Cleveland Storm maul Mustangs, 50-0

RIO RANCHO, N.M. — Dorian Lewis and Isaiah Salazar each scored two rushing touchdowns, quarterback Trey Ortega threw two touchdown passes, and Colten Madison scored a 1-yard rushing TD as No. 6 Cleveland posted its third shutout of the season Friday night, 50-0, over the overmatched West Mesa Mustangs.

The host Storm (7-2, 3-1 in District 1-6A) scored touchdowns on their first three possessions, and a safety gave them a 23-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Lewis opened the scoring on a 5-yard run, and following the safety — the ball was snapped over the Mustangs’ punter’s head and out of the end zone — Lewis rambled 28 yards to paydirt and Salazar scored his first TD of the night. Ortega added three of his six points-after following each touchdown.

In the second quarter, Ortega connected with Lewis on a short pass, and the senior worked his way into the end zone. Madison scored to cap a short, 30-yard scoring drive following a short punt, and Tre Watson, in his second game back after missing six games with a shoulder injury, battled a Mustangs defender at the goal line for what turned out to be a 38-yard scoring reception.

Ortega added the PAT each time and the Storm had a 44-0 lead at halftime.

The Mustangs (1-8, 0-4), playing for the first time at Cleveland, were limited to three yards of offense in the first half, when they ran only two plays and punted on the Storm’s side of the field. The juggernaut Storm offense cranked out 279 yards of offense in the first half, 132 on the ground and 147 through the air.

It got a little better in the second half: The Mustangs gained four yards on their first offensive play of the second half, and then following a holding penalty, quarterback Daniel Ayala had a pass intercepted by CHS’s Matthieu Martin, who returned it to the WMHS 2.

Salazar gained a yard on first down, then ended the game with 9:53 showing on the clock on the next play.

“One month of football left,” Cleveland coach Heath Ridenour told his players. “The clock will run out here. When it does, I want your head held high, and say, ‘I did it the right way.’ So let’s focus.'”

All 16 of the team’s 12th-graders played on Senior Night.

“It was good. Our kids got out and got some momentum going into the last game of the year,” Ridenour said. “We came out and we had fun.

“We went back to the basics, man,” he said. “We just wanted to come out and have fun; we wanted to play football. We wanted to remember why we signed up to play when we were little kids, and that was what it was about tonight.

“You could see the energy in our kids’ eyes tonight.”

One of 16 12th-graders to see action on Senior Night, Isaiah Salazar scored twice for the victorious Storm.

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