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Football rolls past ABQ Academy

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By Phil Scherer

ALBUQUERQUE - Saturday’s game against Albuquerque Academy was a must-win for the Los Alamos High School varsity football team, and the Hilltoppers delivered with a 50-0 victory.

After falling to Del Norte the previous week 51-25, LAHS needed a victory over Academy to remain competitive in the race for District 2, where dropping to 0-2 would have all but eliminated the team.

Instead, the team sits at 1-1 in the district, and is still alive in the race.

The Hilltoppers came out with a sense of urgency in this game, and were firing on all cylinders from the opening kickoff.

LAHS got the scoring started early, as quarterback Dylan Irish, known primarily for his running ability, fired a deep pass across the middle of the field on the team’s first possession.

The pass was perfect, dropping right into the arms of the wide-open Wyatt Saeger, who was sprinting down the middle of the field for a 69-yard touchdown to give the Hilltoppers a 7-0 lead.

Carson Schramm came up with an interception on the next Charger possession, setting LAHS up at midfield, and the Hilltoppers took advantage.

On the first play of the drive, Jack Stewart took a handoff and ran 48 yards for a touchdown, dragging a defender with him the last 15 yards, extending the LAHS lead to 14-0.

After an unsuccesful fake punt by Academy gave LAHS good field position once again, it was Ryan McNeil’s turn for a long run of his own, as his 49-yard sprint gave LAHS first-and-goal. He scored two plays later on a 1-yard run.

After a successful two-point conversion, the Hilltoppers led 22-0, and the rout was on.

Another passing touchdown from Irish to Saeger gave LAHS a 28-0 lead, which the Hilltoppers took into halftime.

The second half was more of the same, as McNeil and Leander Murphy scored rushing touchdowns to extend the lead to 42-0 on the team’s first two possessions of the third quarter.

The Hilltoppers forced another punt on the next Academy possession, as the LAHS defense was in top form throughout the game, not allowing the Academy offense to get the ball moving down the field at any point.

LAHS took over with just over two minutes left, and aimed to end the game with the mercy rule with a touchdown and two-point conversion.

Much like it had been all game, everything went the Hilltoppers’ way, as Stewart took the handoff on the first play of the drive and ran 62 yards for a touchdown.

A successful two-point conversion followed and LAHS walked away with a 50-0 win via the mercy rule. The game ended with just over a minute remaining in the third quarter.

The Hilltoppers are now 5-3 this season, and 1-1 in district play. The team is currently in a three-way tie for second place in the district with Del Norte and Albuquerque Academy. Capital leads the district with a 1-0 record.

LAHS has this week off, and will continue the season on Oct. 27 against Española Valley in the Hilltoppers’ final home game of the year.