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The Los Alamos Hilltopper football team had its best showing in a month Friday night, and did so against one of the toughest customers in the state.
Los Alamos scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, including a late-game drive to stay close to the Belen Eagles. The Hilltoppers outscored the Eagles 14-7 in the second half.
Unfortunately, the Eagles, the No. 2-ranked team in the state, scored three times in the first half to win 28-14 in Belen.
Nevertheless, Los Alamos forced several turnovers in the second half and limited the effectiveness of a very potent Belen running game to get back into the contest.
In its three previous outings, Los Alamos struggled against three consecutive Class 4A teams, but against the best team it has faced, had a solid showing.
Hilltopper quarterback Brice Van Etten found Tristen Hill in the end zone with 8:56 to play for Los Alamos’ first score of the ballgame.
With less than a minute remaining in the game, Los Alamos fullback Xavier Dennison went up the middle for a 2-yard score for another Hilltopper touchdown.
Belen (4-1), which has one of the best running games in the state, had success throughout the first half on the ground, scoring on runs of 23 and 25 yards in the second quarter.
However, Los Alamos’ defense, which gave up 41 points to Farmington at home in the Hilltoppers’ second game of the season and 27 to Kirtland Central a week ago, was able to neutralize Belen’s ground game and forced the Eagles to try to pass, something they are far less adept at doing.
Special thanks to KRSN for its help with this report.