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YAFL football teams begin competing

More than 100 second through sixth graders playing this fall
Durango third grader Colin Price runs for a touchdown Saturday while holding off a Farmington Beast. (Courtesy Erin Lopez)

Teams from the Durango Youth Football all played at home on Saturday for their second week of games.

Durango’s second grade team made its home debut with a bang. Score isn’t kept in the learning league, but it would have been lopsided. The team’s defense, led by Carter King, Jase Schwettman and AJ Peterson, only allowed Kirtland to record 5 yards during the game while Jake McCoy recovered a fumble.

On the opening play, Ryland Lopez ran for a 60-yard touchdown. He later ran for two rushing touchdowns and completed a 20-yard pass to Hawk Albo for a touchdown as well. Charles Alston collected two rushing touchdowns, and an extra point. King also ran an extra point in, and Schwettman, Jacov Jacques gained rushing yards.

The third grade team’s game came down to the final 20 seconds, but ended with the Farmington Beast on top 14-7. Stran Mietchen and Colin Price helped the Demons get near the end zone, and Darren Brunson punched it in for the TD; Jackson Cockroft ran the extra point. Christopher Abbott, Clark McKay and Kaycend Hadden were the top defenders.

Durango second grader Ryland Lopez runs the ball against Aztec. (Courtesy Jerad Lopez)

The fourth grade team rolled by the Farmington Sting, 37-0. The three leading tacklers, Tobias Romero, Colt Bartel and Carter Lopez, helped hold Farmington scoreless. The defense also got fumble recoveries from Kamden Bates and Colton Ludeman. The offense found the end zone six times, with Sawyer Sigle, Jameson Green, Braxton Ernst and Colt Bartel all scoring.

The fifth grade team lost 39-0 against Aztec and it wasn’t a great game for Durango.

The sixth grade team, on the other hand, had a great game against the Farmington Predators and won, 34-6. Rea LaRocco and Cole Perkins had two touchdowns each and Brekan Romero had one. Perkins, Wyler Stewart and Chase Swenk scored extra points. Brooks Moore recovered one fumble and Osias GoodTracks recovered two. GoodTracks, Isaiah Contreras, Keyon Alston and Swenk led the defense.

Durango second grader Charles Alston takes a hit while running the ball against Aztec. (Courtesy Jerad Lopez)

Durango has five grade-level teams, in second through sixth, and more than 100 players registered this season. Durango plays as an independent of the Four Corners Youth Football League, based in Farmington.

During the first week of competition, the Durango sixth grade team lost 14-2 to Farmington. Durango’s offense had trouble gaining yards, but strong defense from Perkins and Contreras got them on the board with a safety.

The fifth grade team took on Cortez to open its season, but fell 22-0. Blake Bates had Durango’s longest gain with a 35-yard run. He also had three tackles for losses on three big hits. Gavin Martinez also came up big and had two tackles for losses. Levi Schwettman had a sack, two tackles for losses and the hit of the game.

The Durango fourth grade team kicked off its season with a strong showing, beating Cortez in Cortez, 31-0. Its special teams had a stellar game, recovering three kickoffs to keep the offense on the field most of the day. Quarterback Sigle connected with Green twice for touchdowns. Tobias Romero rushed for two touchdowns, Jacoby Thompson ran in a score, and Carter Lopez rushed for an extra point. The defense held Cortez scoreless, getting sacks from Colt Bartel and Curtis Whale while Lopez led the team in tackles.

The third grade team lost to Bloomfield 34-14 in its opener. Clark McKay, Kawika Walker and Vincent Westlunch had numerous tackles for losses. Quarterback Darren Brunson connected with Stran Mietchen and Mietchen scored the team’s two touchdowns, with Brunson and Colin Price running in the extra points.

In many of the second graders’ football debut, Charles Alston and Ryland Lopez, led the offense and racked up rushing yards. Lopez scored a touchdown. Rowan Matava led the offensive line and helped put together a lot of positive plays. Trenton Pinto, Jase Schwettman, Carter King and Hawk Albo made lots of tackles to lead the defense.

Nicholas Arredondo, left, and Connor Perkins go for a tackle. (Courtesy Jerad Lopez)