Los Lunas (3-1) fell from the unbeaten ranks after a 34-7 setback at Roswell, the No. 1 ranked high school football team in 5A.
“They kicked our butt,” is how LLHS coach Greg Henington described it.
The 6A Tigers trailed 12-0 at the half and never did get the offense going, totaling fewer than 200 yards in total offense.
“We had silly penalties that cost us and, in a run offense, you can’t have that,” the coach said. “Their defense was flying around.”
Quarterback Damacio Kaneshiro tossed a 76 yard touchdown pass to Fabian Trujillo in the third quarter, but also had two passes intercepted.
Henington said the defense played hard but spent too much time on the field because of the struggles of the offense.
“We just have to regroup, get focused and go play La Cueva with some passion.”
The game against La Cueva (1-3) is 7 p.m., Friday, at Wilson Stadium. The Bears’ record may be misleading. La Cueva has played a difficult schedule and forfeited a season opening victory over Rio Rancho because of an ineligible player.
Valencia (2-1) also lost for the first time, falling 51-0 at Portales, No. 2 in 4A.
The game ended early in the fourth quarter because of the 50-point mercy rule.
“Obviously, they’re a team that executes at a high level,” said VHS coach LeDarrius Cage. “They have excellent athletes.”
The 4A Jaguars, coming off a bye week, had too many miscues against the Rams.
“Just the little things; a missed block here, a missed tackle there, turns into a big play,” the coach said. “If you don’t execute, then you’ll get buried like we did.”
Despite being shutout, Cage pointed out the offense moved the ball at times, saying that quarterback Aiden Harrington, running back Danny Villegas and the offensive line had their moments. It was the mistakes, including a red zone fumble, that crushed any momentum.
Next up is a Thursday game at 5A Santa Teresa, which is 0-3. The game was moved from Friday because of a lack of officials.
Cage believes the Jaguars can bounce back.
“It’s kind of up to us to take on the challenge. Work on ourselves and make sure we’re ready for each week.”
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.