Aztec races past Kirtland Central in district opener

Tigers win second in a row after 0-4 start

Hannah Grover
Farmington Daily Times
  • The Aztec defense shined in Friday's road victory over the Broncos.
  • Brock Beckstead scored the Broncos' only touchdown.
  • Aztec plays Bloomfield next week, while KC welcomes Farmington.


KIRTLAND — Aztec got the strong strong start to district play it needed, as the Tigers defeated Kirtland Central 45-10 Friday at Bronco Stadium.

Aztec started the season 0-4, but picked up its first win against Española Valley last week. It built on that momentum in Friday’s district opener.

“We had a rough start to the year,” Aztec coach Matt Steinfeldt said. “The boys were starting to question themselves a little bit, and we told them that this season is a new season. Anytime you get to district play you’re nondistrict record doesn’t matter.”

Steinfeldt said the Tiger defense turned in a strong performance against a Broncos offense that had been impressive all season.

Aztec quarterback Cody Smith stiff arms Kirtland Central's Jonathan Arreola during Friday's game at Bronco Stadium in Kirtland.


“Kirtland has been moving the ball putting points up on people all year long,” he said.

Steinfeldt said the Tiger defense was better this game than in past games.

“They played extremely physical, and I think that’s the biggest piece,” he said.

Kirtland coach Greg Jenks said the Broncos will be working on fundamentals and focusing on playing a mistake-free game prior to facing Farmington next week.

The host team's only touchdown was scored by Brock Beckstead during the first half. Earlier in the game, Tyler Jenks kicked a 20-yard field goal.

Kirtland Central quarterback Bryson Dowdy searches for a receiver during Friday's game against Aztec at Bronco Stadium in Kirtland.


Kirtland (4-2) is back home to play the Scorpions next week. Aztec (2-4) will square off against Bloomfield.

Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652.