LAS CRUCES — The only thing ordinary about Eldorado High School’s senior quarterback on Friday night was his last name.
Gabe Smith was simply magnificent for the Eagles, accounting for nine touchdowns — the last one being a 96-yard scamper on a third-and-35 play — as Eldorado destroyed Las Cruces 70-42 at the Field of Dreams.
From the man who also coached Zach Gentry at that position came these postgame words from Eldorado coach Charlie Dotson:
“I’ve never had a quarterback have a performance like that,” Dotson said in a telephone interview.
Smith threw for four touchdowns and ran for five more as Eldorado (2-0) overwhelmed the Bulldawgs (1-1) by scoring 42 points in the game’s first 15 minutes.
He rushed for five touchdowns and over 300 yards and was over 300 yards passing as well. Unofficially, he was close to 650 yards in total offense just by himself.
“If we can complete passes like we are, it’s tough (to defend us),” Dotson said.
Smith’s TD runs covered 96, 77, 44, 20 and 19 yards. Three of his four TD passes went to Zack Hofman, who caught throws covering 62, 40 and 64 yards. And Hofman also supplied a key diving interception in the first half that proved pivotal.
Ben West had the 10th score for Eldorado, which came one play after a 50-yard completion from Smith to Trey Duran, who earlier had caught the other TD pass for the Eagles.
Eldorado at one point led 49-14. Las Cruces cut the deficit to 49-35 at one stage, but got no closer, thanks to Smith.
“We got them at a good time. They played on Saturday afternoon (last weekend),” Dotson said, adding that players lose quite a few pounds in these early-season, hot afternoon games. “That’s a big thing. That makes a big difference in football. We beat them fair and square, but we were fortunate with the scheduling process and happy about it.”
Eldorado faces 2-0 Cleveland on Thursday night at Wilson Stadium. Las Cruces also is at Wilson next week, on Friday to take on La Cueva.
“I’m excited about our prospects of getting better,” Dotson said.
CLEVELAND 35, EL PASO FRANKLIN 21: In Rio Rancho, a current El Paso running back and a former El Paso running back combined for five touchdowns and 321 rushing yards, but it was the former Andress High two-sport standout, Storm junior Dorian Lewis, who left the field with bragging rights.
Lewis carried the ball 26 times for 215 yards and scored on runs of 2, 40 and 14 yards, and he also caught a 35-yard scoring pass from quarterback Jeff Davison.
Cougars running back Taj Crenshaw gained 106 yards on 16 carries and scored his team’s second TD, which tied the game, 14-14. Cleveland had scored the first 14 points.
The Storm never trailed while winning its seventh home game in a row. But the game was tied at 21 when Cougar James McClain-Green scored on a 28-yard run.
But the Storm tallied the game’s final two touchdowns on Lewis’s 14-yard scamper and a 45-yard run by Davison.
“That’s a good team — a very athletic football team,” Cleveland coach Heath Ridenour said of the Cougars. “You’re gonna feel it tomorrow.”
The game, scheduled for a 7 p.m. kickoff, didn’t begin until 8:43 because of lightning in the area, and, during the game, lighting in all directions gave fans a light show to watch.
VOLCANO VISTA 56, DEL NORTE 6: At Nusenda Community Stadium, the Hawks’ offense had a huge night, as those 56 points came with Volcano Vista running less than 25 offensive snaps.
Blaine Grant and Joah Flores each scored a pair of touchdowns in the victory.
MANZANO 33, RIO GRANDE 6: At Milne Stadium, quarterback Dakota Powell threw four touchdown passes, and receiver Austin Erickson had a big night as the Monarchs (1-1) earned their first victory for interim head coach Phillip Martinez.
The Ravens (0-2) saw their losing streak extended to 39 games.
SANDIA 62, ATRISCO HERITAGE 31: At Wilson Stadium, quarterback Junior Silva threw for 186 yards and three touchdowns, and Deante Bernard had a pair of TD receptions as the Matadors (1-1) won big over the Jaguars (0-2).
LOS LUNAS 35, ALAMOGORDO 12: In Alamogordo, senior QB Nick Gaerlan threw one touchdown and ran for two others as the Tigers (2-0) hammered the Tigers, who have lost 13 games in a row dating to the 2016 season.
BELEN 26, FARMINGTON 12: In Belen, Alexes Aguilar caught three touchdown passes, and tailback Diego Casillas rushed for 185 yards and a score as the Eagles (2-0) won a sloppy affair over the Scorpions (0-2).
ALSO FRIDAY: Hope Christian improved to 2-0 with a 42-0 shutout victory on the road at Española Valley. … Hobbs scored the game’s final 28 points to stun visiting Artesia, 42-37. … Piedra Vista cruised past visiting St. Pius 38-6. … Tucumcari’s Rattlers blanked visiting Albuquerque Academy 44-0. … Goddard and Carlsbad were scoreless at halftime, and when weather interrupted and the game was unable to continue, it was declared a tie. … Clovis went to Aztec and beat the Tigers 49-20. … Visiting Pine Creek, Colo., scored the game’s first 45 points and beat Rio Rancho (0-2) 45-23 in a game that started 2 hours and 15 minutes late due to lightning. … Moriarty won for the first time in 2018, defeating visiting Santa Fe 20-12 as the Demons lost for the 35th time in a row.
Gary Herron of the Rio Rancho Observer contributed to this story.