LA knocked out by two-seed Aztec

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By Mike Cote

AZTEC — The opportunities were there in the first half. The execution wasn’t.

To knock off the 800-pound gorilla that was the Aztec Tigers, the Los Alamos Hilltopper football team would have to play four quarters of mistake-free football. But four turnovers and an expensive penalty, not to mention the top offense in Class AAAA was too much to fight back from.

The Aztec Tigers, the second-seed in the Class AAAA state playoffs, rolled to a 42-8 victory over the Hilltoppers in the quarterfinals at Fred Cook Stadium Saturday afternoon.

It was a rough end to a roller-coaster season for the Hilltoppers, who had to battle against a slew of injuries, a three-game losing streak and some high-profile disciplinary action.

Despite the trials and tribulations, Los Alamos put together an impressive six-game winning streak to get to the second round of the playoffs before a bigger, stronger and more physical Aztec team simply wore it down in the second half.

“We wasted a whole lot of energy in that first half just spinning our wheels,” Los Alamos head coach Bob Scott said following the contest that ended his 19th season leading the program. “We spotted them 22 points. They’re a good football team. We had to figure out a way to get over that obstacle and that was tough.”