St. Pius cruises past Ber­nalillo

Rio Ran­cho crushes West Mesa, 45-0

Albuquerque Journal - - SPORTS - JOUR­NAL STAFF RE­PORTS

BER­NALILLO — St. Pius cap­i­tal­ized on mul­ti­ple Ber­nalillo mis­cues in the first quar­ter and rolled to a 42-2 road vic­tory on Fri­day night.

The Sar­tans (4-3, 2-0 in 2/5-4A) needed just five plays and 84 sec­onds to put the first points on the board, as Isa­iah Grif­fin fol­lowed a 42-yard scam­per on a jet sweep with a 1-yard scor­ing run on the next play to put his team up 7-0 early.

From there, Ber­nalillo (5-2, 1-1), which was com­ing off a brawl-short­ened for­feit win against Es­pañola Val­ley last week, re­peat­edly shot it­self in the foot.

A bob­bled snap on a punt led to a turnover on downs deep in Ber­nalillo ter­ri­tory, set­ting up a 15-yard touch­down run by St. Pius quar­ter­back Derek Rivera to put his team up 14-0.

Mean­while, Ber­nalillo sig­nal caller Damian Gu­tier­rez threw three in­ter­cep­tions in the open­ing pe­riod — two by Nick Sla­ton, one by Robert God­shall. Two of those came in­side the Ber­nalillo 20, set­ting up short scor­ing drives for St. Pius. By the end of the first quar­ter, the Sar­tans were up 28-0 and on cruise con­trol.

“We’ve just been telling our kids just to be ag­gres­sive,” said St. Pius coach David Mon­toya. “The kids just need to have that con­fi­dence and be able to get af­ter stuff. We get pretty good pres­sure up front, so it’s eas­ier for our sec­ondary guys to be more ag­gres­sive.”

A touch­down pass from Rivera to Grif­fin put the Sar­tans up 35-0 with 8:52 left in the sec­ond quar­ter, and with the run­ning clock en­acted, the game went swiftly from that point. Rivera fin­ished with two rush­ing and two pass­ing touch­downs on the evening.

The vic­tory sets up a key show­down with No. 1-ranked Taos next Satur­day at Milne Sta­dium for St. Pius. The Tigers (7-0) have earned six of their vic­to­ries by 29 points or more.

“We watched them on film last year, and I was re­ally im­pressed with them. I knew they didn’t lose that many guys and they’d have a good team this year,” Mon­toya said. “We’ve been work­ing all year for this, and this is kind of what it comes down to for our dis­trict. We’ve got to win this one and two more.” —Tris­ten Critch­field RIO RAN­CHO 45, WEST

MESA 0: In Rio Ran­cho, the Rams scored on their first two of­fen­sive plays and never looked back.

The Mus­tangs (1-6, 0-2 in 1-6A) punted af­ter their first pos­ses­sion, in which they picked up two first downs, and the Rams (3-4, 2-0) had the ball on their own 36. Ju­nior quar­ter­back Isa­iah Chavez threw the ball over the mid­dle to Jeremy Rotert, who did the rest of the work for a 6-0 lead.

The Mus­tangs went three­and-out on their next pos­ses­sion, and Zach Vigil re­turned the en­su­ing punt 31 yards to the West Mesa 2. Jaylen Mor­gan took a hand­off and went into the end zone for the sec­ond TD; Mor­gan’s next carry was a 3-yard TD run, as the Rams built a 21-0 lead in the first quar­ter.

D’metrius Rhoten, who led the Rams’ rush­ing at­tack with 107 yards on eight car­ries, scored on a 3-yard run and Zack Bene­dict, 6-for-6 on points-af­ter, added a 31-yard field goal for a 31-0 Rams lead at half­time.

Vigil scored on a 15-yard run in the third pe­riod, and Chavez hooked up with Ethan Hamp­sten on a per­fectly thrown 10-yard fade pass into the cor­ner of the end zone for the game’s fi­nal TD.

By game’s end, the Mus­tangs had only three plays on the Rams’ side of the field: a 3-yard run, an in­com­plete pass and an in­ter­cep­tion.

West Mesa’s long­est plays of

the game were fourth-quar­ter passes cov­er­ing 24 and 20 yards from QB Ae­neas Townes to Chris As­paas.

“The de­fense played very well tonight,” said Rio Ran­cho coach David Howes af­ter his de­fense limited the Mus­tangs to 35 rush­ing yards and 48 pass­ing yards. “Of­fen­sively, we moved the ball. Got some guys in there early … spe­cial teams played very well tonight.” — Gary Her­ron CEN­TEN­NIAL 13, MAY­FIELD 0: At the Field of Dreams, Brent Rigtrup’s 60-yard in­ter­cep­tion re­turn for a score on the first play of the fourth quar­ter was the game’s first score, and the fourth-ranked Hawks (8-0, 4-0 in 3-6A) downed the ninth-ranked Tro­jans (4-3, 2-1).

ALSO FRI­DAY NIGHT: Five play­ers scored touch­downs for Vol­cano Vista, in­clud­ing Blaine Grant on a kick­off re­turn as the fifth-ranked Hawks (6-1, 2-0 in 1-6A) blasted Atrisco Her­itage 52-0 at Nusenda Com­mu­nity Sta­dium. … Val­ley (5-2) beat Rio Grande (0-8) 25-6 at Milne Sta­dium. … At the Wool Bowl in Roswell, Class 5A’s top-ranked Coy­otes turned aside No. 6 Piedra Vista 26-14. … In Santa Teresa, No. 2 God­dard downed No. 5 Santa Teresa 22-8. … Hobbs (6-1, 3-0 in 3-6A), ranked No. 6 in Class 6A, over­came a slug­gish start and beat Gads­den 47-7.

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