FARMINGTON — The high school football season couldn't have started better for Farmington High.
The Scorpions enter their home opener against Miyamura 2-0 after a pair of dominant road victories against Gallup and Los Alamos. The team will look to continue their solid play against the Patriots.
"Miyamura is a good team, and they get after it. We just have to play our game. We have made adjustments just for Miyamura, and that's what's going to help us most," said senior Kyle Reynolds, who plays defensive back and wide receiver.
On offense, FHS has averaged 44.5 points per game, and senior running back and linebacker Brian Farley credits a more balanced attack for the strong start.
"I think we're really switching things up a lot with the pass and run. It gives us an edge," he said. "If everybody takes care of their assignment on offense then we'll move the ball down the field pretty good."
Defensively, the Scorps have allowed just one touchdown in the first two games, and Reynolds believes the team's experience on that side of the ball is a big reason for the early success.
"We're pumped to play. We have a lot of seniors and a lot of experience. The line is getting in there and putting pressure on the quarterback. We've had a lot of interceptions in the (secondary), and Brian Farley is in there plugging holes," he said. "Everybody is doing the work, and everybody is doing their responsibilities."
After the solid start, FHS head coach Gary Bradley said the team is about where he expected at this point in the season, but he still sees room for improvement.
"We're always looking to improve. I know that's what everybody says, but it's true. We just want to take steps forward and form an identity with our offense and defense," Bradley said. "Sometimes, you go through some growing pains. In that first game, we had too many penalties. In that second game, we had too many turnovers. In the third game, we're looking to not have either one. I think if we come together as a team, those mistakes will take care of themselves."
Miyamura gave Piedra Vista a fight during its season opener before losing on a last-second touchdown 31-30. And FHS is aware of the problems that could arise if the Scorps don't show up prepared for the game.
"They're good athletes," Bradley said of Miyamura. "Their quarterback (Josiah Shank) is the coach's kid, and his older brother was the quarterback the two years before him, so it's a family of athletes. We just got to play our game. We studied Miyamura extensively to figure out what they are doing, but ultimately, it comes down to what we do at a team -- blocking, tackling, protecting that football."
Reynolds isn't worried about a letdown for the Scorps after two big victories to start the year.
"There's a lot of maturity and leadership on the field. Everybody seems like a leader, so it's great," he said.
After two weeks on the road, the Scorps are excited about finally getting to play under the lights at Hutchison Stadium and in front of their home fans.
"Home opener is always fun, especially with all the seniors. We know this is going to be the last home opener, so we want to go out and put it to Miyamura," Farley said.
The challenges keep getting tougher for the 2-0 Piedra Vista football team.
The Panthers, ranked No. 5 in the NMPreps.com 4A poll, face their first road game of the season this week as they travel to Durango, Colo., to face the 2-0 Demons.
“We are steadily facing tougher and tougher opponents, and we are going to have to improve each week, up our game and eliminate mistakes to perform at a higher level,” said PV head coach Jared Howell.
After a dramatic 31-30 win in the season opener against Miyamura, the Panthers had no problem disposing of Grants in a 47-21 win. Offensive weapon Beau Clafton had 289 yards of total offense in the game, and quarterback Isaiah Valdez threw for three touchdowns and 352 yards while also running for a touchdown.
Clafton now has over 400 yards of total offense through just two games this season, and he isn’t worried about the prospects of Durango assigning multiple defenders to try to stop him.
“I don’t really think about it. I just think about getting the play done and executing,” Clafton said. “I am not really too concerned with it.”
Durango is also off to a fast start after beating Colorado Springs, Colorado’s Cheyenne Mountain High School 54-14 and Kirtland Central 42-7 a week ago.
“It sounds like the new coach at Durango is doing a good job. They always have good athletes, and they have a lot of speed this year,” Howell said.
Two Durango running backs, Tyler Worley and Lawrence Mayberry, rushed for more than 100 yards last week at Kirtland Central, and Isaiah Mayberry is also a hard-nosed runner who had a touchdown against the Broncos.
With an athletic quarterback in Jeremy Szura, the Demons will be a tough matchup for the Panthers’ defense.
Durango’s first-year head coach David Vogt believes his team has what it takes to beat the Panthers a year after PV beat Durango 43-6.
“We need to play sound, technical football,” Vogt said. “It goes back to the basics. It’s a fundamental game, and if we just read our keys and do our jobs, we’ll be OK.”
Aztec High will have a lot of time to think about putting an end to its losing streak during a 305-mile bus trip to Raton.
Aztec opened the season 0-2 after decisive losses to No. 1 Goddard and No. 2 Los Lunas.
After being shutout by Los Lunas 50-0 in Week 1, the Tigers improved in Week 2 against the Goddard Rockets. Aztec kept the game close in the first quarter before the Rockets largely put the game away in the second quarter.
Aztec was able to score 21 points in the second half, but those mostly came against Goddard’s reserve players as Rockets head coach Sam Jernigan avoided a 50-point mercy rule win.
Ryneal Lewis-Adams rushed for more than 150 yards in the Aztec loss, and the Tigers will rely on him heavily at Raton.
Raton has won both of its games to start the year, beating Tucumcari 35-21 and Trinidad, Colo., 22-18.
Aztec needs to get momentum going with a win tonight.
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Bloomfield has another chance to prove its talents this week, and, for the first time this season, it will come against a 4A opponent.
The Grants Pirates come into Bloomfield a week after a disheartening 47-21 loss at the hands of Piedra Vista.
Grants head coach Nic Williams said his team came out sluggish after a 140-mile bus ride to Farmington, and the Pirates have to do it again.
Bloomfield scored 10 touchdowns a week ago against Pojoaque Valley in a lopsided 67-21 victory.
Tonight’s game will be a quarterback battle between Bloomfield’s Bobby Lyon and Grants’ New Mexico State University commit Cassius Corley. Corley was off target against PV but will look to rebound this week. The Bobcats must focus on containing Corley when he scrambles while shutting down wide receiver Jacob Willcox.
Look for Adrian Vigil to be the X-factor as he tries to replicate the 289 yards that Beau Clafton put up on the Pirates a week ago for PV.
The Chieftains are coming off their first win of the season with a 49-0 victory over Zuni on Friday but will face a tough test in Arizona against Monument Valley.
The Mustangs have started their season with a pair of dominant performances, defeating Tuba City, Ariz., 55-20 and Red Mesa 62-14.
Shiprock will need to focus its attention on slowing down the Monument Valley offense if it hopes to pick up its second win of the season.
Offensively, the Chieftains have been up and down, getting shut out in their opening game, but Shiprock found answers in the second game with sophomore Irwin Holiday at quarterback as they scored 49 points in the victory.
The Chieftains will hope that offensive momentum
continues going forward against a stronger opponent in the Mustangs.
Shiprock enters the game ranked No. 16 out of the 18 3A teams, according to NMPreps.com, ahead of district rivals Thoreau and Wingate.
Navajo Prep has been rolling early in the season, outscoring its opponents 100-0 in two victories this year.
The Eagles probably won’t be troubled too much in their Week 3 matchup with Crownpoint.
Prep and Crownpoint have each faced Wingate and Thoreau this season, and while Prep dominated the two games, Crownpoint struggled quite a bit, losing to both by a combined score of 50-6.
Prep will look for another big game out of Mika Mauga and Tyler Sorensen to come out with its third straight win to open the season.
On defense, Prep shouldn’t have too much of a problem slowing down the Crownpoint offense, which has scored just one touchdown in eight quarters this season.
The Eagles enter the game ranked No. 15 in the NMPreps.com 2A poll but have slowly been climbing in the rankings with the two big wins.
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