RIO RANCHO — Second-ranked Rio Rancho kept pounding and kept generating big plays on both ends of the field as it crushed No. 4 Eldorado 41-0 in high school football on Friday night.
“We just kept pounding the rock because we knew they couldn’t stop it,” said Rams senior running back Zach Vigil, who had three touchdown runs.
The Rams’ defense has yet to surrender a point this season, after beating La Cueva 50-0 last week.
On Friday, Rio Rancho’s defensive front kept getting critical stops, as Eldorado (2-1) struggled to move the chains on the ground, opting to fire the ball downfield to try to generate offense.
Rio Rancho came up with interceptions from Lucas Lucero, Isaiah Padilla and Christopher Fox.
“We just knew they were going to hold down their part, and we just had to know we’re going to do our part,” Vigil said.
Rio Rancho’s offense took command in the second half.
Quarterback Dominick Priddy’s 32-yard keeper was the only touchdown of the first half.
Vigil broke free for a 58-yard score a couple of minutes into the third quarter, and he tacked on two scores in the fourth quarter — a 21-yard run, darting into the right corner of the end zone, then punching it in on a 2-yard burst up the middle.
Wide receiver Michael Wood scored on a 26-yard reception late in the third quarter.
Rio Rancho (3-0, including a forfeit over Goddard in Week 1) is home to Clovis next week.
“Now we’re prepared, and we’re blessed to be in this position that we’re in,” Vigil said. “We can’t let it get to our head, and we’ve just got to keep working like we’re at the bottom still.”
— Matt Hollinshead, Rio Rancho Observer
CLEVELAND 55, MANZANO 0: In Rio Rancho, junior running back Josh Perry celebrated his 17th birthday with two touchdown runs as the top-ranked Storm (3-0) routed the Monarchs (0-3) in a game that ended at halftime via the 50-point mercy rule.
Perry had scored a touchdown on the opening kickoff, which he returned 58 yards — but the Storm was called for holding. He later scored on a 2-yard run for his team’s fourth TD of the game, and added a 10-yard rush for the Storm’s seventh TD.
The Cleveland offense was 5-for-5 in the red zone and was so efficient that it never faced a third down.
Perry led the rushing attack with 46 yards on five carries, while quarterbacks Evan Wysong and Elijah Brody combined to go 6 of 7 passing for 98 yards.
“We just work harder than everyone; we just put in the work,” Perry said. “We’re just going to set the bar higher, make everyone in the state chase us.”
The Storm limited Manzano to 32 rushing yards, and 67 total yards of offense.
— Gary Herron, Rio Rancho Observer
CLEVELAND 55, MANZANO 0
Manzano 0 0 — 0
Cleveland 42 13 — 55
Scoring: C, Nic Trujillo 33 pass from Evan Wysong (Wysong kick); Wysong 6 pass from Elijah Brody (Wysong kick); Ethan Duran 26 pass from Wysong (Wysong kick); Josh Perry 2 run (Wysong kick); Isaac Medrano 48 run (Wysong kick); C.J. Munoz 2 pass from Brody (Wysong kick); Perry 10 run (Wysong kick); Lucious Dickson 9 run (kick failed).
First downs: M 4; C 6. Rushes-yards: M 20-32; C 11-150. Passing: M 4-10-2–35; C 6-7-0–98. Total offense: M 67; C 248. Punts-avg.: M 1-44.0; C 0. Fumbles-lost: M, 3-1; C 0-0. Penalties-yards: M, 8-60; C, 5-30.
ALSO FRIDAY NIGHT: At Nusenda Community Stadium, Los Lunas (3-1) kept West Mesa (0-3) winless with a 41-14 victory. … At Wilson Stadium, visiting Centenenial (2-1) doubled up Sandia (1-1) by a 42-21 score. … At Milne Stadium, Farmington (5-0) blanked Highland (0-2) 53-0. … Artesia (2-1) rallied from a 7-0 halftime deficit and won 21-7 at Belen (0-2). … In Farmington, Piedra Vista handed Atrisco Heritage a 14-0 loss in the Jaguars’ first game of the season.