Despite a sluggish first half, the Estancia Bears football team picked up its first win of the season last Friday by rolling to a 30-6 victory over the visiting Tucumcari Rattlers.
Cruz Moreno’s 11-yard touchdown capped an 11-play opening drive to give the Bears a 6-0 lead. Moreno burst through the middle of the line and barreled his way into the end zone, plowing over a pair of Rattlers on his way to daylight.
Drayton Oberg’s 40-yard run on 4th-and-6 set up the touchdown. Oberg carried the ball 15 times for 134 yards.
But after that initial score, the Bears had two would-be touchdowns—one by Moreno and one by Josh Thomas—erased by penalties, both on holding calls. Estancia had to settle for the 6-0 advantage at halftime.
Prior to the intermission, head coach Stewart Burnett corralled his team and gave them an earful for playing slow—and told them they needed to eliminate the mental mistakes.
The Bears heeded their coach’s directive and buckled down in the second half.
On Estancia’s first possession of the third quarter, Thomas broke through a hole and dashed for a 52-yard touchdown. He capped the Bears’ second drive with a 25-yard score. Thomas led the Bears’ ground assault with 210 yards on 17 carries.
Moreno scored his second TD of the game on an 8-yard plunge to round out Estancia’s scoring. He finished with 153 yards on 14 carries.
“As frustrating as the night was, our kids battled through and found a way to get things done,” Burnett said, adding, “We need to clean things up and get ready for Capitan. That’s become a nice rivalry game and they’re loaded—we definitely have our work cut out for us.”
Burnett was alluding to the fact that the undefeated Capitan Tigers are averaging more than 50 points a game and haven’t yielded a touchdown this season.
The Bears play the Tigers on the road Friday at 7 p.m.
Ger has been writing and shooting photos of high school sports for The Independent for 15 years. His dedication to youth athletics goes beyond sports reporting. He is past president of East Mountain Little League and works as a baseball umpire. He lives in Edgewood with his family.