The Estancia High football team got off to a sluggish start against the visiting Jal Panthers Sept. 20 but with the help of a 28-point surge in the second quarter, the Bears turned a scoreless tie into a 36-8 rout.
Marino Rivera-Noblitt ran for two touchdowns, Garrett Noblitt caught a pair of TD passes, and Andrew Lujan added a score as the Bears improved to 3-2 with the victory.
“It’s good, it could’ve been better, but it’s all right, we’ve just gotta keep working,” Garrett Noblitt said.
Freshman quarterback Ja’brae Boyer threw an interception on Estancia’s first possession, and both the Bears and Panthers failed to put any points on the board during the first quarter.
But Boyer rebounded early in the second quarter by capping a nine-play drive with a 26-yard touchdown toss to Garrett Noblitt.
“That was some beautiful football from our freshman quarterback,” Estancia head coach Stewart Burnett said.
Just over a minute later Marino Rivera-Noblitt burst through a hole and sprinted 70 yards for Estancia’s second score. Lujan added the 2-point conversion to give the Bears a 14-0 lead.
“I just remember going over two people and then just running,” Rivera-Noblitt said about his first TD of the game.
“When he gets through that seam he’s gone,” Burnett said regarding Rivera-Noblitt’s speed.
Midway through the second quarter, Lujan ran for what would’ve been a 73-yard touchdown but it was nullified by a holding penalty. Nine plays later, he capped an 80-yard drive with a 30-yard touchdown run. He scored the 2-pointer to extend Estancia’s lead to 22-0. Lujan tallied 112 yards rushing on 16 carries.
Boyer connected with Garrett Noblitt on a 30-yard floater that Noblitt caught backpedaling at the 2-yard line and then stepped into the end zone to put the Bears up 28-0 at halftime.
“He came through and made two good throws to Garrett,” Burnett said of Boyer.
Noblitt totaled 86 yards receiving on three receptions.
Rivera-Noblitt’s 34-yard touchdown run in the third quarter boosted the Bears’ lead to 36-0. He finished with 107 yards on eight carries.
The Panthers scored their only TD following a 60-yard drive with 3:20 remaining in the game.
“It’s a good win, it’s a win I had some doubts about,” Burnett said, adding, “There are some good pieces here and if we put all the pieces together this could be a very good football team.”
The Bears go for their fourth consecutive victory Sept. 27 when they host winless Cloudcroft.