Bobcats put unbeaten mark on the line at Albuquerque Academy

Steven Bortstein
Farmington Daily Times

BLOOMFIELD − The Bloomfield High School football team hits the road for one of the biggest games of the football season so far when they square off Friday at 7 p.m. with Albuquerque Academy.

Meantime, the Kirtland Central Broncos will look for their second win of the season when they face Montezuma-Cortez in their home opener.

Here's a glance at some of the Friday night prep football matchups.

Bloomfield (3-0) at Albuquerque Academy (3-0), Friday, 7 p.m.

For the first time in school history, the Albuquerque Chargers will play at home Friday night when they put their unbeaten streak on the line against Bloomfield High School in a battle of top-ranked teams in Class 4A.

"It's a real opportunity for us to showcase our school and the team and we're excited to pull out the welcome mat for a really good football team," said Chargers coach Shaun Gehres.

The school brought in temporary lights for a Saturday night game against Bernalillo last year. The stadium the Chargers call home, the Richard Harper Memorial Field, predominantly is used for afternoon games.

The latest polls from both MaxPreps and the New Mexico High School football coaches have the Chargers and Bobcats listed at the top of the Class 4A rankings, with both teams coming into the contest with identical 3-0 records. Bloomfield (third ranked according to MaxPreps) is coming into the game off a 43-0 rout at home over Grants and having surrendered only 26 points this season.

Bloomfield's Peyton Duncan makes a touchdown reception in the first quarter against Grants on Friday, September 2, 2022 at Bobcat Stadium.

Albuquerque Academy rolled to a 35-0 win last Saturday at home over Hope Christian and have only given up seven points on the year. The Chargers (ranked second in the latest MaxPreps poll) are led on the field by senior quarterback Andres Rivera, who threw for a pair of scores in last weekend's win over the Huskies. Rivera has thrown for six touchdowns on the season while completing more than 61 percent of his passes.

"They run a real balanced offense and have a load of playmakers," said Bobcats coach Mike Kovacs. "You can't really focus on one guy because they have some real good football players on both sides of the ball."

Defensively, the Chargers will look to juniors Brody Whitaker and Dalton Lee to put pressure on Bloomfield quarterback Ryan Sharpe. Whitaker and Lee have combined for 10 sacks and 50 tackles on the season.

Seniors Landen Martinez and Jaewon Choi have also been instrumental to the success of the Chargers on the defensive side, with a combined 40 tackles.

Sharpe, with 10 touchdowns and only one interception through the first three games of the season, will be looking to his playmakers to continue their early season success, which has accounted for an average of nearly 53 points per game.

Juniors Drew Perez, Jesse Seitzinger and George Rascon have combined for eight touchdown catches, and will provide the Chargers defense with likely their toughest matchup to date this season.

Bloomfield edged the Chargers 35-21 last season at home the last time these teams squared off, with Sharpe throwing three touchdowns while the Bobcats defense intercepted Rivera twice.

The Bloomfield game against Albuquerque Academy will be this weekend's prep football game of the week, with live blog coverage from Albuquerque beginning at 6 p.m. at daily-times.com.

Montezuma-Cortez (1-1) at Kirtland Central (1-1), Friday, 7 p.m.

The Kirtland Central High School football team will face Montezuma-Cortez in the Broncos home opener Friday night at Bill Cawood Field as both teams look for their second win of the season.

Kirtland Central scored their first win of the 2022 season last week at Thoreau, beating the Hawks by a final of 36-6. The Panthers, after winning their season opener last month over Aztec, lost last week on the road 33-26 to Rifle.

The Broncos will likely turn to running backs Bryle Matthews and Demusico Edcitty for their offensive attack. The duo have scored a pair of touchdowns and combined for more than 300 yards on the ground in the first two games of the season.

Defensively, senior Chase Gibbs has a pair of sacks on the season for the Broncos, while Colin Densley, Elijah Grey and Deronte Tso lead the team in tackles.

Durango (1-1) at Aztec (2-1), Friday, 7 p.m.

The Aztec High School football team will be looking for their second straight win Friday night when they host Durango at Fred Cook Memorial Stadium.

The Tigers are coming off a hard-fought 12-7 win last weekend at home over Bayfield in a game that was called due to lightning in the immediate area late in the third quarter.

Tristen McNeal and Marcquis Henry scored touchdowns in the win last weekend and were also aided by big performances from Baylor Seabolt and Jacob Greyeyes.

Durango, after opening their season a couple of weekends ago with a romp at home over Farmington, lost a 14-13 decision at Hutchison Stadium to Piedra Vista, one of the top-ranked Class 5A teams in New Mexico.

The Demons will once again look to exert themselves offensively with their rushing trio of Jaxon Fancher, Jeric Baruch and Zachary Haber, who have combined for more than 380 yards and five touchdowns on the ground this season.

Shiprock (1-2) at Monument Valley, Utah (0-2), Friday, 7 p.m.

The Monument Valley Cougars have managed only eight points through their first two games of the season while allowing 126 in the process. The Cougars were blanked 76-0 in their season opener at Water Canyon before losing 50-8 last weekend in their home opener against Altamont.

Shiprock, after snapping a 10-game losing streak when they beat Crownpoint 28-14 earlier this month, fell to Cuba 29-12 last weekend. The Chieftains will likely turn to Jarvis Begay and Austin King for their offensive productivity. The two have combined for nearly 500 total yards through three games this season.