Rio Rancho senior quarterback Easton Bruere has heard the critics the past two years. While he had thrown for a ton of yards and touchdowns, he also threw too many key interceptions while tossing the ball all over the field.
On Friday, in his first game as a senior, he again fired the ball all over the field. This time, to just about every eligible teammate during the Rams’ 55-0 eye-popping blowout of visiting Valley.
“It is something you have to focus on, but you have to overcome those things,” he said of the previous years’ interceptions. “You’ve got to play your game, but it’s in the back of my mind to take care of the ball.”
Bruere certainly took care of it on Friday, completing 12-of-15 passes for 280 yards and five TDs.
Interceptions? He didn’t come close to throwing one. Two of his three incompletions hit receivers in the hands, and the other fell harmlessly to the ground after a miscommunication.
Meanwhile, he completed his first seven passes to seven different receivers.
“He’s learned a ton (the past two years), but he’s also thrown 6,000 yards and 60 touchdowns, so he’s no rookie,” said Rams coach David Howes. “Last year, he tried to do a little bit too much, but he’s a winner. And tonight his goal was to take care of the football and make good decisions and he did that.”
In all, the Rams had 10 players make 17 receptions, with backup Steven Bailey going 5-of-8 in mop-up time. The Rams had 306 yards passing.
“We spread it around,” Howes said. “It’s something we’ve done since 2009. Our quarterback coach and offensive coordinator do a good job of getting ball to our weapons, and we have a lot of weapons.”
Senior wide receiver Brady Patterson is one. He only caught two passes on Friday, but both were for touchdowns for a total of 68 yards. He was one of five players to catch a TD pass.
“We have so much talent, it’s something,” Bruere said. “We came out tonight and did what we wanted to do, but this team’s kind of special. We haven’t had speed across the board like this since I’ve been here, and I’ve been around here six or seven years.”
The Rams scored on all but one possession in the first half – that coming when they ran out of time in the second quarter – and punted just once all night. Angelo Lujan had two touchdowns, one on a 9-yard run and one on a 35-yard pass reception, and the backups got plenty of action in the second half.
Evan Montoya, who isn’t even listed on the varsity roster, caught a 13-yard TD pass from Bailey and bruising sophomore running back Elijah Goodwin ended the game with 1:31 remaining in the game on a 27-yard scoring run.
So how far can a talented Rio Rancho go this year?
“As far as all these guys want to go,” Bruere said, pointing to his teammates. This is a great group of guys.”