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The Los Alamos Hilltopper football team pulled out a wild contest Friday night to earn back the District 2AAAA championship it lost a year ago.
After jumping out to a big 14-0 lead early on, Los Alamos surrendered 28 straight points to the defending champion Capital Jaguars. But the Hilltoppers bounced back, scoring 19 unanswered points of their own to win 33-28 and reclaim the coveted 2AAAA title.
Along with the district championship, Los Alamos also secured itself a spot in the Class AAAA playoffs, which start Friday. State tournament brackets had not been released as of press time.
After Los Alamos (7-3 overall, 4-0 in 2AAAA) scored two quick touchdowns in the first half, Capital answered with a touchdown to make the score 14-7. The ensuing kickoff went out of bounds and Los Alamos elected to make Capital kick off again.
Capital then switched tactics and onsided the kickoff and recovered. On that possession, Capital marched the length of the field to score and tie the game.
The Jaguars would score again late in the first half off a Los Alamos turnover and again on their first possession of the second half, but for the balance of the game, the Hilltopper offensive line took over.
Rushers Corey Clark and Raul Rodriguez combined for 187 yards on 31 carries behind the line of Nate Robbins, Zak Walterscheid, Blaine Lattin, Isaac Schilling and Shaun Parkinson.
Rodriguez finished with a pair of rushing touchdowns behind Los Alamos’ offensive line as well.
Quarterback Zach Mang had a big night as well, rushing for 76 yards on 12 carries and a touchdown. Mang also hit Clark for a 25-yard touchdown pass in the second half, which Clark pulled down amid a trio of Capital defensive backs.
Another one of Los Alamos’ big heroes of the contest was Ethan Clayton. On special teams, Clayton recovered two muffed Capital kickoffs, both of which turned into Los Alamos touchdowns on ensuing possessions.
After Mang found Clark in the corner of the end zone for the go-ahead score, Capital still had nearly five minutes to get back into the game, but a late Lattin interception near midfield all but sealed the contest.
Should Los Alamos get a top eight seed when the playoff brackets are announced — because it’s the district champ, that is likely — it would be guaranteed a home game either Friday or Saturday of this week.