Los Lunas defense keys win over CHS - Albuquerque Journal

Los Lunas defense keys win over CHS

Los Lunas’ Paul Cieremans, top left, is dragged down by Cibola’s Hayden Brownwell during Friday’s game in Los Lunas. The Tigers beat the Cougars, 26-19.
Roberto E. Rosales/Journal


LOS LUNAS — With Goddard on deck in a week, the Los Lunas Tigers took down one of 6A’s best teams.

Los Lunas’ defense registered both a pick-6 and a goal-line stand — the latter coming with under 2 minutes remaining — as the Tigers, ranked No. 3 in 5A, held off Cibola, ranked fifth in 6A, in a 26-19 homecoming victory on Friday night.

“For us, it absolutely was being in a dogfight against adversity,” Los Lunas coach Greg Henington said. “And coming out on top. And that’s exactly what we needed.”

The Los Lunas (5-0) defense made three huge plays to beat the Cougars (2-2). The first of them, in hindsight, was probably the most influential.

Cibola was trailing 14-6 midway through the second quarter when QB Aden Chavez threw deep down the middle to Marcus Wilson. He was inside the 10 and almost certain to score on a 39-yard touchdown reception. But Wilson dropped the pass, which hit him in the hands.

On the next play, which was fourth down, Chavez, under pressure, tried to throw to a receiver while being tackled. Eric Aragon of Los Lunas stepped in front of the pass and returned it 60 yards for a touchdown, and Cibola found itself staring at a 20-6 deficit.

The second defensive highlight for the Tigers came with Cibola driving late in the game. The Cougars were first-and-goal from the Los Lunas 3. The Tigers held on the first three downs.

On fourth down, safety Aden Pairett shot in for the Tigers and threw Cibola’s Branden Castillo, who was trying to go wide, for a 2-yard loss.

“They pulled the tight end and I saw him go outside, and I kept the edge,” Pairett said. “And I got him on the bounce.”

Cibola’s defense held, however, and forced a Los Lunas punt from the back of the end zone. Cibola got it at the 50 with 65 seconds remaining.

But on first down, Chavez fumbled. The Tigers recovered and ran out the clock.

“Just too many self-inflicted mistakes,” Cibola coach Rod Williams said. “We definitely did a lot to hurt ourselves in this game.”

Los Lunas’ Emilio Mora gets past the Cibola defense for a touchdown reception during the Tigers’ 26-19 victory over the Cougars.
Roberto E. Rosales/Journal

Los Lunas started strong, with TD drives on its first two possessions for a 14-0 lead. That included a blown Cibola coverage that led to the first points, a 50-yard connection between Paul Cieremans and Emilio Mora.

Chavez threw 6 yards to Wilson for Cibola early in the second quarter to cut the deficit to 14-6. The Cougars pulled within 20-13 on a 42-yard Chavez-to-Nathan Lopez TD pass midway through the third quarter. The Tigers answered with Cash Aragon’s 1-yard TD run and a 26-13 lead.

Chavez threw a 21-yard touchdown pass to Wilson on a fourth-and-17 play on the first play of the fourth quarter to get within seven at 26-19.


Cibola 0 6 7 6 — 19 Los Lunas 14 6 6 0 — 26 Scoring: LL, Emilio Mora 50 pass from Paul Cieremans (Kaden Bell kick); LL, Keven Munoz 11 pass from Cieremans (Bell kick); C, Marcus Wilson 6 pass from Aden Chavez (pass failed); LL, Eric Aragon 60 interception return (run failed); C, Nathan Lopez 42 pass from Chavez (Evan Ferguson kick); LL, Cash Aragon 1 run (pass failed); C, Wilson 21 pass from Chavez (kick failed). Records: LL 5-0; C 2-2. First downs: C 21; LL 9. Rushes-yards: C 34-132; LL 31-183. Passing: C 22-30-1—311; LL 6-10-1—90. Total offense: C 443; LL 273. Punts-avg.: C 3-32.0; LL 4-41.0. Fumbles-lost: C 2-1; LL 0-0. Penalties-yards: C 8-81; LL 7-81

Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

Nativo Sponsored Content

Ad Tango

taboola desktop


Longtime APS athletic director Barreras steps aside
Featured Sports
Albuquerque Public Schools will be searching ... Albuquerque Public Schools will be searching for a new athletic director.Kenny Barrera ...
Prep volleyball: No. 1 Hope Christian beats defending state ...
Featured Sports
As the state tournament draws ever ... As the state tournament draws ever nearer, it's becoming more likely that the team everyone will be ...
In local Korn Ferry qualifier, stress falls upon middle ...
Featured Sports
When it comes to the qualifying ... When it comes to the qualifying school of the Korn Ferry Tour for professional golfers, Scott Harrin ...
Gonzales: It's time for Lobo offense to step up
During the past two weeks, the ... During the past two weeks, the University of New Mexico (2-5, 0-3 Mountain West) has scored two touc ...
United's playoff push to go on without Sandoval
Featured Sports
It's not the type of finish ... It's not the type of finish Devon Sandoval envisioned. Sandoval, an Albuquerque native and the recognized face of New Mexico United's franchise, took to ...
Playing future in doubt for United's Sandoval
Featured Sports
It's not the type of finish ... It's not the type of finish Devon Sandoval envisioned.Sandoval, an Albuquerque native ...
Aggies (1-6) mean business while in paradise to face ...
Disappointing as it may sound, the ... Disappointing as it may sound, the New Mexico State Aggies' football trip to Hawaii this week will be pretty much strictly business. NMSU (1-6) ...
Fathers know best -- or do they? 3 new ...
If you haven't heard, new Lobo ... If you haven't heard, new Lobo men's basketball coach Richard Pitino has a dad who also dabbles in c ...
New Mexico State hopes that realignment leads to opportunity
LAS CRUCES – New ... LAS CRUCES – New Mexico State's leadership finds itself in another college sports realignmen ...