The 5 a.m. start was plenty worth it Saturday for the Carlsbad Cavemen.
One of the more taxing things for any team in southern New Mexico to do is play a Saturday afternoon game in Albuquerque, but for Carlsbad, it was smooth sailing all the way in a 45-7 rout of Atrisco Heritage at Nusenda Community Stadium.
Senior slot receiver Xavier Ingram caught three touchdown passes to lead Carlsbad (2-1), which scored 14 points in the first 4½ minutes and never looked back.
“We have a lot of talent,” Ingram said. “We just have to learn how to use it.”
A week after Goddard’s physical ground game produced a 21-6 victory over the Cavemen, Carlsbad started very fast against the Jaguars (0-2).
Carlsbad went 67 yards on six rushing plays for a touchdown on the game’s opening drive. Shamar Smith went the final 20.
After recovering a pooch kickoff, the Cavemen quickly doubled their lead. Quarterback Kaden Smith threw 11 yards to Ingram for a touchdown. It was 17-0 by the end of the first quarter.
Smith tossed three additional TDs in the first 5½ minutes of the second quarter to put the game out of reach.
He connected with Ingram from 24 yards out early in the quarter. Moments later, he threw an 81-yard touchdown to Jordyn Baker on a middle screen. And in keeping with the way the day went for both teams, Carlsbad’s enusing squib kickoff bounced off one of the Atrisco Heritage up men, and bounced right into the hands of a Cavemen.
And on the next play, Smith threw down the middle to a wide-open Ingram for a 57-yard touchdown and a 38-0 lead.
In the first half, Carlsbad had 356 yards of total offense. Atrisco Heritage had 15. The Cavemen have faced three diverse offenses the first three weeks, with Artesia’s spread offense followed by Goddard’s punishing ground game, following by Atrisco Heritage’s unusual option approach.
“This road trip takes us out of our comfort zone completely,” Cavemen coach Gary Bradley said. “We asked them to stay in the moment.”
— James Yodice
CARLSBAD 45, ATRISCO HERITAGE 7
Carlsbad 17 21 0 7 — 45
Atrisco Heritage 0 0 7 0 — 7
Scoring: C, Shamar Smith 20 run (Kaden Mireles kick); C, Xavier Ingram 11 pass from Kaden Smith (Mireles kick); C, Mireles 25 FG; C, Ingram 24 pass from Smith (Mireles kick); C, Jordyn Baker 81 pass from Smith (Mireles kick); C, Ingram 57 pass from Smith (Mireles kick); A, Sebastian Gonzales 30 run (Diego Winnikoff kick); C, Jesse Rodriguez 7 run (Mireles kick). Records: C 2-1; AH 0-2.
First downs: C 18; AH 9. Rushes-yards: C 35-243; AH 34-68. Passing: C 9-11-1—219; AH 3-11-1—27. Total offense: C 462; AH 95. Punts-avg.: C 1-30.0; AH 4-34.5. Fumbles-lost: C 3-1; AH 3-1. Penalties-yards: C 8-61; AH 2-20.
CENTENNIAL 33, MANZANO 0: At the Field of Dreams, the Hawks’ defense smothered the Monarchs as they pitched a shutout — which included a pick-6.
Quarterback Aidan Trujillo ran for a touchdown and threw for another in the victory by Centennial (3-0).