Mike Powers| News-Bulletin photo
Gage Marquez scores the first touchdown of the game for Los Lunas during the Tigers’ 57-7 victory over Capital.

The number of the week in high school football for Valencia County teams was 50. Los Lunas, Belen and Valencia each were involved in games decided by the 50-point mercy rule, with only LLHS on the positive end of the score.

Los Lunas

Four first-half touchdowns by Fabian Trujillo and a stifling defense powered Los Lunas to a 57-7 mercy-rule victory Friday over Santa Fe Capital (1-6, 0-1) to start district play.

The table was set when the Tigers (5-2, 1-0) opened the game with a successful onside kick.

“Coach (Shane) Bell saw it on film,” LLHS head coach Greg Henington said of a flaw in Capital’s alignment. “We wanted to be aggressive. Let’s go for it, right away.”

That’s just what the Tigers did. A few minutes later, Gage Marquez ran through a huge hole to score the initial touchdown of the game.

That was followed by Trujillo’s first TD, a 17-yard rushing score that was propelled by the offensive line pushing the pile the last five yards.

“It feels amazing, actually,” Trujillo said about scoring four touchdowns, including three on pass plays.

“When you’ve got linemen that block, giving the quarterback that much time, the quarterback can drop dimes. All you have to do is catch the ball.”

Mike Powers| News-Bulletin photo
Los Lunas Tigers’ honorary captain Carlos Tellez takes part in the coin toss before Friday’s game against Capital.

Quarterback Kaiden Reese added to the onslaught on a fourth-down play, taking off on a 67-yard keeper to make it 21-0 in the first quarter.

Capital had less than 40-yards of total offense from the line of scrimmage, but had great success on kickoff returns, including a burst from Elijah Rodriguez, who went the distance for the only Jaguars’ score of the night.

Reese and Damacio Kaneshiro each had two touchdown passes in the first half, three to Trujillo and one to J’Den Howard to make the score 49-7 at the half.

When Emi De la Torre scored on the first drive of the third quarter, followed by Howard’s two-point conversation, the game was over.

“We’ve shown some growth the last two weeks” Henington said. “We want to continue to show that growth throughout district.”

LLHS plays Friday against Albuquerque High (1-5) at Milne Stadium.


The final score of Belen’s road game Friday against Roswell Goddard was also 57-7, but the Eagles came up on the short end against the third-ranked team in 5A.

The Rockets (5-2) used a mixture of running and passing to build a 44-0 halftime lead. Belen (0-7) scored its only touchdown when Logan Gonzales found Derian Rodriguez on a 10-yard pass play in the third quarter.

Goddard took advantage of a blocked punt and an interception for a touchdown, ending the game by the 50-point mercy rule with about two minutes left in the fourth quarter.

“It’s hard on the boys. It’s hard on the coaching staff,” Belen head coach Kevin Peña said of the losing streak. “We’re still practicing hard every day and trying to keep spirits up.”

BHS has a bye week before beginning District 1-5A action Oct. 13 at home against Highland (3-3.)

“It’s kind of a second season for us,” Peña said, with a chance to still earn a postseason berth.


Valencia (3-3) was unable to find the endzone Friday at Gadsden, losing for the second consecutive week by a score of 50-0.

The Panthers (5-2) amassed more than 400 all-purpose yards and led 42-0 at the half.

Gadsden, the fifth-ranked team in 5A, ended the game with a touchdown and two-point conversion on the first drive of the third quarter.

The Jaguars are playing through a string of injuries, including at linebacker with three starters out. However, according to coach LeDarrius Cage, the main problem continues to be poor execution.

“If we don’t do the little things well, we’re not going to be very successful against some of the better teams in the state,” Cage said. “So that’s our focus this week.”

4A VHS will finally host Homecoming Friday against 6A Rio Grande (1-5), the first of three straight home contests.

“It’s going to be nice having this stretch,” Cage said. “All of our away games have been three hours plus away.”

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Mike Powers spent more than 40 years as a television news and sports anchor, mostly in the Albuquerque market. He has won numerous awards including New Mexico Sportscaster of the Year. He covers a wide range of sports, including the Valencia County prep scene.