ALBUQUERQUE — Valencia finally got an official start to its season on Friday against Highland, but the same issues with consistency that the Jaguars have dealt with during practice proved to be too much to overcome as they fell 24-6 to the Hornets.
“Our practices are inconsistent, we do some good things and then we also do plenty of bad things and that showed,” head coach Wesley Shank said. “Hopefully we can clean this up.”
The first half was even as neither team could find an edge or sustain much of a drive offensively. Turnovers played a part in that, as each team turned it over once.
In the second half, the Jaguars struck first and appeared poised to build on it following a defensive stand in the red zone, but the offense sputtered and struggled to move the ball the rest of the game and was unable to put up any more points.
At the end of the third quarter, the Jaguars still held a 6 point lead and had given up very little defensively.
In the fourth quarter, however, it was all Hornets. Highland scored to tie and take the lead with about eight minutes remaining. Up 7-6, a three and out from Valencia resulted in a field goal for the Hornets as the lead grew to 10-6. On the ensuing possession, the Jaguars appeared to be ready to put together a drive, but an interception over the middle of the field on a slant route ended any hopes of a comeback and set up HHS with a short field and a perfect opportunity to extend the lead.
The Hornets went up 17-6 moments later and would add another shortly after to finish off the scoring.
The Jaguars open their home slate next week with a game against Rio Grande. The Ravens lost 49-6 to Manzano last week. Kickoff is scheduled for Sept. 5 at 7 p.m.
Clovis beat Los Lunas 30-15 on Friday, handing the Tigers their first loss of the year. Los Lunas led 7-0 after the first quarter, but the Wildcats took the lead with a touchdown and a successful two point conversion and never looked back.
Wildcats quarterback Chance Harris threw for 228 yards and three touchdowns against the Tigers defense. Next up, the Tigers take on Sandia in Albuquerque at 7 p.m. on Sept. 6. The Matadors are 1-1 after beating Atrisco Heritage Academy last week, 41-9.
Belen was on the road against Farmington and fell to the Scorpions 46-24. The Eagles also had an early lead and were only down by two at the half, but the Scorpions dominated the second half and pulled away for the win.
Belen plays the first of three straight at home next week as Artesia comes to town. That is also a 7 p.m. kick on Sept. 6.