The Belen Eagles broke a six-game losing streak on Saturday afternoon with a blowout 48-0 victory over the Valley Vikings at Milne Stadium.
“It’s a huge confidence booster,” Belen head coach Ty House said as his players celebrated with the fans in the background. “It was severely needed right now. It’s very good for these kids and this program moving forward.”
House said the performance exceeded his expectations of what the Eagles could accomplish against a struggling Valley team.
“I am very proud of these kids,” House said.
Belen got the first touchdown of the game on its first drive as Sefe Aragon caught the touchdown pass from backup quarterback Ben Hirschfeld, who is under center in the absence of starter Luke Aragon, who is out after a scary injury suffered in the fourth quarter against Deming.
The Eagles added another before the end of the first quarter and went up 21-0 early in the second.
Anthony Roybal got the fourth score of the game for the Eagles on a drive set up by the second interception in two drives for the Belen defense. Roybal took it from 18 yards out to make the lead 28-0 with less than a minute remaining before halftime.
The Eagles defense came up big repeatedly in the first half, setting up Roybal’s touchdown, but on the Vikings prior possession, VHS was in the redzone when safety Gavin Chavez stepped in front of the receiver in the end zone to intercept the pass and put a stop to the only real threat that the Vikings offense offered.
In the second half, Roybal continued to dominate, scoring on the second play from scrimmage in the third quarter, busting off a 63-yard touchdown around the left edge.
Once Roybal got around the corner, the junior running back had a clear path to the end zone. His second touchdown in two possessions made the score 34-0 in favor of BHS.
“He was sick earlier in the week, we weren’t sure how much of the gameplan he was actually retaining,” House said. “When he got in there he didn’t look back and showed us what he can do. That’s what we expect from him every week and he does that.”
Hirschfeld connected with Daniel Hanson on the next possession from 21-yards out to give the Eagles a 41-0 lead and activate the running clock with 10:22 left in the third.
With the running clock, the rest of the quarter went very quickly, and it ended at 41-0.
In the fourth quarter, the Eagles added another with 7:43 on the clock on a 21-yard run from freshman Damian Wood.
He broke multiple tackles on his way to the endzone and put his teammates into a frenzy celebrating his first varsity touchdown.
“I told them a while back that we need to win the games we should,” House said. “To win like that is very, very good for us going forward and gives us a whole lot of confidence.”
This week, the Eagles will play their final home game of the season as Valencia comes to town for a district matchup scheduled to start at 7 p.m. on Friday. BHS will celebrate its seniors during what will be their final regular season home game. This ends a long stretch of road games for the Eagles, who haven’t played at home since a loss to Piedra Vista on Sept. 20. In the time since, BHS has traveled to Roswell and Deming in addition to last Saturday’s trip to Albuquerque.
The Jaguars were mercy-ruled by Los Lunas on Friday, 50-0 and sit at 1-6 on the season hoping to spoil senior day for the Eagles and secure their first district win of the season.