The Belen Eagles ran over the Socorro Warriors in the 2002 high school football season opener for both teams Friday night in Socorro.
The backfield duo of fullback Allen Thompson and tailback John Henry Peralta, both juniors, did most of the running, combining to score five of the six Eagle touchdowns.
“I think our guys came ready to play,” said Belen head coach Kevin Benavidez. “The biggest thing was our offensive line did a great job, and our running backs made some plays.”
Class 4A Belen mounted more than 300 yards rushing against the 3A Warriors. Thompson led the way with 140 yards.
Thompson scored the Eagles’ first TD on a 13-yard blast up the middle. Later in the half, he scored again from 15 yards out.
Peralta scored his two touchdowns on runs of eight and two yards, the second giving Belen a 26-0 halftime lead.
On Belen’s first offensive play of the second half, quarterback Josh Peña connected with speedster Derrick Jaramillo on a 55-yard touchdown pass. Later in the third quarter, Thompson scored his third TD on an 11-yard run.
Peña was 5 for 8 passing for 135 yards before giving way to backup Jake Pargas.
Senior Ben Harper added a final score on a 1-yard plunge.
The Belen defense overmatched Socorro, keeping play on the Warriors’ side of the field most of the night.
“I was excited with the performance of the defense,” Benavidez said. “I thought they played solid.”
The Eagle defense forced three turnovers. Gabe Borrego and Joseph Carrillo both had pass interceptions, and Eric Fraley recovered a fumble.
Belen will play its home opener next Friday night against Class 5A Santa Fe High. “It’s going to be a really tough game,” Benavidez said. “I know they’re going to be ready to play. It’s going to be a physical game.”
Game time Friday night is 7 p.m.
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