FARMINGTON — The Farmington football team faced little trouble against Grants on homecoming night and blew out the Pirates 53-14 Friday night at Hutchison Stadium.
“A big win like this is a pretty good feeling,” Farmington senior Cruz Dubick said. “I have a lot of respect for my team for playing their hearts out like they did.”
Once again, the Farmington defense was the difference in the game, coming up with four takeaways — three fumble recoveries and one interception — in the first half.
“We talk all the time about being prepared when the unexpected happens and having that mental focus,” Dalton said. “That’s when games change. When the ball is on the ground, the team that’s ready to grab it will have the advantage. Tonight when the ball was on the ground, we came up with it more than not.”
The first takeaway for FHS came four plays into the game when the Scorps were forced to punt after three passes fell incomplete.
The snap to punter Diego Elebario was high. Elebario corralled the ball and punted it away while on the run. Because the punt was slow to develop, Farmington defenders were able to get downfield and hit the Grants returner as soon as he caught the ball to force a fumble. Antonio Weahkee dove on it to give possession back to the Scorps at the Grants 25-yard line.
“After that fumble recovery, that definitely boosted us,” Dubick said.
Farmington turned the takeaway into seven points when quarterback Kody Becenti kept the ball on the option and dove in the end zone for a five-yard run with 9:58 left in the opening quarter and the momentum never left Farmington the rest of the half.
While the Farmington defense stifled the Pirates (4-2) possession after possession, Grants' defense did everything it could to slow down Farmington’s offense and ran a different defense than the Scorps (5-1) saw on film.
With the new defense, the Pirates put a lot of pressure on Farmington quarterback Kody Becenti to keep him out of rhythm.
“It took Kody a little while to calm down, but once he did, he was able to find guys, run the ball a few times and spread it around,” Dalton said. “That’s when our offense is tough to cover, when everyone is getting the ball, and it starts with Kody.”
It only took one play to get things going.
Facing third and 32, Elebario got behind the defense and Becenti found the senior captain for a 40-yard score.
Farmington wasted little time finding the end zone again when running back Axel Fowler made multiple Pirates miss and took a swing pass 41 yards for the score. FHS converted the two-point conversion to take a 29-0 lead with 6:36 left in the first half.
Farmington’s final takeaway of the half came with just less than four minutes left when Gabe Medina jumped the throwing lane and returned the interception 50 yards for a touchdown to make it 36-0.
After Becenti found Elebario for their second scoring hookup, this time in the third quarter from 32 yards out, the Scorps converted on a 26-yard field goal to push their lead to 46-14.
Then, to put the exclamation point on the game, junior running back Donovan Gonzalez broke a 50-yard run for another score.
Farmington will begin play in District 1-5A next week, facing off against crosstown rival Piedra Vista (4-1).
“We can go in there with our best game plan, and we know PV is going to come with theirs,” Dalton said. “We know it’s going to be a great atmosphere, and we’re looking forward to a great football game next week.”
Karl Schneider is the sports editor for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4648.