FARMINGTON — The Piedra Vista football team controlled the tempo, and the game, and cruised to a 38-20 victory over crosstown rival Farmington Friday night at Hutchison Stadium.
“That was a great football game. For the fans, that was worth paying for,” PV head coach Jared Howell said. “It’s good for the town. I’m proud of them (the Panthers). The kids played well.”
The win makes it two straight over the Scorps, the first time the Panthers have had a winning streak over Farmington since 2008, when they won four consecutive meetings.
Farmington had no answer for PV’s running game. All five of PV’s touchdowns came on the ground, and the Panthers broke multiple runs of 20 yards or more.
“Those guys are so well coached that they kind of knew what we were going to do out of the gate,” Farmington head coach Jeff Dalton said of the PV offense. “They got us on some no-huddle and caught us out of alignment. We just couldn’t stop the bleeding in the first half.”
Being able to control the game with the run was a key piece in PV’s game plan.
“We knew we were going to have to sustain drives to keep (Farmington) off the field,” Howell said. “They have a high-powered offense that they do a really good job with.”
PV’s first two scores came on runs of 31 and 29 yards by Elijah Gamboa and Alex Shay, respectively.
After turning the ball over on their first two possessions, the Scorps picked up the pace with a no-huddle offense. The change of pace got the offense going, and Axel Fowler dove into the end zone to cut the deficit in half with 1:16 left in the first quarter.
PV bullied its way down the field on its next possession with a heavy dose of power running and crossed the goal line when Gamboa barreled in from 2 yards out.
It didn’t take long for the Scorps to make their way back into PV territory, thanks to a 64-yard pass and catch between Becenti and receiver Jeb Pinkley. The Scorps would score on the drive on a 2-yard reception by Donovan Gonzalez.
After Christian Chavez connected on a 35-yard field goal to extend PV’s lead, running back Scott Ramirez scored on a 2-yard run to give the Panthers a 31-14 lead at halftime.
Farmington was back in the end zone with 5:14 left in the third quarter when Becenti found Pinkley on a quick screen pass. On the play, Pinkley made a couple PV defenders miss and took it 31 yards for the score.
“To have a guy like (Pinkley), who can stretch the field, that’s exactly what we want,” Dalton said. “Maybe tonight we established him as a deep threat that can open up some crossing routes.”
Following the Pinkley touchdown, the two offenses stalled because of numerous penalties, often as the result of players’ emotions running high.
PV was hit for nine penalties for 118 yards. Four times the Panthers were hit with personal foul or unsportsmanlike conduct penalties that came after the whistle.
Farmington also saw its share of penalties, and they usually came at the worst time and killed Scorpion drives.
“It seemed like we’d shoot ourselves in the foot. We’d get momentum, and we’d find a way to kill that momentum,” Dalton said. “Give a lot credit to PV — they’re really well coached and good kids, we feel like we beat ourselves tonight more than anything.”
PV will host Miyamura (3-3, 0-0) next week.
Next week, Farmington will play at Aztec (2-5, 1-0), while the Panthers will host Miyamura (3-3, 0-0).
“We’ve got to keep bringing the energy we had for this game,” Howell said. “Frankly, we haven’t had much energy in our last two road games, and it showed. We’ve got to learn to bring that energy every game.”
Karl Schneider is the sports editor for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4648.