Eldorado (4-3, 1-1 District 2-6A) was led by senior quarterback Matt Denis, who was 10-for-16 for 97 yards passing while adding four carries for 59 yards, including two touchdowns. Sophomore running back Remsa Troy added 103 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries.
The defense, though, was what stood out to coach Charlie Dotson.
“I’m excited about our kids playing defense tonight,” he said. “They got excited about hitting people. We haven’t had that all year.”
Sandia (3-4, 1-1) has been decimated by injuries. The short-handed Matadors only seriously threatened in the second quarter.
Trailing 14-0, Sandia got a gift when a wobbly punt by Eldorado’s Andrew Shelley went out of bounds at the Eagles’ 40-yard line. Sandia junior D.J. Hayden then broke loose and raced 40 yards in one play to help bring the Matadors within 14-7.
Eldorado responded quickly, needing only eight plays to go 73 yards, culminating with Darren Serna’s 2-yard TD run to make it 21-7.
Sandia went three-and-out on its next possession, but then forced the Eagles to go three-and-out as well. The subsequent punt, though, went awry for the Matadors as Devin Woolsey fumbled on the return, and Eldorado recovered on the 44-yard line.
It took seven plays for the Eagles to march 56 yards and take a 28-7 lead into halftime.
“Our offensive line did a good job tonight,” Dotson said.
Eldorado added a quick touchdown in the third quarter before sending in the second string. That group added one more score and kept Sandia’s offense in check the rest of the way.
“Sandia is really beat up. I feel bad for them,” Dotson said. “Some of their best players are out. That’s the way it goes. That’s football. It’s a longevity thing. They’re in the same boat as us, only about 1,800 kids.”