophy dates back to the first meeting between the two teams.
The milk can will be awarded to the winner of tonight's game and that school will keep the trophy until the next time the two teams play.
Steve Bortstein can be reached via email at SBortstein@Gannett.com, via Twitter @DTSBortstein or on the phone at (505) 635-2680.