After an early but brief hiccup, the Estancia High School football team rolled to a 63-16 district win Oct. 8 over the visiting Laguna-Acoma Hawks.

The Bears (4-4, 2-0) coughed up the ball on their opening drive and the Hawks converted it into an immediate touchdown and an early 8-0 lead.

The Bears responded with a slew of touchdowns, starting with a 68-yard run by Ja’Brae Boyer. Adrian “AZ” Lucero then picked off a Laguna-Acoma pass and returned it for a touchdown; Boyer tossed a 17-yard TD pass to Levi Burelsmith, and the rout was on.

The Hawks added another touchdown in the first quarter but never threatened after that.

“They drove down and scored, that was it,” Bears head coach Stewart Burnett said.

Colin Pope intercepted three Laguna-Acoma passes, one he returned for a touchdown early in the third quarter.

Some of Estancia’s other scoring highlights included another rushing TD by Boyer and one by Lucero; Daniel Chavez ran for a 13-yard touchdown; and Lucas McMillan scored on a 26-yard run.

“A lot of it had to do with turnovers,” Burnett said. “Three picks, a couple fumble recoveries, that allowed things to get lopsided pretty quickly.”

Burnett said the Bears started out “a little flat and uninspired,” giving up the early turnover that led to a short-lived Laguna-Acoma lead, but overall, he said he thought the team played “okay.”

“We did some good things, we improved in a lot of the areas we needed to improve on,” Burnett said, adding that Estancia’s next matchup—the Oct. 22 regular-season finale at Escalante—will determine if the Bears make the postseason or not.

“It’ll all come down to that one, they’re a good football team,” Burnett said about the showdown with Escalante. “It’s a must win—we’ve won three in a row, we’ll see if we can make it four.”