FARMINGTON — After drubbing Gallup 54-14 tonight on the road, all the Kirtland Central football team can do now is hope the state playoff selection committee smiles on the Broncos over the weekend.
KC (6-4, 2-3 District 1-5A) sped past the Bengals (2-8, 0-5) by amassing a 23-0 first-quarter lead. The Broncos coasted from there, and finish the season with two straight wins and a fourth-place standing in a very competitive District 1-5A.
Broncos coach Greg Jenks said he and his assistant coaches have studied the New Mexico Activities Association's criteria for selecting playoff teams, and he believes his team aces most of those tests.
"We beat Grants in all the criteria, we beat Capital in all the criteria," Jenks said. "We were only one point behind Grants in the Max Preps rankings, so we think with our win and their loss (to Belen tonight), we'll jump them."
KC hopes to sneak into the 12th and final playoff spot.
After jumping out to a 23-0 lead on Gallup, Jenks opted to get some of his reserves some work, which he said he regrets.
"We came out hot. It was really good. But we lost a little bit of energy with the switches," Jenks said. "I probably should have waited until it was 35-0."
KC quarterback Bryson Dowdy rushed for two touchdowns and threw for another in the rout.
Zach Van Duren returned the opening kickoff for a Broncos touchdown.
Rio Rancho 52, Piedra Vista 28
The Piedra Vista football team didn’t win a game in District 1-6A play, losing its season finale 52-28 on the road to Rio Rancho.
But the 0-4 record in district play isn’t indicative of the Panthers’ season, or the way they persevered and rallied in the final two weeks of the season.
“I was really proud of the kids. They fought until the end and punched in 28 (points),” PV coach Jared Howell said. “The last two games, I think we really grew as a program. Sometimes you have to go through the fire to find out who you are.”
PV (5-5, 0-4 District 1-6A) kept with the Rams (10-0, 4-0) through the first quarter, but the Panthers created trouble for themselves in the second.
Howell said PV had a couple of bad snaps that pinned the team deep in their own territory and gave Rio Rancho good starting field position.
Then, right before half, PV threw an interception the Rams returned for a touchdown, sending the game to halftime with Rio Rancho leading 31-7.
PV cut the deficit to 15 in the third quarter, but the Rams picked up the tempo on offense to rebuild the large lead.
After a 5-0 start to the season, PV’s season comes to an end after dropping its final five games. Even with the rough close to the year, which was plagued by injuries, Howell said this team laid the groundwork for the future of PV football.
“One thing we do have is kids who are tough. They play when they’re banged up, and they don’t want to come off the field. I had to take kids off the field. They weren’t looking for a way out, they were looking for a way back on,” Howell said. “I think we have kids in Farmington who can be successful in football. If they believe and buy in to the programs and participate, there’s a lot of success to be had.”
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.