SANTA FE – If Bob Allcorn ever sits down and pens the memoirs of his road trips as a high school football coach, Saturday’s trip to the state capital will have its own chapter.
Traveling from the Four Corners area the morning of the game, the Bloomfield Bobcats had an emergency bathroom stop, an issue with paying for the team breakfast thanks to a faulty credit card, then arrived at their destination almost an hour later than they planned.
No matter. Thanks to a dominant performance by a defensive front that produced 13 sacks and forced five turnovers, not to mention a video-game offense that erupted for seven touchdowns, Bloomfield steamrolled St. Michael’s, 54-22, at the Christian Brothers Athletic Complex.
It was the third straight loss to a top-three team in Class 4A for St. Mike’s (0-3), which has opened its season with blowout setbacks to defending state champion Taos, current No. 1 Portales and now the Bobcats (3-0).
As for the visitors in Saturday’s game, the worst part of the day was the trip into town.
“Road games like this actually aren’t that bad because at least you get to sleep on the bus,” said Bloomfield quarterback Vincent Marquez.
Oh what a day Marquez had. The senior signal caller had a videogame-like performance in the first half and finished his afternoon with 280 yards passing and accounted for six touchdowns. He had 242 of his passing yards in the first two quarters and tossed four TDs while rushing for an additional 33 yards and two scores.
Running backs J.T. Seitzinger and Kenyon Mosley combined for 159 yards on the ground. Mosley opened the second half with a 55-yard touchdown run as the Bobcats offense rolled up 478 total yards compared to 166 for the Horsemen.
“There are some things we need to clean up, sure, but our defense was outstanding and Vince did some great things aside from the turnovers,” Allcorn said.
Marquez was picked off four times and finished the game 17-for-33 through the air. His favorite target was senior Noah Gurule, with whom he connected on nine passes for 99 yards and two scores.
As for that road trip, hiccups aside it wasn’t all bad – until the game started. The Bobcats gave up a 65-yard return on the opening kickoff and fell behind 13-0 as the Horsemen needed just six plays to get a pair of touchdown passes from quarterback Lucas Coriz. That all happened in the first three minutes of the opening quarter, setting the stage for what looked like a wild day for St. Michael’s.
Facing third-and-13 from midfield on its second drive of the day, Bloomfield found the momentum it needed when Marquez found receiver Bryce Perez for a critical 29-yard pass. Marquez punched the ball in two plays later on a 17-yard scoring run up the middle.
That touchdown opened the flood gates as the Bobcats scored 47 unanswered points to turn the game into a rout. Things were tight until the midway point of the second quarter when they rattled off 26 points in the final 6 minutes, 32 seconds of the half to open a commanding 40-13 edge at the break.
Marquez threw three touchdown passes in that short span, shredding the Horsemen defense by running Bloomfield’s trademark no-huddle, four-receiver spread package.
“Probably one of the biggest plays of the entire game was that third down,” said St. Michael’s head coach Joey Fernandez. “We stop them there and maybe we keep some kind of momentum and stay in this thing.”
Maybe, but the truth was painfully clear: There was no stopping the Bloomfield defense. The unit was constantly in the St. Michael’s backfield and, subsequently, in Coriz’s face. The 6-foot-3 sophomore quarterback was hit more than two dozen times and sacked seven times in the second quarter alone.
“I’m sure he’s going to be feeling it [Sunday], but the fact is we needed to protect him more and never did,” Fernandez said.
Coriz actually started his day on a positive note, rattling off a 65-yard run in the first quarter. By halftime he had negative-10 yards rushing and, despite a 17-yard run in the fourth quarter, he still finished with minus-17 yards for the day. As a team St. Michael’s was held to six yards rushing on 24 attempts.
“What more can I say about the way our kids played up front?” Allcorn said. “We were down one starter but everyone was sharp after those first two drives.”
Bloomfield (3-0) actually had its lowest-scoring output of the season Saturday. In three games the Bobcats have outscored their opposition 173-48. The road gets a little steeper with next week’s home date against 5A opponent Los Alamos (2-1) and a Sept. 20 visit from Hope Christian (2-1). … St. Michael’s coach Joey Fernandez is the state’s winningest active coach with 152, all of them with the Horsemen.
Will Webber covers sports for the Santa Fe New Mexican.