KIRTLAND — The Miyamura football team entered Bronco Stadium tonight and spoiled Kirtland Central's homecoming by destroying the hosts 50-14.
Kirtland Central's defense was feasted on for the third straight week, this time by Miyamura (7-1, 3-0 District 1-5A) junior quarterback Matt Chavez, who did as he pleased all night.
Chavez rushed for two scores and threw for three more, with four of those touchdowns coming in the first half. After feeling the wrath of Aztec's Cody Smith and Farmington's Kody Becenti in consecutive weeks — and then having to deal with Chavez tonight — KC coach Greg Jenks said he's running out of superlatives for the dual-threat QBs in District 1-5A.
"I don't know who you name first-team all-district quarterback in this district," Jenks said. "You know, you saw it on film, you saw how good (Chavez) was, how he makes guys miss and makes plays. And we didn't put pressure on him, and he's very accurate."
Things went south for the Broncos (4-4, 0-3) on just the second play of the game, when quarterback Bryson Dowdy was intercepted near the sideline in Bronco territory. Six plays after that, the Pats found the end zone when Chavez dashed forward for a 3-yard score, but not before the already-dinged up Broncos suffered a key injury.
During the Pats' red-zone march, KC middle linebacker and starting right guard Donnie Walker went down with what his coaching staff later deemed concussion-like symptoms. He had to be helped off the field and did not return in the game.
The Broncos were also without starting center Chandler Wagoner, who roamed the sidelines in a walking boot for the homecoming game. Jenks said he doesn't like to make excuses, but it's hard to ignore the impact of losing a pair of two-way senior captains.
"At the same time, as far as not making excuses, you still have to understand how good those two are," Jenks said.
The Pats found paydirt on their first three drives, and they did it with ease, picking up eight first downs to go along with the three scores on just 18 plays over the three scoring drives.
While Chavez powered the Pats, two turnovers and a three and out on the Broncos' first three drives put the hosts in a 22-0 second-quarter hole. Dowdy got a little of it back, on a drive assisted by two big Miyamura penalties, when he scored on a 12-yard keeper to cut it to a 15-point Pats lead.
A couple drives later, it looked like KC might mount some momentum when Zach Van Duren intercepted a pass, cut across the field and returned the ball 60 yards. But the entire return was wiped out by a Broncos penalty.
Chavez and the Miyamura offense then snatched back any momentum KC might have had by scoring twice in the final two minutes and 16 seconds of the first half. The second score, which put the visitors ahead by 31 points, came as the halftime buzzer sounded, when Chavez hit Jason Upshaw for a 16-yard score in the back of the end zone.
KC's defense showed some resistance in the second half by forcing the Pats to punt and turn the ball over on downs once, but two Dowdy interceptions and a lost fumble on a botched snap led to two more Patriot scores.
In between those last two Miyamura touchdowns, Dowdy did find Van Duren in the end zone for a 16-yard hookup.
Late into his second season, Jenks said he has felt the rigors of building a solid football program.
"I'm appreciating all the coaches who are able to step into a program and build a program up," Jenks said. "I'm about ready to call up (former KC) coach (Bill) Cawood and get some advice. Our goal is to get back to that era, coach Cawood's great era of 22 years. We've got a lot of work to put in and a lot of changes that have to take place."
Jenks said he'll prioritize building character over winning during KC's final two games of the season. The Broncos host Bloomfield (4-4, 1-2) next week.
Jake Newby covers sports for the Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577.