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Albuquerque Journal - - FRONT PAGE - | BY JAMES YODICE JOUR­NAL STAFF WRITER | SEC­TION B

With 4 min­utes left in the sea­son’s most im­por­tant game, the La Cueva Bears opted for some com­fort food.

The mar­velous throw that Bears quar­ter­back Dy­lan Sum­mer au­thored to break a 19-19 tie against El­do­rado is one he is per­haps more com­fort­able and fa­mil­iar with than any other in the La Cueva arse­nal.

And this toss, even on a night when Sum­mer la­bored to com­plete passes, proved to be the dif­fer­ence for La Cueva.

Sum­mer chucked a 73-yard touch­down pass to Prince Robert­son with 3:55 re­main­ing, and the sec­ond-ranked Bears scored 21 points in the fi­nal four min­utes to pull away from No. 3 El­do­rado in a 40-19 District 2/5-6A vic­tory Thurs­day night at Wil­son Sta­dium.

On a third-and-long for the Bears from their 27, La Cueva coach Bran­don Back de­cided it was time to del­e­gate some author­ity.

“We asked what he (Sum­mer) wanted to throw, and that’s the one he wanted,” Back said af­ter the Bears im­proved to 8-0 over­all and 2-0 in district. “We put it on his shoul­ders to make a big play at the end, and we got it.”

The play had Robert­son, on the far side, run a fly route. Sum­mer, who com­pleted only 11 of 29 passes in this game, made his best throw of the night, lob­bing a pass that found Robert­son’s hands at about the El­do­rado 30.

The speedy Robert­son took it the rest of the way as an Ea­gle de­fender fell down on the catch.

“I had been call­ing that play for a while (Thurs­day night),” said Sum­mer. “And we knew it was a good play for their cov­er­age.”

With the PAT, La Cueva, which at one point trailed the Ea­gles (5-2, 0-1) by 19-7, took a 26-19 lead.

“All night,” Sum­mer said, “we were off. It fi­nally clicked right there in that play.”

D’An­dre Wil­liams added an in­sur­ance touch­down ex­actly one

minute later af­ter La Cueva forced a punt.

With the clock run­ning in the fi­nal 10 sec­onds and La Cueva not need­ing to even run an­other play, the Bears ran one any­way — and threw for an­other touch­down with 6 sec­onds show­ing.

“La Cueva and El­do­rado have dif­fer­ent philoso­phies,” El­do­rado coach Char­lie Dot­son said of the fi­nal La Cueva TD, ju­di­ciously choos­ing his words.

La Cueva scored the game’s fi­nal 33 points.

El­do­rado had the first 10, punch­ing the Bears in the mouth with a po­tent ground game. Ben West had a 13-yard TD run to open the game, and a Brod­er­ick Dick­man field goal made it 10-0 less than four min­utes into the game. The Bears were er­ror-prone in the first quar­ter, an is­sue com­pounded by the fact El­do­rado ran it down La Cueva’s throat.

“We came out a lit­tle flat,” La Cueva se­nior de­fen­sive end Ken­drick Mil­ford ad­mit­ted. “But we found the fight, and kept push­ing.”

The Ea­gles led 19-14 at half­time, but both coaches knew the mar­gin should have been much wider given El­do­rado’s missed chances.

“We should have been down 30 (at half),” Back said.

El­do­rado still held a 19-16 lead go­ing to the fourth quar­ter; the only points in the third quar­ter came on a La Cueva safety as Ea­gles’ QB Nick Petty ran out of the back of the end zone af­ter a bad snap.

Do­minic Ca­ma­cho of the Bears made it 19-all with a short field goal with 7:23 re­main­ing.

“The dif­fer­ence was the in­abil­ity of our of­fense in the sec­ond half to get any­thing go­ing,” Dot­son said. “Our de­fense played out­stand­ing.”

El­do­rado had 167 rush­ing yards in the first half, but only 24 in the sec­ond half. And La Cueva in­ter­cepted Petty four times — in­clud­ing a one-handed pick by Mil­ford.

The teams com­bined for seven turnovers; La Cueva’s three were all fum­bles. The Ea­gles were held score­less for the fi­nal 36½ min­utes.

The Bears are off next week. El­do­rado vis­its Clo­vis. There is still no de­fin­i­tive word, Dot­son said, on when his se­nior quar­ter­back, Gabe Smith, will re­turn to the lineup.

Smith, who broke his col­lar­bone sev­eral weeks ago against Al­bu­querque High, has be­gun to throw, Dot­son said. It is con­ceiv­able Smith might re­turn be­fore the reg­u­lar sea­son ends, but Dot­son is wary of rush­ing him back onto the field.

“He’ll come back when the doc­tor says,” Dot­son said.

In the mean­time, El­do­rado is still very much in the hunt for a top-four seed for the play­offs, which would give the Ea­gles a first-round bye.

“Our goal is to fin­ish 8-2 and be the 4 seed and get an­other crack at those guys (in the play­offs),” Dot­son said of La Cueva.

Also Thurs­day, Al­bu­querque High edged High­land 16-13.

ROBERTO E. ROS­ALES/JOUR­NAL

La Cueva run­ning back D’An­dre Wil­liams runs for a touch­down dur­ing the Bears’ win over El­do­rado Thurs­day.

ROBERTO E. ROS­ALES/JOUR­NAL

La Cueva’s Dy­lan Sum­mer (6) and El­do­rado’s Keith Al­varado, far left, look to re­cover Sum­mer’s fum­ble dur­ing the Bears’ win over the Ea­gles Thurs­day at Wil­son Sta­dium.

ROBERTO E. ROS­ALES/JOUR­NAL

La Cueva’s Con­nor O’Toole out­runs a pair of El­do­rado de­fend­ers on his way to a touch­down Thurs­day night.

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