Scorpions power past Durango; Bobcats edge clear of Miyamura

Steven Bortstein
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON — The Farmington Scorpions and Bloomfield Bobcats kept their unbeaten seasons alive Friday night. Piedra Vista, Kirtland Central and Navajo Prep suffered tough losses on the road, and Aztec came up short at home against Bayfield.

Here's a look back at a busy Friday night for San Juan County football teams.

FARMINGTON 38, Durango 17

Facing their first real test of adversity this season, the Farmington Scorpions outscored Durango 24-0 in the second half to beat Durango 38-17 at Hutchison Stadium, keeping their perfect season intact.

Trailing for the first time at any point this season, the Scorpions went into the locker room down 17-14 after both teams traded big offensive punches in the first and second quarters. 

The second half, however, was all Farmington, as they took control of the offensive and defensive lines and took advantage of several Demons miscues.

Quarterback Brandon Furbee threw for a touchdown and ran for three of his own after getting knocked out of the game for a bit midway through the first quarter after taking a hard hit which sent him to the sidelines, momentarily slowing down the Scorpions offense.

Chance Carrillo got the scoring going for the Scorpions on their first offensive series, taking a short pass from Furbee down the sidelines for a 30-yard touchdown pass. The Scorps added to their lead on their next series when Furbee snuck in from a yard out to extend their lead to 14-0.

The Demons (2-2) fought back, putting up 17 unanswered points before halftime. Quarterback Tyler Harms found receiver Tagert Bardin for a 7-yard strike in the right corner of the end zone before running back Nate Messier tied the game on their next series, breaking tackles and scoring from 31 yards out.

The Demons added a late field goal, which found the Scorpions in the unfamiliar position of being down on the scoreboard for the first time all season.

Farmington Scorpion receiver Josiyah Archuleta (89) makes a catch over the middle of the field while being pursued by Durango Demons linebacker Junior Garcia-Rodriguez (28) during their football game, Friday, Sept. 18, 2021 at Hutchison Stadium.

"We needed to be battle-tested, and they gave us all of that," said Scorpions coach Jeff Dalton after the game. "We went to the locker room and rewrote the whole script."

Farmington took over in the second half, defensively coming up with two interception off Harms, and offensively managing a good mix of running plays with downfield strikes from Furbee who found open receivers while being flushed out of the pocket repeatedly.

The Scorpions were still trailing midway through the third quarter and needed a big play on third-down and 21. Jeven Smith got away from a pair of Demons defenders and made a great catch, putting the ball at the Demons 19. Three plays later, AJ Garcia ran it in from a yard out, giving back the lead to the Scorpions.

From that point on, Durango seemed to be their own worst enemy. Multiple procedural penalties on their offensive line pushed the Demons back, forcing them to abandon their running game and putting the emphasis on Harms, who missed a wide open receiver over the middle late in the third quarter which resulted in a Broden Cahoon interception.

The Scorpions (5-0) capitalized immediately, getting tough yards on the ground from running back Julian Gomez. Furbee found a wide open Patrick Shay down the sideline before being pushed out at the 1-yard line. Furbee jammed the ball over the line on the next play, giving the Scorpions a 28-17 lead with 11:22 left in the fourth quarter.

"We had to run a few different things that we weren't expecting," Dalton said. "They executed really well and made blocks and wore them out a little bit."

Farmington receiver Chance Carrillo breaks free down the sideline after catching a pass from Brandon Furbee and scoring a touchdown in the first quarter of their game against Durango, Friday, Sept. 17 at Hutchison Stadium.

After Durango turned the ball over on downs on their subsequent drive, Farmington began taking advantage of the clock. The Demons were out of time outs with 8 minutes left in the game.

Farmington began to chew up yards on the ground and with big plays from receiver Ethan Thomas, who made two big catches to extend drives and eventually lead to Furbee scoring his third rushing touchdown of the night after getting the ball down to the Demons 1-yard line.

"We needed to find out who we were character-wise, and we were in a dogfight," Dalton said. "We found out we're not going to quit."

The Demons will look to snap their 2-game losing streak when they host Piedra Vista on Friday at 7 p.m. The Scorpions will look to extend their perfect season at Hutchison Stadium Friday at 7 p.m. for a homecoming night game against Del Norte. 

BLOOMFIELD 28, Miyamura 14

The Bloomfield Bobcats remained unbeaten this season with a 28-14 win on the road at Miyamura, but the win does come with a bit of a price tag.

Starting quarterback Ryan Sharpe left the game in the first quarter with a strained medial collateral ligament (MCL), which is expected to keep him action for a bit of time.

"He'll miss at least two weeks," according to head coach Mike Kovacs. "I'm proud of the way we stepped up in his absence, but it was a tough one."

Sharpe was replaced by freshman quarterback Blake Spencer, who threw for a pair of touchdowns in the win, both of them to receiver Marc Armenta.

"The way he and all the kids came in and fought through all the adversity was a good thing," Kovacs said of Spencer. "He really stepped up for us in a big way."

Spencer completed six of 10 passes in the backup position and allowed Bloomfield to control the tempo offensively for much of the second half.

Bloomfield ran for more than 300 yards on the ground, racking up more than 430 yards in total offense for the win while also forcing seven turnovers on the night.

"Our defense stepped up big for us when we need them to during the game," Kovacs said. "(Miyamura) only had one offensive touchdown on the night." 

Bloomfield improves to 5-0 on the season and is sure to maintain a prominent spot atop both the MaxPreps and New Mexico coaches poll for Class 4A. The Bobcats will be in action Friday night at Valencia.

PAGOSA SPRINGS 27, Kirtland Central 14

Falling behind early, Kirtland Central's football team never got untracked and lost to Pagosa Springs 27-14 in a tough road loss for the Broncos.

Facing their fourth straight opponent on the road this season, the Broncos played catch-up much of the night and finding few opportunities for star running back Zakk Thomas to get rolling as he had in most recent games.

"They (Pagosa Springs) lined up in a couple different formations that we couldn't match up with," said Broncos coach Jeff Schaum after the loss. "Football games are won by blocking and tackling, and I think we forgot to do that last night."

The Pirates earned their first win of the season with the victory, while the Broncos fall to 1-4 but will get to play only their second home game of the season Friday night when they face Grants.

IGNACIO 53, Navajo Prep 52

With a total of 105 points scored between the two teams, Ignacio improved to 4-0 on the season with a 53-52 win at home Friday night over Navajo Prep.

Neither team could do much to slow down the opposing offense, with Eagles quarterback Dontrelle Denetso as well as running back Kyler Clitso and receivers Kyun Tate and Lucius Hale doing the majority of the scoring for the Eagles.

"We just couldn't stop each other," said Eagles coach Rod Denetso after the game. "There were mismatches on both sides that both teams were able to take advantage of. We probably gave away a few too many plays." 

Navajo Prep falls to 3-2 on the season and will be on the road yet again Friday at 7 p.m. to face Cuba. 

BELEN 20, Piedra Vista 14 (OT)

The Belen Eagles improved their record to 2-2 this season with a 20-14 overtime win at home Friday night over Piedra Vista.

The Panthers got rushing touchdowns from Lukas Chavez in the first quarter to give them an early lead in the game, then after falling behind 14-7 early in the fourth quarter, Jacob Ramsted tied the game with a 5-yard scoring run.

"We had too many missed opportunities, too many mistakes," said coach Jared Howell after the game. "When you're battling two opponents, the other team and yourselves, it's a disadvantage."

The Panthers (3-2) saw their three-game win streak come to an end with the loss and will be on the road Friday night to face Durango. 

BAYFIELD 46, Aztec 25

The Bayfield Wolverines spoiled homecoming night for the Aztec Tigers, getting out front early and scoring a 46-25 win Friday night at Fred Cook Memorial Stadium.

Deegan Barnes, who scored touchdowns as both a running back and defensive standout, led the Wolverines to a 20-6 halftime lead, while Cael Schaefer also found paydirt twice in the third quarter to put the game out of reach.

"We've got a lot of work to do before we get to district," coach Eric Stovall said after the loss. "We got beat by a really good football team and there's a lot of room for improvement for us on all three sides of the ball."

The Tigers did rally a bit in the fourth quarter, led by quarterback Landan Frost, who threw for a pair of touchdowns in the game while wide receiver Tristen McNeal and running back Jaylen Ignacio also found the end zone.

Bayfield improves to 2-1 on the season while the Tigers have lost three straight and fall to 1-4. The Tigers will be back in action Friday when they visit St. Pius on Saturday at 1 p.m.

TAOS 53, Shiprock 0

Elijah Romero, Cayden Farmer, Mateo Salazar and Ryan Montoya each scored touchdowns on the ground for Taos as they rolled over Shiprock 53-0 in a game that was called off at the end of the first half.

The Tigers, who came into the game in search of their first win of the season, jumped out to a 30-0 lead over the Chieftains at the end of the first quarter, thanks to big plays from Romero and Farmer, who got the scoring going early for Taos (1-4).

Shiprock falls to 0-4. The Chieftains have yet to score a point this season and have given up 174 points along the way. 

Steve Bortstein can be reached via email at SBortstein@Gannett.com, via Twitter @DTSBortstein or on the phone at (505) 635-2680