Bloomfield, Kirtland Central look to shake off losses following bye weeks
FARMINGTON — When the Piedra Vista football team hosts Farmington Friday night in a crosstown rivalry game, more than bragging rights will be on the line.
It will only be the first game of the teams' District 1-5A schedule, but the winner will have the inside track to the district title.
Both teams still have a game remaining at rival Aztec, but the Tigers have seen starter after starter go down with injuries and are still trying to find their way. Miyamura, which entered the season with high hopes, has lost three of its last four games, and plays both FHS and PV in Farmington. And Gallup enters district play ranked No. 21 of 24 teams in 5A.
PV (4-2) has looked like two different teams through its first six games.
The Panthers have been dominant in their wins, outscoring opponents by close to 24 points per game. But they’ve also looked lost in their two defeats, and are coming off a 19-10 loss at Roswell.
Farmington (5-1) enters the game on a two-game winning streak after blowing out Grants 53-14 last week.
Throughout the season, the Farmington defense has been the difference maker. The Scorps have forced multiple turnovers to help pick up their lopsided wins.
Last year, PV edged the Scorps 7-0 in a defensive battle to take home the milk can trophy. It was PV’s first win over Farmington since 2008.
Aztec at Gallup
Injuries have plagued Aztec throughout the season and have been a big part of the team’s worst start since 1998.
While the Tigers have seen the majority of their starters go down with injuries since the season opener, they have a good chance to pick up their first road win Friday in Gallup.
The Tigers (1-5) begin district play against the lowly Bengals (2-4), whose two wins have come against teams with a combined 0-12 record.
Aztec’s spread offense has been able to move the ball this season, averaging a little less than 29 points per game, but its defense has struggled. On the season, the Tigers have allowed 45 points per game.
Last year, Aztec crushed the Bengals 70-0 in Aztec.
Wingate at Bloomfield
Fresh off a bye week, the Bloomfield football team will try to shrug off a 21-6 home loss to Hope Christian on Sept. 25 when it opens district play against Wingate Friday night at Bobcat Stadium.
The Hope Christian loss was the second of back-to-back underwhelming performances by the Bobcats.
Although Bloomfield (4-1) beat Taos 24-19 on Sept. 18, it nearly coughed up the lead in the fourth quarter. But coach Bob Allcorn and the Bobcats have an excellent opportunity to get back on track against Wingate (2-4).
The Bobcats have had their way with the Bears the past three years, beating them a combined 104-0 in 2012 and 2013 before crushing them last season 62-8.
The running game has powered the Bobcats all season. As a team, Bloomfield sports an impressive 6.3 yards per carry average. The dangerous rushing attack is anchored by senior JD Robinson’s 510 rushing yards and four touchdowns.
Thoreau at Shiprock
Just days after forfeiting a game they originally won, the Chieftains (2-3) will try to regroup in time for Friday night’s district opener against Thoreau (3-2) at Chieftain Stadium.
Shiprock was stripped of its 30-0 win over Newcomb last Friday by the New Mexico Activities Association when head coach Eric Stovall self-reported that he allowed an academically ineligible player to compete in the game.
The Chieftains will play in front of their home crowd for the fourth time out of five games this season. They are 1-3 at Chieftain Stadium.
Starting quarterback Arjay Miller will return to the field after a two-game absence, according to Stovall. Sophomore Quiad Shorty had filled in nicely for Miller, who went down with an ankle injury in Shiprock’s Sept. 25 victory over Navajo Prep.
Thoreau took care of Shiprock 36-0 when the teams met last season in Thoreau.
Zuni at Kirtland Central
Just like their 4A foe Bloomfield, the Broncos were off last week. And just like Bloomfield, they will have the chance to bounce back from the loss they’ve been sitting on for two weeks when they face Zuni at Bobcat Stadium Friday night.
Kirtland Central (1-4) started the season 0-3 before cracking the win column against Los Alamos on Sept. 18. But the Broncos couldn’t carry that momentum over into the next week, where they were flattened 48-8 by Piedra Vista.
The Broncos are in the rebuilding process under first-year coach Greg Jenks and have yet to establish an identity. At times this season, they’ve flashed a decent passing game behind sophomore quarterback Bryson Dowdy, who led the team to a point total of at least 21 for three straight weeks.
Zuni (2-3) has struggled even more than KC of late, losing 50-6 and 46-0 in its last two games.
Last season, Kirtland Central had no problems with the Thunderbirds, downing them 49-0 on the road.
Sports reporter Jake Newby contributed to this story.
Karl Schneider is the sports editor for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4648.