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Season kicks off

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St. Pius’ Miles Hilton (22) is pursued by Del Norte’s Jose Leyba (21) during their game Thursday at Community Stadium. The Sartans beat the Knights to open the football season. (Greg Sorber/Albuquerque Journal)

St. Pius’ Miles Hilton (22) is pursued by Del Norte’s Jose Leyba (21) during their game Thursday at Community Stadium. The Sartans beat the Knights to open the football season. (Greg Sorber/Albuquerque Journal)

West Mesa, St. Pius and Cibola were all impressive Week 1 winners as the high school football season kicked off this week.

The Cougars on Friday night scored two early touchdowns and beat scrappy Albuquerque High 44-20 at Community Stadium.

Senior running back Oscar Chatman had a big night, with 228 yards and two scores for the Cougars, who also had their problems with 15 penalties and seven fumbles.

“I liked how we executed certain things,” Cibola coach Rod Williams said, “and other things we have to execute better.”

Cibola had 402 yards of total offense. In his debut at quarterback, Sam Garcia completed 6 of 9 passes for 164 yards and three touchdowns, plus one interception.

Blair Manly caught two TD passes, covering 15 and 30 yards. Ray Garza caught a 24-yard touchdown on the second play of the game.

Cibola is at Clovis on Friday.

WEST MESA 36, HIGHLAND 0: The Mustangs were impressive on both sides of the ball Wednesday night at Community Stadium. The defense held the Hornets to only 52 yards of total offense, including just 13 rushing yards.

West Mesa had all the points it would need on the game’s first drive.

On a third-and-15 from the Highland 40, Mustangs’ QB Marcos Gonzales threw over the middle to Zack Schroer, who ran the final 20 yards.

“I just trusted him over the middle,” Gonzales said. “He’s our best receiver.”

Gonzales threw for 128 yards on just four completions.

Third-string tailback Cole Ronnau had two TD runs in the third quarter, when the Mustangs outscored Highland 22-0.

West Mesa plays host to Valencia on Thursday night at Community Stadium.

ST. PIUS 39, DEL NORTE 28: Sartans’ sophomore quarterback Drew Ortiz proved to be one of the real breakout stars from the first week of play.

On Thursday night at Community Stadium, he threw for 268 yards and rushed for 130 yards to lead the Sartans to a strong opening night win.

Ortiz connected twice with the speedy Miles Hilton for scores, covering 29 and 28 yards.

Ortiz also broke loose for a 71-yard TD run in the third quarter.

St. Pius plays host to Los Alamos at Community Stadium at 11 a.m. next Saturday.

Week 1 notes

Bernalillo coach Trent Spencer lost his debut with the Spartans, as visiting Taos beat Bernalillo 49-26. The Spartans are home next Friday to Gallup.

Week 1 concludes today, with Cleveland and Volcano Vista in action.

The Hawks meet Sandia at 2 p.m., while the Storm meet Manzano at 6 p.m. Both games are at Community Stadium.

In Week 2, Cleveland is home Friday night against El Paso Del Valle, while Volcano Vista plays host to Manzano at Community Stadium, also on Friday night. Both games begin at 7 p.m.

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