Prep FB roundup: Bloomfield holds off Academy in key 4A showdown - Albuquerque Journal

Prep FB roundup: Bloomfield holds off Academy in key 4A showdown

It was rarely pretty, but in a matchup of two of Class 4A’s top teams, Bloomfield was nonetheless thrilled to get out of Albuquerque with its perfect record intact.

In a game that featured a combined 10 turnovers, the No. 1 Bobcats held off No. 4 Albuquerque Academy for a 17-14 victory at Richard Harper Memorial Field in the first ever Friday-night home game for the Chargers.

“Anytime you’re gonna play any of the top four teams early in the season, you want a measuring stick,” said Bloomfield coach Mike Kovacs. “This is the kind of game that you want. You want something with adversity. I thought there was a lot. We shot ourself in the foot a lot tonight. They overcame that and they stayed the course in the second half.”

The Bobcats (4-0) took a 17-6 lead into the locker room and then hung on for dear life. After a sloppy third quarter in which neither team scored, the Chargers (3-1) recaptured momentum when quarterback A.J. Rivera hit Rylee Bleicher for a 76-yard catch-and-run on the first play of the fourth quarter. The ensuing two-point conversion cut the margin to 17-14.

“When they scored we pulled them off to the side and said ‘Look, we’ve got seven minutes we’ve got to work the clock,’ ” Kovacs said. “I thought we did a great job.”

After the teams traded punts, Bloomfield embarked on a 15-play drive that began on their own 43 and ended when a 4th-and-4 came up just short on the Academy 5. When the Chargers got the ball back, they had just 1:58 remaining, and their last gasp sputtered out at their own 25. 

“We switched our coverage up. We knew they were out of timeouts,” Kovacs said. “We kind of ran a Cover 8 and just tried to make sure that we stayed underneath it.”

Academy had some missed opportunities early. The Chargers took a 6-0 lead on a 2-yard run by Cole Conway on their opening drive, but missed a field goal on their next possession. An interception thrown by Rivera set up Bloomfield’s first touchdown, a 36-yard pass from Ryan Sharpe to George Rascon, and a muffed snap on a punt gave the Bobcats a short field to set up a scoring toss from Sharpe to Jesse Seitzinger in the second quarter.

A fumble by the Chargers late in the first half allowed Bloomfield freshman Andrew Himes to kick a 25-yard field goal as time expired in the second quarter. That was all the points the Bobcats would need. 
“We’re gonna see these guys again, I guarantee you in the playoffs,” Kovacs said. “They’re a high-caliber team. It’s one of those days. We got it today. You never know how this game goes.”

— Tristen Critchfield

Bloomfield 7-10-0-0–17
Academy 6-0-0-8–14
Scoring: AA, Cole Conway 2 run (kick failed); B, George Rascon Jr. 36 pass from Ryan Sharpe (Andrew Himes kick); B, Jesse Seitzinger 9 pass from Sharpe (Himes kick); B, Himes 25 field goal; AA, Rylee Bleicher 76 pass from A.J. Rivera (pass good). Rec.: B 4-0, AA 3-1.
First Downs: B 15; AA 11. Rushes-yards: B 40-101; AA 8-14. Passing: B 14-35-3—168; AA 16-40-4—251. Total Offense: B 269; AA 265. Punts-avg.: B 3-31.6; AA 2-34. Fumbles-lost: B 3-1; AA 2-2. Penalties-yards: B 16-145; AA 10-65.

RIO RANCHO 20, ORGAN MOUNTAIN 13: At Rio Rancho, the Rams’ defense rose to the occasion, bailing out a lethargic offense for a homecoming victory.

Before the game was over, there was a 90-minute lightning delay, and Rams starting quarterback Noah Nelson watched the fourth quarter on crutches, after injuring his right knee on a run for a first down.

Rio Rancho picked off five passes thrown by Knights quarterback Logan Tarango, including a pick-6 by Andrew Gustafson in the third quarter, giving the Rams (3-1) a 20-10 lead.

The Rams scored first, converting a Knights fumble into a 53-yard, 12-play drive capped by a 2-yard fourth-down pass from Nelson to Jarvis Miera.

Organ Mountain (2-2) took advantage of a Nelson fumble, driving to the 9 before Nate Chavez kicked a 26-yard field goal to make it 7-3.

Nelson was picked off on the next possession and the Knights ran two plays before the lightning delay. Three plays after action resumed, Juan Garcia scored on a 5-yard run, ending the Rams’ defense’s streak of nine quarters without giving up a TD. Chavez’s PAT gave the Knights a 10-7 lead.

It could have been worse for Rio Rancho, because Tarango and running back Fabian Lozoya collided in the backfield, coughing up the ball at the Rams 1 with less than a minute before halftime.

The lightning delay occurred in the second quarter, and intermission was shortened to a few minutes, with the Rams picking off three Tarango aerials in the third quarter.

The first, by Josiah Martinez Ortiz y Pino, led to a 2-yard TD run by Nelson, followed 50 seconds later by Gustafson’s 21-yard return to paydirt.

— Gary Herron

ROSWELL 38, LOS LUNAS 23: In Los Lunas, an 85-yard touchdown run on the final play of the first half by Coyotes QB Manny Fuentez put Roswell ahead for good as it handed the Tigers their second straight loss.

Roswell scored the first 17 points of the second half to put it away.

Roswell 7-14-14-3–38
Los Lunas 3-14-0-6–23
Scoring: R, Malachi Mitchell 28 pass from Manny Fuentez (Peyton Kennard kick); LL, Kaden Bell 24 FG; LL, Fabian Trujillo 8 run (Bell kick); R, Bryce Sanchez 14 run (Kennard kick); LL, Cash Aragon 2 run (Bell kick); R, Fuentez 85 run (Kennard kick); R, Fuentez 2 run (Kennard kick); R, Jovanni Apodaca 45 pass from Fuentez (Kennard kick); R, Kennard 30 FG; LL, Trujillo 24 pass from Paul Cieremans (kick fail). Records: R 3-1; LL 2-2.
First Downs: R 14, LL 11. Rushes/yards: R 44-253; LL 32-82. Passing: R 6-10-0 136; LL 11-22-0 128. Total Offense: R, 389; LL 210. Punts-avg: R 2-42; LL 2-38.5. Fumbles lost: R 2-2; LL 1-1. Penalties-yards: R 7-50; LL 2-20.

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