Tigers thrash Santa Fe on road

Will Webber, Santa Fe New Mexican
Santa Fe's Jeremy Martinez (14) gets tackled by Aztec's Hunter Riddick (26) during the first quarter of Friday's game at SFHS.

SANTA FE — The sunken edifice that is Santa Fe High’s spacious Ivan Head Stadium has seen its fair share of visiting players shine brightly against the hometown team, so it should come as no surprise that it didn’t take long for Zach Taylor to leave his mark during tonight's non-district tuneup against the host Demons.

The Aztec quarterback carved Santa Fe High’s defense for 398 yards of total offense, passing for three touchdowns and running for two more as the Tigers rolled to a 48-6 victory.

Taylor said biding his time as a receiver before taking over at quarterback this fall has made him a better passer and certainly a calmer presence in the huddle.

“You know, I feel like I could always play this position but I was happy just doing what I was,” he said.

Taylor completed his first eight throws and engineered four straight scoring drives to start the night, hitting Garrett Ortega twice in the first half as the Tigers (4-3) led from start to finish.

Taylor looked pretty happy against a Santa Fe defense that's had trouble stopping teams with solid skill players, let alone solid linemen who have the ability to buy extra time.

Taylor finished with 251 yards passing and three touchdowns. He completed 15 of 19 passes, adding a rushing touchdown of 14 yards in the first quarter and a 59-yarder in the fourth.

“I think most of the places in this state he would have started at quarterback as a sophomore if he didn’t have the type of kid that was in front of him,” said Aztec coach Matthew Steinfeldt. “He’s a dual-threat kid and a 4.0 student, so when you talk about progressions he’s as good with that as anyone you’re going to see.”

Aztec had 475 yards offense, including 147 on the ground from Taylor.

Aztec will carry a three-game winning streak into its District 1-4A opener in two weeks against Kirkland Central.