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LA can’t slow Scorps’ ground game

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Football: Farmington ruins Hilltoppers’ home opener, 41-0

By Mike Cote

The powerful ground attack of the Farmington Scorpions was more than enough to upset the home opener of the Los Alamos Hilltopper football team Friday night.
Los Alamos entertained Farmington Friday night, its first game of 2011 at Sullivan Field and its new, refurbished artificial surface. But neither turf nor the on-and-off showers nor, unfortunately, the Hilltopper defense, could do much to slow the Scorpions, who rolled up 224 yards in the first half, 214 of it coming on the first half.
Farmington scored on three of its opening four possessions and cruised to a 41-0 win over Los Alamos. It was Los Alamos’ second straight shutout loss against an opponent from the Four Corners area.
Hilltopper second-year head coach Garett Williams said he was generally happier with Friday’s showing than he had been a week earlier against Aztec, but there’s still plenty of work to do before the start of the District 2-4A season in less than a month.
“We can’t have turnovers and we can’t have missed tackles,” Williams said. “It was a better effort, but we’ve got to find a way to play inspired football all the time.”
While the defense struggled to slow down the Scorpions’ four-pronged running attack, Los Alamos’ offense still struggled to get on track. Los Alamos was in negative-yardage territory following the first half and didn’t pick up a first down before halftime.
The Hilltoppers managed to sustain just one drive in the contest. Following a 34-yard kick return by Bryce Van Etten to start the second half, the Hilltoppers ventured as far as the Farmington 17-yard line, getting a 16-yard run from Jared Mang and a 19-yard scamper by Arnoldo Ortiz — the longest play from scrimmage of the night for Los Alamos — to get them deep into Scorpion territory.
Unfortunately for the Hilltoppers (0-3), the drive stalled there. The Hilltoppers, owing to an intentional grounding call, tried a desperation pass on fourth-and-29 from the Farmington 36, which fell to the ground untouched.
For the game, the Hilltoppers finished with 32 yards total offense, the majority of that total coming on that one drive.
The offense is still trying to find its footing, particularly with having a pair of freshmen splitting time at the quarterback spot — both Van Etten and Danny Finn were behind center Friday — and a running game that has been without Ortiz until last night.
Finn, despite taking his share of licks in just the first two games of his high school career, said he still feels upbeat.
“It’s been huge, going from eighth grade to this,” said Finn, who was unavailable last week against Aztec. “It’s fantastic to have an opportunity to do this.”
Finn, who came in for Van Etten in the second quarter, was 3-for-9 for 15 yards passing.
Farmington, for its part, had three rushers finish with better than 80 yards Friday. Quarterback Daniel Lacey toted the ball 10 times for 100 yards and a pair of touchdowns, while fullback Essiel Carrasco finished with 92 yards on 15 carries and two touchdowns and halfback Brian Farley went 83 yards on just four carries.
Farley also scored a touchdown on one of the wildest plays of the game. Farmington’s Austin Foutz partially blocked a punt attempt by JD Weiss early in the second quarter. The punt went straight to Farley on the right end of the Farmington line and he rolled in from 35 yards out to put the Scorpions up 21-0 at the time.
The Scorpions (3-0) have outscored their three opponents on the season 129-8, including a 40-0 shutout of the Hilltoppers’ District rival Bernalillo a week earlier in Farmington.
Mang, a freshman, had 25 yards on 10 rushes, while Ortiz, who had his right hand still in a cast after breaking a finger in preseason, had just the one tote Friday.

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Prep football scores

Academy 89, Taos 40
Aztec 28, Durango 17
Belen 21, Moriarty 12
Carlsbad 28, Mayfield 21
Dulce 50, Questa 6
Goddard 34, Canyon, Texas 28
Grants 44, Piedra Vista 18
Hobbs 43, Roswell 28
Los Lunas 49, Bloomfield 0
Lovington 38, Anthony, Texas 6
Manzano 42, Artesia 22
Menaul 52, Floyd 0
Pojoaque 50, Española Valley 0
Portales 32, Texico 28
Santa Rosa 46, Robertson 20
Tucumcari 40, West Las Vegas 8
West Mesa 42, Cibola 28