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Defense guides Broncos past Montezuma-Cortez

KC forces four turnovers, Dowdy scores twice in 17-6 win

Karl Schneider and Jake Newby, Farmington Daily Times
  • Flags fly throughout Aztec's 34-21 loss to Bayfield, Colo.
  • Untimely penalties and turnovers doomed Farmington in a 36-12 loss to Belen.
  • Prep couldn't find a rhythm on offense, falling to Laguna Acoma 14-6.
  • Kirtland Central's defense stands strong with four interceptions and three sacks.

FARMINGTON — Big plays crushed the Kirtland Central football team last week, and another one burned the Broncos in the first quarter of tonight's game.

Kirtland Central's Bryson Dowdy finds a running lane against Colorado's Montezuma-Cortez on Sept. 9 at Bronco Stadium in Kirtland.

But that first-quarter big strike proved to be an exception in KC's 17-6 win over Montezuma-Cortez, Colo., at Bronco Stadium. 

The Bronco coaching staff was prepared for a particular screen pass that the Panthers like to run, and when they tried it on the first possession, KC (2-1) picked it off. But on Montezuma-Cortez's second drive, they set the screen up, and the Broncos over-pursued, allowing the Panthers (1-2) to find a man deep for a 60-yard touchdown hookup. 

But that score would be the only one of the game for the visitors.

KC intercepted four passes and added three sacks in a dominant defensive showing. Broncos coach Greg Jenks said his pass rush was as good as he's seen it.

"Not even close, that was by far our best D-line game in the 13 games that I've been the coach," Jenks said. 

KC overcame penalties the rest of the night to scrape together a pair of touchdowns and a short field goal. 

Bryson Dowdy rushed the ball into the end zone from 5 yards out near the end of the first half to make it 7-6, and a 25-yard field goal put the Broncos ahead in the third. 

After a long drive, Dowdy connected with Zach Van Duren on a short touchdown pass to put the game on ice inside of the final minute.

Kirtland Central's Brock Beckstead breaks up a pass intended for Montezuma-Cortez's Cordell Baer during their game on Friday at Bronco Stadium in Kirtland.

The Broncos get 1-2 Los Alamos next week on the road. KC beat the Hilltoppers 33-24 when the teams met last season.

Belen 36, Farmington 12

Untimely penalties and turnovers doomed the Farmington football team to a 36-12 loss to the Belen Eagles tonight in Belen.

The Scorps started the game strong, stopping the Eagles (3-0) on their first possession then scoring on a deep pass from Cody Becenti to Ethan Todd in the corner of the end zone.

But for the rest of the first half, the Scorps (0-2-1) couldn’t get their offense going.

“It was a good first quarter, then we really hurt ourselves with some big penalties and turnovers,” Farmington coach Jeff Dalton said. “Defensively, we were flat-out outcoached. (The) kids played hard and made some great adjustments, but Belen and coach (Greg) Henington were one step ahead.”

Farmington got its second score of the game on its first possession of the second half when Becenti found Tate Weahkee, who broke a tackle after the catch and scampered 55 yards for the score.

Still winless, the Scorps will play at Durango, Colo., (1-2) next week.

“We’re not going to panic,” Dalton said of being without a victory. “We’re really close to being a whole lot better, so we’re going to focus on the small details that can add up to turn this thing around.”

Bayfield, Colo., 34, Aztec 21

Yellow flags rained down on the field in Bayfield, Colo., limiting the quality of play between the Aztec and Bayfield football teams tonight.

Aztec's Cody Smith rushes the ball against Bayfield, Colo., on Friday night at Bayfield High School.

“The game was pretty heated,” Aztec coach Matt Steinfeldt said. “It was an interesting night. I’m not overly pleased with some things that happened during the course of the game.”

In the end, Bayfield earned the win 34-21 over the Tigers.

The Wolverines (2-1) never trailed in the game.

Steinfeldt said the plethora of penalties made it tough for the Tigers (1-2) to get any momentum on offense, as they broke into Bayfield territory only twice in the first half.

Trailing 20-0 late in the second quarter, Aztec quarterback Cody Smith connected with Justin Black for a 46-yard touchdown play.

Aztec scored late in the third on another Smith touchdown toss, this time to Sebastian McNeal from 30 yards away, then got its final score on a Smith to Brandon Trennepohl connection.

“We had some inconsistencies, but there were some bright spots,” Steinfeldt said of Aztec’s offense. “When Cody was able to sit back and throw, he was very consistent, and we had a few different receivers with touchdowns.”

Aztec will be on the road again next week when the Tigers travel to Farmington to challenge Piedra Vista (3-0).

Laguna Acoma 14, Navajo Prep 6

The Navajo Prep football team made a few mistakes and at times struggled to execute, and the result was a 14-6 loss to Laguna Acoma tonight at Eagle Stadium.

Prep (0-3) scored first, getting a long throw and catch from quarterback Anthony Pioche-Lee to freshman receiver Jesse Andis in the second quarter.

Navajo Prep's Jesse Andis runs the ball against Laguna Acoma on Sept. 9 at Eagle Stadium.

But after the score, the Eagle offense struggled to come up with plays on third and fourth down.

“We struggled a bit. We had receivers breaking off routes or running the wrong route,” Crawford said. “Laguna Acoma blitzes a lot more than we’ve seen, so Anthony didn’t have as much time to throw. The plays were there, we just didn’t execute some of them.”

Crawford said the Eagles executed the defensive game plan to near perfection, only getting out of position a few times as the result of fatigue that led to big plays for the Hawks (3-0).

Still looking for their first win, the Eagles will play at Pinon, Ariz., (0-2) Sept. 17.

“We can’t hang our heads. We don’t have any wins, but we’re improving every week, and tonight was their best effort so far. They need to understand the season is long, and we have a lot of work left to do, but what I saw tonight was very positive.”

Navajo Prep's Alijah Uentillie runs the ball against Laguna Acoma on Friday at Eagle Stadium.

Jake Newby covers sports for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577.

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