The Los Lunas Tigers breezed to a 44-21 win over Alamogordo on Friday night behind three dominant quarters of football.
“There’s a lot of things we have to clean up,” Los Lunas head coach Jeremy Maupin said. “I thought we had a lot of holding penalties, sometimes things like that happen after a bye week.”
Los Lunas scored early and often in the first half, going up 6-0 less than three minutes into the game.
They added to the lead six minutes later to go up 14-0 behind a run from Devin Gallegos, the first of two first half touchdowns for the sophomore.
On the ensuing kickoff, Alamogordo was unable to handle the directional kick and fumbled. LLHS was able to recover and set up the offense on the 35-yard-line.
Gallegos would score again, this time on a pass from a scrambling Kade Benavidez which found Gallegos all alone in the back of the endzone to put the Tigers up 21-0 with 17 seconds left in the first quarter.
In the second quarter, the defense came up big with an interception from Alex Lucero on fourth down that gave the Tiger offense the ball back near midfield.
LLHS cashed in on the turnover when Derek Chavez scored on the run with 3:42 left in the quarter to make the lead 28-0.
The Tigers were driving again just before the half, but a Benavidez interception at the two yard line halted the offensive momentum. However, the LLHS defense held the Tigers in check and a low snap on the punt rolled out the back of the endzone for the safety that put the Tigers up 30-0.
In the first half, AHS managed only 86 yards of total offense while the hosts had 287.
The visiting Tigers kicked off the second half in much different fashion, riding their workhorse running back Sean Hays to a touchdown to cut the deficit to 30-7.
Maupin wasn’t happy with the way his team came out in the second half, and said he felt his team had taken its foot off the gas pedal due to the lead.
LLHS pushed the lead back to 30 a few minutes later behind a Derek Chavez run up the middle from two yards out.
Andrue Garcia stole the show on the next offensive possession, fighting off a defender and securing the ball off a bobble for an 80-yard touchdown from Benavidez to go up 44-7 and activate the running clock.
Los Lunas put its backups in for the fourth quarter in order to give more kids than usual playing time, as well as game experience for the future.
Hays scored again for Alamogordo to cut the lead to 44-14 and stop the running clock.
Riley Cady would catch a touchdown pass with less than three minutes to play to reach the final score of 44-21.
“I thought we ran the ball well,” Maupin said. “We got a lot of guys involved. We did a lot of things well but we know we’ve got a long way to go if we’re gonna be the team we want to be.”
Maupin was particularly concerned about the number of holding penalties that his team drew, and said he planned to speak to the New Mexico Activities Association about what his players were doing that was drawing the flag so they could correct it in practice. Due to the number of calls, he thought it was a coaching issue instead of an execution issue.
Next up for Los Lunas, the Tigers will travel across the county to take on Valencia in the final road game of the year. Valencia was off this week after picking up its first win over Los Alamos last Friday.
The Eagles were off on Friday night and head coach Ty House took advantage of the opportunity to watch the Los Lunas game.
BHS opens district play this Saturday at 2 p.m. against Valley at Milne Stadium in Albuquerque. Valley comes into the contest at 0-7 on the season, following a 21-14 defeat to Rio Grande last week.
The Vikings have struggled all season to generate much offense, as the two touchdowns they scored against the Ravens were good for the highest point total since they scored 23 against Miyamura on Sept. 14. It was only the third time all season they’ve scored multiple times.
VHS will host Los Lunas this Friday at 7 p.m. in the district opener. The Jaguars had their bye week this week and were looking to build off their first win of the season over Los Alamos two weeks ago.