It wasn’t a secret heading into Friday night’s game that the Los Alamos Hilltopper football team was a work in progress.
But, judging from its performance Friday, there is no shortage of things for Los Alamos to work on or progress to be made.
The Hilltoppers struggled to get their running game established, particularly the option, struggled with snapping the ball from their bread-and-butter pistol formation, and struggled for a good chunk of the night on defense against the Pojoaque Valley Elks.
The Hilltoppers fell to the Elks in their 2014 opener, 18-6 at Sullivan Field.
They were outgained by more than 2-to-1 on the offensive side and gave up too many big plays.
Perhaps the backbreaker came in the third quarter, however. Pojoaque Valley quarterback Chris Quintana, who had been the piston driving the offense up to that point, was ejected from the ballgame on a late hit against Los Alamos defensive tackle Andres Dow with 4:05 left.
Cold second-string quarterback Royce Nez came in from the bench. But on his first snap, a third-and-42 situation, Los Alamos retreated into deep coverage while Nez handed the ball off to tailback Darren Montoya. Montoya went untouched to near the first-down marker, bounced off three potential tacklers and scampered into the end zone.