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ESPAÑOLA – The Los Alamos Hilltopper football team did what it had to do in defeating the Española Valley Sundevils Friday night.
Now, it must finish off its 2010 season with a victory and hope for a favorable outcome from the Bernalillo-Santa Fe game this week.
The Hilltoppers vanquished the Sundevils, who have struggled through the entire 2010 season. The Hilltoppers scored with just 17 seconds expired in the game Friday night and never looked back, picking up a 51-12 victory at Española Valley.
Los Alamos (3-6 overall, 2-1 in 2AAAA) was within one touchdown and a 2-point conversion from closing out the game by halftime, but elected to shuffle in many of its junior varsity call-ups in the second half.
With Los Alamos’ younger players in the game, the Sundevils (0-8 overall, 0-3 in 2AAAA) scored their first touchdown of the contest, with backup quarterback Antonio Garcia diving in from a yard out to break his team into the scoring column.
But when the Hilltoppers had their starters in the ballgame, they simply dominated the Sundevils.
Los Alamos quarterback Kory Balog tore off big plays working out of the option, scoring on touchdown runs of 53 and 64 yards – another long touchdown run was called back late in the ballgame. Balog also hit running back Arnoldo Ortiz on a 51-yard catch-and-run swing pass late in the first quarter to up the Los Alamos advantage to 21-0.
Cody Vaughn scored from 14 yards out to put the Hilltoppers up 42-0 at the break, but head coach Garett Williams elected to call off the attack heading into the second half.
The Hilltoppers will still need to knock off the Capital Jaguars in their regular season finale Friday night and hope the Santa Fe Demons, whom the Hilltoppers upset at home a week earlier, bounce back to beat the District 2AAAA-leading Bernalillo Spartans that same night.
The Spartans (3-5 overall, 2-0 in 2AAAA), the defending district champions, grabbed sole possession of first place in the district with their 48-14 victory Friday in Santa Fe and can clinch the district title outright with a victory over Santa Fe’s Demons (4-4 overall, 1-1 in 2AAAA).
The Demons were idle last week.