Courier Sports Editor
MOSCA—Football weather quickly turned to winter weather here at Sangre de Cristo High School as the Sanford Indians scored 16 unanswered points in the last three minutes for a 16-14 win over the host Thunderbirds on Friday afternoon.
The game started off sunny and with a little bit of warmth, but as the game went on weather conditions continued to deteriorate as a cold front pushed strong winds and a steady drizzle that felt stronger as the wind picked up from the south, forcing teams to play a strategic game.
Sangre de Cristo jumped out to a 6-0 lead after a 50-yard touchdown run by senior Mitchell Stagner with 2:21 remaining in the opening quarter before increasing their lead to 14-0 with 11:57 remaining in the second quarter. The touchdown was scored by sophomore Kyle Beiriger, who crashed into the end zone for a 1-yard score.
The Indians came rallying back as Dustin Faucette broke loose for a 50-yard touchdown run with 2:30 remaining in the opening half. With 55 seconds remaining, Faucette connected with a wide receiver for a 45-yard touchdown pass. Both touchdowns preceded successful 2-point conversions to make the halftime score 16-14.
The second half started with two fumbles by the Thunderbirds as the wet and windy conditions made controlling the ball a hard task, halting any chance of scoring by either team, especially the teams that were driving toward the south end of the end zone.
The Indians were unable to do anything their first possession before they drove the ball down to the 10-yard line. They appeared to be poised to strike for a touchdown, however, a tackle at the line of scrimmage on fourth down gave the ball back to the Thunderbirds. The two teams traded possessions in the third quarter before the frame switched to the fourth.
The fourth quarter was much of the same as both teams attempted to move the ball, however, another fumble by the Thunderbirds halted their best attempt at a scoring drive.
The Thunderbirds held their ground defensively, forcing the Indians to punt the ball. With the wind’s aide the ball drifted into the end zone for a touchback. Sangre de Cristo moved the ball down the field to the 45-yard line before getting a turnover on downs allowing the Indians to get the ball back and just kneel on the ball for the win.
The Indians improved to 5-2 overall and 3-1 in conference play. They will wrap of their regular season on Friday when they host the Sargent Farmers for what could be the league championship. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
The Thunderbirds fall to 3-4 overall and 1-3 in league action. They will wrap up their regular season on Friday when they host the Sierra Grande Panthers at 1 p.m.
Farmers blank Trojans in mercy-rule win
SARGENT—The Antonito Trojans saw an unwanted familiar sight during Friday night’s 61-0 mercy-rule loss at the hands of the Sargent Farmers here at Sargent High School. For the second time this season, one of the Trojans’ players had to be placed on a stretcher and transported to a hospital in an ambulance.
Early in the second quarter junior Cesar Uriarte was hit hard and did not move from the turf. After about ten minutes, he was placed in an ambulance, however, it was learned that he was taken as a precautionary and was able to move before he left the field.
That was one of the only bright spots for the Trojans though. The Sargent Farmers did as they wanted in the game as it took a little over 14 minutes of game time for the Farmers put Antonito in a 40-point deficit and the mercy rule.
In the first half alone, the Farmers rushed for 151 yards while they were a perfect 5-for-5 in pass attempts for 202 yards, a total of 353 yards, they did commit three penalties for 35 yards.
The Trojans accumulated -19 yards on the ground on 16 rushing attempts while they were 1-for-7 on pass attempts for 23 yards. That added up four net yards for the Trojans in the opening half.
Less than a minute and a half into the first quarter, Sargent scored their first touchdown. The score came on a 4-yard pass from senior Austin Dillon to junior Nate Ramirez.
After two punts by the Trojans and two touchdowns that were called back because of penalties, senior Scott Dillon finally got a 4-yard touchdown with 5:15 showing in the quarter.
Senior Colton Cooley, who did not play in last week’s contest because of a knee injury, returned to action with several plays including a 1-yard rushing touchdown with 3:40 remaining.
Another three-and-out by the Trojans led to a 1-play drive for the Trojans. Austin Dillion connected with senior Austin Heersink on a nice floater that Heersink gathered without breaking stride to race for a 63-yard receiving touchdown.
The Trojans had another three-and-out to punt the ball away, but the punt was muffed by junior Jace Bogle and recovered by the Trojans’ junior Scotty Vigil. Bogle would redeem himself two plays later by gathering an interception and returning it 22 yards to set up a 25-yard rushing touchdown by Cooley.
Another punt by the Trojans had the Farmers sitting on the 25 yard line, but that didn’t phase the Farmer’s offense as the first play from the line of scrimmage was a 75-yard passing touchdown. Dillon added another touchdown before halftime to give them a 54-0 halftime lead.
The Famers did tack on one more touchdown as the clock wound down in the third quarter.
The Farmers remain undefeated at 4-0 in conference action while improving their season record to 5-2. They will play Sanford next Friday night in the final game of the regular season. Should the Farmers win they will win the league title outright, but, should the Indians win, the two will share the title.
The Trojans, 0-3 league and 1-4 overall, will wrap up their season against La Veta next week.
La Veta 34,
Sierra Grande 6
BLANCA—Weather was also an issue at Sierra Grande High School on Friday afternoon as lightning strikes close by forced officials and game administrators to force a delay and move players to a safe place with just over seven minutes remaining in the game. The delay lasted about 25 minutes before the game resumed. Unfortunately for the Panthers, they could not overcome a 20-point lead that the Redskins had built. The Redskins eventually added on a touchdown to make the final score 34-6.
IGNACIO—Despite having two leads in Friday night's Southern Peaks League contest, the Ignacio Bobcats were able to hold on for an 18-13 victory.
Center's Gustavo Nungaray opened the scoring for the Vikings with a 1-yard rushing touchdown to cap off a 9-play 64-yard drive only for the Bobcats to toe the game early in the second quarter.
After allowing the Bobcats to take a 12-6 lead into the half, the Vikings came out with a 8-play drive that covered 53 yards that ended with a 17-yard run by Nungaray. They took a 1-point lead with an extra point kick.
Ignacio was able to score before the end of the third quarter to give the Bobcats a lead.
Nungary finished the night with 46 carries and accumulating 259 rushing yards, 12 of those carries came in the fourth quarter alone.
Monte Vista 41,
DOLORES—The Monte Vista Pirates defeated the Dolores Bears in Dolores on Friday night in decisive fashion, 41-18.
Michael Sanchez got the night started with a 41-yard pass to Jeff Cooper for a touchdown with about a minute left in the opening quarter.
The Bears scored a touchdown early in the second quarter before Cooper got a 90-yard kick return for a touchdown.
Once again Dolores scored to make the score 14-12, Pirates.
It appeared that's the way the first half would end, but Hansel Garcia had different plans because he punched the ball into the end zone as the half was about to expire to make the halftime score 20-12.
Shadron Wenta opened up the second half with an 8-yard touchdown and a 3-yard rushing touchdown.
They did have one more rushing touchdown to close out the scoring.
Sargent def. Cripple Creek, 3-0 (25-11, 25-15 and 25-9)
Sangre de Cristo def. La Veta, 3-0 (25-16, 25-14 and 25-16)
Del Norte def. Center, 3-0 (25-8, 25-14 and 25-20)
Sanford def. Sierra Grande, 3-0 (25-11, 25-16 and 25-12)