Tigers look to hand PV its first loss

Jake Newby, and Karl Schneider
Farmington Daily Times
  • Farmington, Kirtland Central and Bloomfield hit the road in week four.
  • Shiprock looks to overcome last week's loss while welcoming Gallup to Chieftain Stadium.
  • Navajo Prep eyes first win with trip to Pinon, Ariz., for a Saturday afternoon game.

FARMINGTON — The Piedra Vista football team will go for its first 4-0 start since the 2012 season when the Panthers host longtime rival Aztec Friday night at Hutchison Stadium.

Piedra Vista's Elijah Gamboa, right, runs for a touchdown against Sebastian McNeal, left, and the Aztec Tigers on Oct. 23 at Fred Cook Memorial Stadium in Aztec.

The two teams have met every year since PV’s inaugural season in 1998. The Tigers lead the all-time series 10-8, but the Panthers have had the upper hand of late, winning three of the last four meetings

PV is coming off of a 24-14 win over Durango, Colo., last week. Aside from two big plays for the Demons — the first being a 48-yard run that put Durango in the red zone and the second coming when the Demons forced a turnover on a kickoff and returned the ball for a touchdown — the Panthers controlled all aspects of the game.

Throughout the season, the Panthers have focused on limiting big plays, and they’ll have to keep everything in front of them against Aztec’s pass-heavy offense.

After edging Durango 13-12 two weeks ago, the Tigers dropped last week’s game 34-21 on the road to Bayfield, Colo.

In the game, when penalty flags were thrown about as often as the ball, the Tigers racked up 300 passing yards with three receivers notching 70-yard games.

The Aztec passing game will need to be on point to counter the team’s biggest weakness: stopping the run.

In its three games, the Tigers have allowed 915 rushing yards and 10 TDs. And their weakness plays directly to PV’s strength. In their three wins, the Panthers have dictated the outcome with with option running game, dominating time of possession and wearing defenses down as the game goes on.

Gallup at Shiprock

The Chieftains will square off with a 5A team for the first time this season when Gallup plays the role of guest at Chieftain Stadium Friday.

Shiprock's Adrian Gibson picks off a pass in a game against Dolores, Colo., on Sept. 9 at Chieftain Stadium in Shiprock.

Shiprock (1-2) is coming off a 24-14 home-opening loss to Dolores, Colo. The Chieftains got into a groove during the middle part of that game by going on a 14-0 run, but turnovers and bad special teams play kept them from completing the comeback.

Now, second-year head coach Eric Stovall’s team will lock up with Gallup (2-0), which hasn’t even finished better than one game below .500 in 10 years. Gallup’s wins this season have come against teams with a combined record of 1-5.

Farmington at Durango, Colo.

The Farmington football team is still winless on the young 2016 season, but the Scorps are confident they are on the verge of a breakthrough with a trip to Durango, Colo., Friday to face the Demons.

But Durango won’t be handing out a potential win to the Scorps, as the Demons look to bounce back after suffering back-to-back losses to Aztec and Piedra Vista the last two weeks.

The Demons were limited to just 146 yards of offense in last week’s 24-12 loss to PV.

Farmington is coming off of a 36-12 loss at Belen last week.

The Scorps have created as many problems for themselves as their opponents have this season, committing drive-killing penalties and turnovers at the worst times.

Bloomfield at Bernalillo

Coming off a much-needed bye week, Bloomfield will try to wrangle its first win of the season Friday when the Bobcats pay a visit to 4A’s Bernalillo.

Bloomfield (0-2) was crushed by 35 points or more in each of its first two games, and has managed just one touchdown through two weeks.

A game against Bernalillo should do the struggling Bobcats some good, as the Spartans (0-3) have been walloped by an average of 32 points per loss in their three games this season.

Bloomfield's Brendon Charley attempts to fend off Bayfield's Jesse Westbrook during a Sept. 2 game at Bobcat Stadium in Bloomfield.

To date, Bloomfield’s offensive stats have not been impressive. The Bobcats have averaged a measly 1.3 yards per carry on the ground, and through the air, quarterback Brendon Charley has thrown for just 157 yards on a 46 percent completion percentage.

Kirtland Central at Los Alamos

Kirtland Central hopes history repeats itself Friday when the Broncos try to top Los Alamos like they did last year.

KC (2-1) battles Los Alamos (1-2) in week four just like last season when coach Greg Jenks’ bunch beat the Hilltoppers 33-24.

At times, it’s been a challenge for Jenks to get his defense to execute the way he’d like it to, but KC’s defensive unit took a big step forward last week during the squad’s 17-6 win over Montezuma-Cortez, Colo. The Broncos picked off four passes, registered three sacks and overwhelmed the Panthers.

KC’s offense, on the other hand, has been sloppy for much of the season. The Broncos hope for less resistance against a Los Alamos defense that has allowed at least 20 points in each of its three games. Two of those opponents were 4A schools.

Navajo Prep at Pinon, Ariz.

The Navajo Prep football team hasn’t been able to find an offensive rhythm this season, and the result has been three straight losses.

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

After falling to Laguna Acoma 14-6 last week, Prep (0-3) will try for its first win when the team travels to Pinon, Ariz., to take on the Eagles on Saturday afternoon.

Not only is Pinon (0-3) looking for its first win of the season, the Eagles have yet to score during 2016, losing their three games by a combined 186-0.

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.