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'Toppers Run Past Academy

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Ortiz Rushes For 219 Yards, 2 TDs

Senior fullback Arnaldo Ortiz rushed for a season-high 219 yards and two touchdowns, and Los Alamos hurt Albuquerque Academy with one big play after another Saturday afternoon in a 29-25 victory.

The Hilltoppers (3-3) had three scores of at least 49 yards and a fourth touchdown that was set up by a 44-yard run — by Ortiz.

Los Alamos rushed for 309 yards.


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“Our linemen did a great job getting a push off the ball,” said Ortiz, who carried the ball 24 times. “And we rammed it down their throat.”

Ortiz ripped off a 44-yard run to set up the first touchdown, a 1-yarder by Ortiz on the next play. He also had a 2-point conversion run.

Stone Watson of Academy (2-3) kicked a 22-yard field goal early in the second quarter to put the Chargers on the board, and Academy inched in front on a fourth-down, 5-yard touchdown run by Watson with 1:12 left before halftime. Watson also added a 2-point run, and the Chargers led 11-8 at halftime on homecoming day.

Los Alamos only had the ball four plays in the third quarter (compared to 19 for the Chargers) and yet still managed to take the lead back. Ortiz had a 55-yard burst up the middle, where the Chargers struggled to slow down the Hilltoppers all game. It was 16-11 after three quarters.

Watson got over on a 1-yard run with 10:40 remaining, and after a 2-point conversion pass, the Chargers were back in front 19-16.

But Los Alamos quarterback Brice Van Etten — after a great ball fake to Ortiz — went 75 yards for a score moments later as the Hilltoppers claimed the fourth and final lead change at 23-19.

Van Etten only completed one pass Saturday — but it proved to be the clinching score for Los Alamos, a 49-yarder to Xavier Dennison for a 29-19 lead with 6:30 to go.

Alan Leyba of the Chargers, following a Los Alamos fumble on a punt return, scored on a 1-yard run with 3:24 remaining, but Los Alamos ran out the clock on its next possession.

The Hilltoppers open District 2-4A play on Friday at Bernalillo. The Chargers visit Raton.

♦ Also Saturday afternoon, Mayfield (3-3) beat Volcano Vista 34-24 at the Field of Dreams. The Hawks fall to 2-3.

Late Friday, Del Norte quarterback Tyrelle Jackson threw for 256 yards, but after trailing just 21-10 at halftime, the Knights were overwhelmed in a 57-17 Aztec victory. Del Norte had three touchdowns wiped out by penalty.
— This article appeared on page D7 of the Albuquerque Journal