A lightning delay and a black cat crossing their path didn’t startle the Pintos as they bashed the visiting Gallup Bengals 53-8 last Friday in Moriarty.

“We came out full of energy tonight and just took it to them from the first snap,” said Pintos senior quarterback Nick Young who ran for a touchdown and tossed a TD pass to Elijah Tapia.

On the first play from scrimmage Allen Michel slashed through the Bengals defense for a 65-yard gain, putting the Pintos inside Gallup’s 5-yard line.

On the next play he plowed into the end zone untouched. “The holes were insane,” Michel said, referring to the openings created by Moriarty’s offensive line.

The holes the O-line opened were more like crevasses as Michel piled up 221 yards on 12 carries. He added a 32-yard touchdown on the Pintos’ next possession and tacked on a 68-yard TD midway through the second quarter.

Seth Castillo tallied 87 yards rushing and a touchdown; Tapia and Matt Smith chipped in 20 yards apiece.

Tapia also returned a punt 91 yards for a touchdown just before halftime.

While the Pintos shredded Gallup’s defense with 40 first-half points, Moriarty’s defense gave the Bengals fits, extinguishing their ground game to -12 yards rushing and forcing two turnovers.

“The way the kids played tonight, there was fury, they had fun,” said Pintos head coach Joe Anaya.

The game also saw senior Jake Flaming’s first-ever pass receptions: a 16-yard catch that set-up Young’s rushing touchdown, followed by a floater into the corner of the end zone for the 2-point conversion after the TD. “That one was probably one of the best feelings because I never scored in football before,” Flaming said.

Back-up QB Dylan Tapia’s 1-yard score with 5:52 remaining was his first-ever varsity touchdown.

Lightning delayed the game’s opening kickoff an hour and 24 minutes.

Twice the teams lined up on the field but additional strikes sent them back to the locker rooms. The fans were even cleared from the stands and sent to their cars. The only action on the field during the delay was a black cat darting back and forth across the 50-yard line.

The Pintos improved their record to 4-2. Friday they travel to Roswell High to face the 5-2 Coyotes.

Leota Harriman
Leota Harriman

Leota started working for The Independent in 2006, working her way up through the ranks. An employee buyout in 2010 led to her ownership of the newspaper. Leota has served on the board of the N.M. Press Association, and is currently its First Vice President. She is passionate about health and wellness, especially mental health, and loves making art. She can be reached at news.ind.editor@gmail.com.