Bloomfield, Shiprock fall hard in openers
Bobcats, Chieftains each allow over 40 points to their respective opponents
FARMINGTON — Neither the Bloomfield nor Shiprock football teams came ready to play on the road tonight in their respective season openers.
The Bobcats didn't impress in their first game at the 5A level, falling 42-6 to Belen, while Shiprock was shut down 42-0 by Socorro.
Bloomfield hung around with the Eagles for a good portion of the first half but blew a few decent opportunities. One of those came in the form of a Brendon Charley pass into the end zone that was juggled by a Bloomfield receiver before being snatched away as an interception, which would have cut Belen's lead to 14-7 at the time.
Bobcats coach Bob Allcorn said he doesn't think the lopsided loss accurately reflects what kind of team he has.
"I just thought we really kind of made some mistakes early on and let the game slip away," he said. "Overall, it was just poor execution, offensively, defensively. I think we're a better team than we showed, but the reality is, we didn't play well tonight."
Bloomfield let a 21-0 halftime deficit snowball after the break.
Early in the first quarter, Bloomfield lost sophomore Angelo Atencio — who was second on the team in tackles last year with 80 — to a dislocated elbow. The young middle linebacker is one of Bloomfield's leaders, so Allcorn said he thought his injury let the air out of his defense.
"Discipline wise, I didn't think we played very disciplined on defense. We freelanced a lot," Allcorn said. "A big part of our problems on defense were, kids weren't 100 percent sure what they were doing because they didn't know the calls; they've been relying on Angelo."
Allcorn said he doesn't know how long Atencio will be out, but believes it'll be an extended period.
Bloomfield's lone score came on a fourth-quarter touchdown pass from Charley to junior Cade Lillywhite.
The Bobcats face off against Bayfield, Colo., next week at Bobcat Stadium. Bayfield also dropped its first game of the year.
Socorro 42, Shiprock 0
The Chieftains were thoroughly outplayed by a Soccoro team that was ranked nine slots ahead of them in MaxPreps.com preseason rankings.
Second-year Shiprock coach Eric Stovall said he took full responsibility for his team's opening-night defeat, crediting the Warriors for taking care of business on both sides of the ball.
"They're a very fundamentally sound football team, and we didn't play well against them," Stovall said. "On offense, defense or special teams, we didn't play well. We need to improve dramatically on the fundamentals."
Down 28-0 at halftime, things didn't get much better for the Chieftains after the break, as first-year starting quarterback Rhakeem Anagale and the offense failed to make it onto the scoreboard.
Shiprock will head to Newcomb to play the Skyhawks next week, but before they do that, Stovall said his players have a lot of preparation ahead of them. He said improvement in the trenches is a must.
"We have to wrap up and tackle better, and we have to block better," Stovall said. "It starts with blocking better on the offensive line and tackling."
Jake Newby cover sports for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577.