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BLOOMFIELD – Bloomfield often settled down prematurely midway through games in 2016, rather than keep its foot on the gas pedal to the very end.

"That was definitely a deciding factor. We tended to slack off (in the) fourth quarter. It's up to the individual whether or not they want to work hard, and that just reflects how we play in games," senior free safety Adam Aguirre said.

The Bobcats aim to close out opponents in 2017, their second year in Class 5A.

Bloomfield (4-6 last season, 1-4 in District 1-5A) had too many miscues on offense late in games and struggled to adjust to opposing defenses.

"We just didn't put up points and didn't finish off teams," coach Bob Allcorn said. "We had a big lead on Miyamura, we had Aztec down, had Kirtland down. We really want to finish games."

And because many of Bloomfield's players help on both sides of the ball, those letdowns carried over to the defense.

Allcorn said he wants to see more of that "killer instinct" in the second half.

"When things started to go bad against Kirtland, we kind of mentally shut down and got outplayed in the second half. That was really tough for us," Allcorn said. "That mentality can sometimes creep in where kids aren't real invested, so it's a little easier to let up when times get tough. That's where we've got to have that fight to finish."

Senior defensive end/offensive guard Steve Wortman said players cannot afford to get comfortable with how things are going by halftime, whether Bloomfield is leading or trailing opponents.

"Once we get that lead, we've got to keep pushing, keep pushing and make the lead longer. Got to go out there and do it, no excuses," Wortman said. "This year, we're going to get it. We're pushing each other real well, and everybody's just working as a real big, strong unit now."

Despite having to rebuild in numerous spots on offense, some key pieces on defense will be intact. Such players include Wortman, Aguirre, who moved over from cornerback, and senior cornerback Brandon Lucero.

The Bobcats' new season begins 7 p.m. Friday at home against Belen.

Bloomfield's main goal in 2017 is simple: finish games.

Matt Hollinshead covers sports for the Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577.

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