Friday night lights: Scorpions seek second straight district win at home against Sandia

Steven Bortstein
Farmington Daily Times

10:10 p.m. -- FINAL SCORES:

FARMINGTON 43, Sandia 7

PIEDRA VISTA 48, Miyamura 21

BLOOMFIELD 58, Kirtland Central 8

AZTEC 52, Gallup 0

8:57 p.m. -- A blocked punt by Sandia is recovered and returned for a touchdown, which ends the running clock and trims the Scorpions lead to 36-7. We're gonna head downstairs for postgame quotes and such, because this game is as good as over. But before we do, the FHS offense scores again on a TD pass from Griego to Beck (his third TD grab) and FHS goes back to a running clock lead of 43-7.

8:48 p.m. -- END OF THIRD QUARTER, Farmington leads 36-0. Piedra Vista leads Miyamura 35-14 in the third quarter.

8:44 p.m. -- Sandia opened the second half with the ball and got a good kickoff return out to the 40 yard line. The Matadors ran a couple plays with Thymes for short gain. Rivera's third interception of the game, taken by Jevon Smith, halts the drive and gives FHS the ball back as the clock is running. FHS nearly pulled off a fourth-and-12 play with a big effort from Michael Beck but comes up a yard short. Scorps turn the ball over on downs for only the second time tonight.

Some images from earlier in the game

Sandia's Malachi Thymes sprints past Farmington's Scot Fishburn as he looks for open field in the first quarter of their football game, Friday, Oct. 14, 2022 at Hutchison Stadium.
Farmington quarterback Trel Griego splits Sandia's Gauge Berlint (9) and Cree Shupla (50) as he runs downfield in the first quarter of their football game, Friday, Oct. 14, 2022 at Hutchison Stadium.
Farmington's Tate James (53) brings down Sandia quarterback Cruz Rivera (12) in the first quarter of their game, Friday, Oct. 14, 2022 at Hutchison Stadium.
Sandia's Malachi Thymes looks for running room as he escapes Farmington's Alex Serrano (7), Taushaun King (12) and Deacon Stowell (83) during the first quarter of their football game, Friday, Oct. 14, 2022 at Hutchison Stadium.

8:12 p.m. -- The first half comes to an end and Farmington leads 36-0!

Meantime, Piedra Vista was leading 14-0 over Miyamura in the second quarter, while Aztec was up big over Gallup and Bloomfield was out in front 37-0 over Kirtland Central.

8:04 p.m. -- FHS takes over after a turnover on downs and immediately gets the ball into the red zone. The Scorpions getting good yards on the grounds from Archuleta and Ethan Tsosie. Archuleta scores his second touchdown of the night on a screen pass from Griego from 6 yards out. The score moves to 36-0 with 2:22 left in the half.

AZTEC leads Gallup 40-0 in the second quarter. BLOOMFIELD 30-0 lead over Kirtland Central.

7:55 p.m. -- So far, the Scorpions blend of run & pass has worked well in getting up and down the field. The Sandia defense has been abysmal for the most part. Michael Beck gets his second touchdown grab of the night, this one from Griego from 42 yards out and the lead extends to 29-0 with 5:30 left in the half.

7:48 p.m. -- The Scorpions get a touchdown on another Sandia turnover. Santiago Gonzalez picked up the ball stripped away from Mekhi Aragon and sprinted 50 yards for another TD. The Scorpions add the PAT and lead 22-0 with 8:20 to go in the second quarter.

BLOOMFIELD extends their lead over Kirtland Central to 22-0 with 6 minutes left in the half.

7:40 p.m. -- Farmington took advantage of a Sandia turnover with a Michael Beck TD grab from Trel Griego after the QB escaped some trouble scrambling out of the pocket. Beck scored from 48 yards out and the TD with 2-point conversion from Griego to Jevon Smith makes it a 15-0 lead with 10:28 left in the first half.

Sandia has had a pair of possessions which chewed up clock and yards, but both ended with turnovers.

BLOOMFIELD leads Kirtland Central 15-0 after one quarter.

7:30 p.m. -- The Scorpions struck first, when Josiyah Archuleta rolled up the middle from 7 yards out to score with 2:42 left in the first quarter to put Farmington up 7-0.

Sandia running back Malachi Thymes has had his opportunities to get some open field, but Sandia has been their own worst enemy with procedural penalties early in the game.

End of the first quarter and FHS leads 7-0.

6:30 p.m. -- Just sat down in the pressbox at Hutchison Stadium. We'll have updates throughout the night starting late in the first quarter as we'll be downstairs getting some photos from the start of the game.

And yes, I'll have my ears tuned into the Dodgers vs. Padres game as well. #ITFDB

FARMINGTON − The Farmington High School football team is seeking a second straight win in District 2-5/6A as they host the Sandia Matadors at Hutchison Stadium. Live coverage begins at kickoff.

The Scorpions opened their district campaign last weekend with a 48-41 shootout win on the road over West Mesa while Sandia (3-4 overall, 0-2 District) has lost both their district games thus far, a 21-14 home loss to Eldorado on Sept. 29, followed by a 42-39 double overtime road loss against Eldorado.

Stay tuned here throughout the night for updates on the Scorpions vs. Matadors, as well as other games throughout San Juan County as we get them.

Last weekScorpions open district campaign with win on road over West Mesa

Some things to know...

The latest New Mexico coaches polls show Farmington moving into the top 10 this weekend, coming into the game as the ninth-ranked team in Class 6A while Sandia is ranked outside the top 10. Leading the 6A coaches poll this week are Cleveland, Centennial and La Cueva, who the Scorpions will face in the final game of the regular season.

In Class 5A, the Piedra Vista Panthers fell from first to third after their loss to Roswell, while the Coyotes have claimed the top spot with 11 first place votes among coaches. The only other team to receive a first-place vote in the Class 5A poll was second-ranked Artesia.

In Class 4A, the Silver Fighting Colts have claimed the top spot atop the coaches poll after their victory over Bloomfield, who fell from first to third place in the state. Silver received 11 first place votes, while second-ranked Portales received two and fourth-ranked Lovington received one first place vote, despite an overall record this season of 1-6.

The latest NMOT coaches poll for prep football, released on Monday, Oct. 10, 2022

Players to watch

The Matadors feature a powerful running game, led by senior Malachi Thymes, with nearly 800 rushing yards and 14 rushing touchdowns. Thymes currently is ranked in the top 10 players in the state in both those categories.

Defensively, Sandia will look for big performances from senior Gauge Berlint as well as junior Hunter Maldonado, who have combined for 57 tackles.

More:Farmington high school athletes find their place in the spotlight

History lesson

This is the 24th meeting between Farmington and Sandia on the football field, and the first since 1991.

According to New Mexico football historian and author Dan Ford, the most relevant game between these schools was in 1968 when they played each other twice, back to back. Farmington had won their district, as had Sandia when they met for the season finale in a non-league contest. Sandia won, 17-7. The next week they had to meet for a semifinal game and Sandia won again, 17-0.

Farmington leads the series, 12-11.

In other news....

Aztec High School's homecoming game tonight against Gallup will also feature inductions into the Aztec Schools Hall of Honor during a ceremony which will take place at halftime.

David Gonzales, a 2001 graduate from Aztec High School in 2001, lettered three years in wrestling.

David Gonzales

In 2001, he was the Academic Wrestler of the Year with a 4.2 grade point average while also on state championship and runner-up wrestling teams in 2000 and 2001 as a team captain. Gonzales also lettered in football and track and was a member of the National Honor Society.

Gonzales attended the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology and graduated as a member of the Tau Beta Pi Honor Society with achievements, awards, and honors in 2005. He has been a Member of the Board of Regents and was voted Alumni of the Year there.

Gonzales was a founder of Bison Oil and Gas and Stomp Athletics companies in Denver, Colorado and contributed more than $200,000 to the Aztec Wrestling Building Committee.

“I am thankful for my community that inspired, supported, and taught me that through hard work, commitment, and a well-balanced vision, that we can do transcendent things," Gonzales said.

Also to be inducted will be Scott Steffan, a 1986 graduate from Aztec High School who lettered in football, basketball, and track.

Aztec Hall of Honor inductee Scott Steffan

As a football player, Steffan quarterbacked the Tigers to the state final in 1984 and the semifinals in 1985. He received All-District and All-State awards in football and basketball, and he also played in the annual North/South All-State Football Game. In track, he was a district and state champion in multiple events. He went on to college on an athletic scholarship at the University of New Mexico where he was an All-Western Athletic Conference decathlete.

After graduating from UNM, Steffan went on to earn his Masters from the University of Missouri at Columbia. He coached track at the University of Virginia from 1991 to 1998 and spent three years at Wichita State University. He came back to the University of New Mexico to rebuild the pole-vaulting program. Currently, Steffan teaches at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, where he has been awarded Assistant Coach of the Year of the Mountain Region by U.S. Track and Field Association three times.

Steffan is presently the head track and field coach at the Air Force Academy and has coached several athletes who have competed in the Olympic trials as well as the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio.