Scorpions searching for first win of season

Shiprock, Navajo Prep play at home for the first time in 2016

Karl Schneider, and Jake Newby
Farmington Daily Times
  • Piedra Vista looks to remain unbeaten, while Aztec, Kirtland Central and Shiprock try to go above .500.
  • Farmington faces Belen for the fifth time in four years. The teams have split the series 2-2.
  • In search of its first win of the season after two blowout losses, Navajo Prep plays its home opener.

FARMINGTON — The Farmington and Belen football teams have created a bit of a rivalry over the past few years.

Farmington's Axel Fowler breaks a tackle by Del Norte's Brandan Call on Sept. 2 at Hutchison Stadium.

Friday’s game in Belen will be the fifth meeting between the Scorps and Eagles during the past four seasons with the two sides splitting the series 2-2. Two of the four meetings came in the playoffs, and in all four instances, the home team has come away victorious.

The Eagles have a new head coach this year with Greg Henington taking over for John Lerma, who led Belen for eight seasons.

Belen (2-0) has gotten off to a hot start under Henington. The Eagles trounced Blooomfield 42-6 two weeks ago, then crushed Highland 63-22 last week. Belen used a balanced running and passing attack in both wins to keep the opposing defenses from keying in on one aspect of the Eagles’ offense.

The Scorps (0-1-1) are in search of their first win of the season. Farmington fell to crosstown rival Piedra Vista 20-0 in its season opener, then was the victim of a rare tie when last week’s game against Del Norte ended when the officials called the game after a lengthy lightning delay during halftime, leaving the two teams knotted at 20.

Durango, Colo., at Piedra Vista

Piedra Vista couldn’t have asked for a better start to the season. First, the Panthers topped rival Farmington 20-0 in the season opener, then they stole a road win against Goddard 31-28 last week in Roswell.

Now, PV (2-0) will go for its first 3-0 start since 2012 with a chance to redeem one of its losses from last season when the Panthers host the Demons, out of Durango, Colo., Friday night at Hutchison Stadium.

The Demons won last year’s meeting 21-3 in Durango. The two teams have met every year since 2000 and the all-time series is tied at eight wins apiece.

Durango (1-1) squeezed out a 21-20 road win over Delta, Colo., two weeks ago, then fell to Aztec 13-12 last week in Aztec.

While PV prefers to control the game with its running attack, the Demons have displayed nearly an equal split between run and pass. In their two games, the Demons have 56 rushing attempts and have aired it out 46 times.

Aztec at Bayfield, Colo.

Aztec will hit the road for the first time this season, making the trip to Bayfield, Colo., to challenge the Wolverines — the defending Colorado 2A state champions.

Bayfield (1-1) lost a lot of production from last year’s championship team, but it didn’t seem to put too much of a burden on the Wolverines, who blanked Bloomfield 35-0 last week in Bloomfield.

Following a deflating defensive performance in its season opener, in which the Tigers gave up 523 yards on the ground against Los Lunas, Aztec (1-1) rebounded last week and rallied for a fourth-quarter comeback against Durango, Colo., to win 13-12.

The Tigers will have to contain Bayfield running back David Hawkins, who ran for 143 yards and four touchdowns against Bloomfield, to prevent a repeat of the Los Lunas game.

Kirtland Central's Bryson Dowdy looks for a receiver during a game against Navajo Prep on Aug. 26 at Bronco Stadium in Kirtland.

Montezuma-Cortez, Colo., at Kirtland Central

One week after being shelled by Snowflake, Ariz., 37-0 at home, Kirtland Central tries to regroup against Montezuma-Cortez, Colo.

KC’s first two games of the season produced opposite results.

The Broncos (1-1) looked good in every facet of the game during their 61-13 opening-week win over Navajo Prep, but were thoroughly outplayed last week by the Lobos. KC couldn’t even manage a field goal despite driving the offense into the red zone twice in the first half.

After KC thrashed Prep, Montezuma-Cortez (1-1) took its turn last week, clipping the Eagles 52-2.

Coach Scott Conklin, now in his second year, guided Montezuma-Cortez to a 2-7 finish last season in Colorado’s 2A Western Slope South League. The Panthers are now in the 2A Intermountain League.

Friday’s 7 p.m. tilt will be Kirtland Central’s third straight home game to open the season. The Broncos play their next four games on the road.

Laguna-Acoma at Navajo Prep

Navajo Prep needs to turn its season around after losing by an average of 49 points in the first two weeks.

The good news for the Eagles (0-2) is that they’ll be playing at home for the first time this campaign, when they host 3A’s Laguna-Acoma, which has won its first two contests by a combined score of 111-6. The Hawks trounced Zuni and Thoreau, respectively.

Laguna-Acoma (2-0) has been leaning heavily on its one-two punch at running back of junior Isaiah Martinez and senior Zarek Joe. Between them, they have nearly 500 yards rushing through two games to go along with 13 touchdowns.

Prep is in the midst of a scoreless drought that has surpassed five quarters. Its last touchdown came via a short rush by Alijah Uentille in the third quarter of the opener.

Dolores, Colo., at Shiprock

Shiprock made its way into the win column last week in emphatic fashion, trumping Newcomb 44-14. Now, the Chieftains (1-1) get to come home for the first time this season.

In the first of three straight games at Chieftain Stadium, Shiprock will try to keep rolling against a Dolores, Colo., team that has only played once so far this season, and that game was a 40-8 loss to Hotchkiss, Colo.

Dolores, a member of Colorado’s 1A Southern Peaks League, hasn’t put together a winning season since 2010.

In front of what should be a packed home-opening crowd, the Chieftains will try to start strong like they did last week, when they put 38 points on the board before halftime.

Karl Schneider is the sports editor for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4648.

Jake Newby covers sports for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4648.