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Grants powers past Kirtland Central, Scorpions fall on road

Bloomfield runs past Valencia to remain unbeaten this season
Kirtland Central running back Demusico Edsitty outruns the Grants defense and scores a touchdown in the third quarter on Friday at Bill Cawood Field. (Curtis Ray Benally/Turkeyboy Photography)

KIRTLAND - The Bloomfield High School football team ran its win streak to five straight games this season, shutting out Valencia for its third straight shutout win of the campaign.

Meantime, Grants running back Andres Lazos scored four touchdowns and ran for more than 330 yards in an outstanding performance to lead the Pirates to a 54-42 win on the road Friday night over Kirtland Central.

Here’s a recap of some of the action under the lights in high school football.

Grants 54, Kirtland Central 42

Running back Andres Lazos carried the ball 18 times, scoring four touchdowns and rushing for 333 yards to lead Grants to a 54-42 win at Kirtland Central on Friday night.

The junior running back, who came into the game leading Grants this season with 518 yards and four touchdowns, simply overwhelmed the Broncos defense on a night when both teams combined to score 96 points and account for nearly 800 yards in total offense.

Grants got on the board first, taking advantage of an interception which put the Pirates inside Kirtland Central territory early in the first quarter. Five plays later, Lazos took a handoff from quarterback DJ Chavez and scampered in from 20 yards out with more than eight minutes remaining in the opening quarter.

The Broncos answered back on their next drive, going 80 yards in seven plays and capped off by a 35-yard touchdown run from Demusico Edcitty, the first of his four scores on the night. That touchdown tied the game at 7-7 with still more than six minutes left to play in the first quarter.

It took less than 20 seconds for the Pirates to answer back. Senior running back Knight Long got loose on a sweep play around the right side of the Broncos defense and scored a touchdown from 54 yards out to put the Pirates ahead 14-7.

After a Grants turnover deep in their own territory, the Broncos knotted the game again when Bryle Matthews scored on an 8-yard run to tie with more than three minutes left in the opening quarter.

“These kids never got down on themselves, they fought every step of the way tonight,” said Kirtland Central head coach Travis Clary.

Lazos scored for the second time later in the first quarter, breaking free from a pair of Broncos defenders before racing for a 58-yard touchdown run in what proved to be the game-winning score.

“(Lazos) has been our workhorse this whole season,” said Grants head coach Steve Brown. “Tonight was big but that’s nothing new for him.”

The Pirates defense created several scoring opportunities for the team, especially in the opening moments of the second quarter when senior Julian Padilla snared an interception deep in Pirates territory off the arm of Kirtland Central quarterback Tyler Joe. That turnover was converted quickly into points when Lazos took the first play from scrimmage and ran 96 yards for his third score of the night, giving the Pirates a 27-14 advantage.

“These kids are hungry to win, they strive to win and they have a bit of an attitude, which helps when you get opportunities to score points,” Brown said. “This win is good for our kids confidence going forward.”

Both teams traded scoring drives midway through the second quarter. The Broncos cashed in on a 13-play, 83-yard drive when Joe tossed a scoring pass to Edcitty with 5:49 left before halftime. Joe completed 14 of 28 passes for more than 300 yards and two scores in the contest, but also threw three interceptions, two of which resulted in Grants touchdowns.

“You ride that roller-coaster of momentum and that comes with some joy and pain of high school football,” Clary said after the game. “They fought all the way to the very last play.”

Chavez, who completed nine of 18 passes on the night, pushed the Pirates back to a two-score advantage later in the second quarter when he connected with sophomore Cardenio Chavez for a touchdown, giving Grants a 34-21 lead with still more than four minutes left in the second quarter.

Joe’s second touchdown pass of the night came just before the end of the first half when he connected with a sliding Matthews, who made a spectacular catch in the middle of the end zone to get back within a touchdown with under two minutes left in the half.

Grants closed out the half with a field goal to give them a 37-27 lead at the break. The Pirates were aided by three costly Broncos penalties which put the Pirates deep in the Broncos red zone before the field goal.

High School Football Scores


Bloomfield 50, Valencia 0

Grants 54, Kirtland Central 42

Rio Rancho 48, Farmington 28

Piedra Vista 41, Cibola 7

McCurdy 70, Navajo Prep 40

Newcomb 40, Shiprock 0


St. Michael’s 19, Aztec 7

In the third quarter, Grants scored a field goal on its opening possession to go up 40-27, but the Broncos had a golden opportunity on its first drive of the half to close the gap, driving nearly 70 yards down the field in 14 plays before eventually turning the ball over on a fourth down pass play which fell incomplete.

The Pirates took advantage of that turnover right away. Lazos took a handoff and ran 55 yards to get the team out of the shadow of its own end zone before Padilla scored for the second time on the night, taking the direct snap in the wildcat formation and scrambling 20 yards to give the Pirates a 47-27 advantage.

The Broncos were resilient in defeat, however. After a big pass play from Joe to senior wideout Osai Garcia put Kirtland Central at the Grants 28-yard line, Edcitty did the rest, scoring one of his two rushing touchdowns on the night. Edcitty carried the ball 24 times for 175 rushing yards on the night.

Following another Broncos turnover early in the fourth quarter, Lazos struck again for the Pirates, scoring his fourth touchdown from 29 yards out. That score would be followed by Joe’s second scoring pass of the game, finding Edcitty on a crossing route for a 13-yard score with more than six minutes left in the contest on what would be the final score of the contest.

Kirtland Central linebackers Deronte Tso (20) and Nathan Tom (32) tackle and force a fumble on Grants quarterback Dj Chavez in the third quarter on Friday at Bill Cawood Field. (Curtis Ray Benally/Turkeyboy Photography)

The win improves Grants record this season to 3-3 as the team prepares to hit the road again this weekend for its final non-district contest Friday night at Taos.

For Kirtland Central, which falls to 2-3 on the season, the team will be home on Friday night to face Espanola Valley.

Bloomfield 50, Valencia 0

Quarterback Blake Spencer threw for three touchdowns and ran for another as the Bloomfield High School football team once again dominated its opponent on the field Friday night, beating Valencia on the road by a score of 50-0.

The win improves Bloomfield’s record on the season to 5-0, extending its win streak dating back to last season to 11 games.

The Bobcats defense set the tone right away in the win, getting a George Rascon interception on the first play from scrimmage off the arm of Valencia quarterback Aiden Harrington. That turnover quickly resulted in points when Spencer scored on a keeper from 12 yards out to give Bloomfield a 6-0 lead.

After a quick 3-and-out by the Jaguars, Bloomfield extended its lead on their next drive when running back Kaden McCown scored from six yards out to put Bloomfield ahead 12-0 with four minutes left in the opening quarter.

Bloomfield scored yet again before the end of the opening frame when Spencer hit receiver Drew Perez in the middle of the end zone to put Bloomfield up 18-0 with 1:39 left in the first quarter.

“We always make it a point of emphasis in practice to get out fast and create our own tempo,” said Bloomfield head coach Mike Kovacs. “It helps the offense out a great deal when we can get those big plays on defense to help us establish our own tempo.”

The Bobcats kept up the pressure in the second quarter, scoring three more times including a touchdown run from Deacon House, followed by Spencer’s second touchdown pass of the night, this time to Rascon from 28 yards out, then capped off by a Spencer to Perez connection less than a minute later to go up 38-0 heading into the break.

Those final two touchdowns were created off drives that started off turnovers, which haunted Valencia for much of the night.

The second half of the contest was played with a running clock, but Bloomfield went right back into the attack, scoring on its opening possession when freshman running back Andrew Hadley scored from three yards out.

“Our running game has really been huge for us this season,” Kovacs said. “When our running game compliments the passing game, it makes it very tough for opponents to control our style of play.”

Valencia’s offense committed its fifth turnover of the game when fumbling the ball late in the third quarter which was recovered in the end zone by McKell Colbert to end the game with a score of 50-0.

Bloomfield’s defense has surrendered only seven points over the course of its last four games. The Bobcats have outscored its opponents by a margin of 242-27 (an average of approximately 48-5) through the first five games of the season. The defending Class 4A champions will be home Friday night to face Bayfield before going on the road for a rematch of last year’s championship game when the Bobcats visit Silver.

Navajo Prep wide receiver Makale Wilson attempts to evade McCurdy's Ivan Aragon (20) and Lucas Martinez (15) in the first quarter on Friday, Sept. 22, 2023 at Eagles Stadium. (Curtis Ray Benally/Turkeyboy Photography)
Piedra Vista 41, Cibola 7

The Piedra Vista High School football team earned its second straight win of the season Friday night, rolling to a 41-7 victory at home over Cibola.

The win improves the Panthers record on the season to 2-4 ahead of its final non-district game of the season, when they will face Roswell on Friday night at Hutchison Stadium.

Cibola has yet to win a game this season, falling to 0-5. The Cougars will open its District 1-6A slate on Saturday afternoon on the road against Atrisco Heritage Academy.

Rio Rancho 48, Farmington 28

Quarterback JJ Arellano threw for three touchdowns and the Rio Rancho High School football team took advantage of five Farmington turnovers on its way to a 48-28 win at home Friday night.

The Scorpions led early in the contest, thanks to a 99-yard scoring pass from Trel Griego to Michael Beck in the first quarter after the Rams failed to score from the Farmington 1-yard line, turning the ball over on its opening drive.

Farmington trailed 21-14 going into the locker room and never recovered, giving up a third quarter score from Arellano to reciver Parker Miller, which extended the Rams lead to 27-14.

Griego threw for three touchdowns for the Scorpions, including a pair to Beck and another to running back Waylon Schake. He also threw four interceptions, all in the first half. The final interception off Griego was returned for a touchdown by Ryan Brown approaching halftime.

The Rams outscored Farmington 27-14 in the second half to preserve the win, improving their record on the season to 4-2. Both teams will be off this week, with Rio Rancho set to open its District 1-6A season at home against Atrisco Heritage Academy on Friday, Oct. 6.

The Scorpions fall to 4-2 and will open its District 2-5/6A slate at home on Friday, Oct. 6 against West Mesa.

Newcomb's Shondeen Tallbrother outruns a pair of Shiprock defenders during a game, Friday, Sept. 22, 2023 at Newcomb High School. (W. Dean Howard/Special to the Tri-City Record)
Newcomb 40, Shiprock 0

The Shiprock High School football team dropped its sixth straight game this season, losing on the road to Newcomb by a final of 40-0 on Friday night.

The Skyhawks snapped a four-game losing streak, breaking into the win column for the first time this season while improving to 1-4. Newcomb will be on the road Friday night to tackle Wingate.

The Chieftains, which have been outscored by a combined margin of 236-74 in six games this season, will have a bye this week before visiting Gallup on Friday, Oct. 6.

McCurdy 70, Navajo Prep 40

The McCurdy High School football team spoiled homecoming night for Navajo Prep, outscoring the Eagles by a 70-40 final score Friday night.

McCurdy has won four straight and improve to 4-1 on the season, while the Eagles saw its two-game win streak come to an end and fall to 2-4.

Navajo Prep will be on a bye this week before heading on the road to face Zuni on Friday, Oct. 13.

St. Michael’s 19, Aztec 7

The St. Michael’s Horsemen fought off a fourth quarter rally at home Saturday afternoon, earning a 19-7 win over Aztec.

The Horsemen got on the board in the team’s first drive when junior quarterback Reed Bass found senior wideout Lucas Gurule in the far corner of the end zone for a 7-0 lead with seven minutes left in the opening quarter.

Penalties played a big factor in the contest, particularly late in the first quarter. Aztec had the Horsemen facing a third-and-32 with just more than a minute to play in the opening quarter after an unsportsmanlike conduct flag pushed St. Michael’s deep in its own territory. Bass went over the top to find receiver Isaiah Dominguez between a pair of defenders on a 35-yard strike which extended the drive.

That drive wound up coming to a halt when Landan Frost picked off Bass in the end zone in the first minutes of the second quarter.

The ensuing Tigers drive resulted in a punt, which pinned St. Michael’s deep in its own territory with about five minutes left in the half. The Horsemen drove 95 yards and cashed in when Dominguez took an inside handoff and scored from 11 yards out, sending them into the locker room with a 13-0 advantage.

Aztec trimmed the margin midway through the third quarter when Frost, who came in at quarterback to replace Angelo Griego, snuck in from a yard out, capping off a 55-yard drive with 4:38 left in the third.

Aztec had a drive going in the early minutes of the fourth quarter, highlighted by a 7-yard scramble on fourth-and-5 near midfield and appeared to have momentum to perhaps take the lead. Baylor Seabolt’s 17-yard run on the next play had the Tigers in scoring position. Talan Olguin’s catch from Frost put Aztec inside the Horsemen red zone.

The drive stalled when the Tigers failed to convert on fourth down inside the Horsemen 20-yard line with a bit more than seven minutes on the clock.

Having used their final timeouts, Aztec’s defense was on its heels trying to slow down St. Michael’s on the ensuing drive. Junior running back Soren Annon put the finishing touches on the contest with under a minute to play, taking a handoff and racing down the near sideline for a 30-yard touchdown with 29 seconds left on the clock.

The win improves St. Michael’s record on the season to 4-1. The Horsemen, ranked third in the state according to MaxPreps in Class 3A, will open its District 2-3A schedule next week when they host West Las Vegas on Saturday at 1 p.m.

The Tigers (3-3) have lost a pair of tough games in back-to-back weeks, coming off a 13-7 defeat last week at home against Silver. Aztec will look to bounce back at home on Friday night when they host Taos.

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