Rams cruise past Panthers in district finale
PV gets off to fast start, but can't slow down Rio Rancho offense
- Piedra Vista finished third in District 1-6A with the loss with a 2-2 mark.
- The Panthers are 5-5 overall and caoch Jared Howell expects the team to be awarded a playoff berth.
FARMINGTON — Piedra Vista drew first blood after a big play, but Rio Rancho soon seized control with a multitude of big plays, resulting in a 59-14 Rams victory tonight at Hutchison Stadium.
The Rams clinched second place in District 1-6A with the win.
"We've been needing to get some momentum built up, and I think we did a good job of that," Rio Rancho coach David Howes said. "Offensively, we did really well on all but one drive."
PV settled for third in district, which it earned after beating Volcano Vista last weekend. But the Panthers like their chances at being awarded a playoff berth.
“I'd be really shocked if anything else happened other than a 10 or 11 spot,” PV coach Jared Howell said. "If you go by the criteria set by the (New Mexico Activities Association), that's where we'd land."
Panthers wide receiver Christian Chavez made an over-the-head, 80-yard catch down the right side, which set up a 3-yard touchdown run by Trent Kiraly about midway through the first quarter.
But the Rams quickly responded with some giant plays of their own. Rio Rancho quarterback Isaiah Chavez maneuvered around PV’s defensive front and took off for a 49-yard score. Chavez later broke a tackle behind the line of scrimmage and took off for a 91-yard touchdown run.
The Rams (8-2, 3-1) also did damage in the red zone and prolonged drives throwing the ball down the inside creases.
"They gave us that pass-option off of the run game, so we were able to take advantage of that little bit," Howes said.
Meanwhile, PV (5-5, 2-2) struggled to move the chains as the game went on. Passes were off target and runs were brief.
Despite the outcome, Howell believes his squad has done enough to get a playoff berth. PV’s key wins include district foes Cibola and Volcano Vista, along with District 1-5A champion Farmington.
Both teams will learn their playoff fates at 11 p.m. Saturday when this year’s 6A state football playoff bracket is released.
Matt Hollinshead covers sports for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577.