Behind another outstanding defensive performance, Moriarty High’s football team crushed the New Mexico Military Institute Colts 53-0 in a mercy-rule shortened mismatch last Friday at home.

The Pintos’ stingy defense—it held NMMI’s ground game to minus-6 yards and limited the Colts’ passing attack to just one first down—put three touchdowns on the board in the first quarter with a pair of pick-sixes and a returned fumble.

“Our defense set the tone right off the bat,” Moriarty head coach Joe Anaya said.

Jesse Lara and Travis Burson each returned interceptions for TDs, and Burson also returned a fumble 15 yards for a touchdown—before Moriarty’s offense had gotten into the end zone.

Marvin Encinias’ 18-yard rushing TD midway through the opening stanza was the first points for Moriarty’s offense. “We had a bunch of defensive ones before I even touched the ball, and I was like, ‘I gotta get one!’” Encinias said in the locker room after the game.

Tyler Murphy’s 14-yard TD catch later in the quarter extended Moriarty’s lead to 33-0.

On Moriarty’s first play of the second quarter, Encinias dashed around the right side of the line for a 15-yard scamper—his second TD of the game.

“Coach told me, ‘Get the ball to the outside and you can beat them,’” Encinias said. “Then it was just a race to the pylon.”

Moriarty (6-1, 1-0 in District 4-4A) upped its lead to 47-0 on Xavier Romero’s 12-yard scoring run with 4:28 left in the first half. He led the Pintos’ rushing attack with 54 yards on seven carries.

Pete Sandoval scored his first-ever varsity touchdown against NMMI.

With mostly backups and JV players in for the start of the second half, freshman quarterback Bryan Wright drove the Pintos downfield where fellow freshman Pete Sandoval scored his first-ever varsity touchdown—a 6-yard jaunt around the right side.

Sandoval’s TD put the Pintos up by more than 50 points and ended the game with 3:15 left in the third quarter.

“It was awesome,” Sandoval said of his inaugural TD. “I looked for a hole, got some good blocking, saw some green grass and I just kept on going.”

The Pintos take on district rival Hope Christian (3-5, 0-2) Saturday at 5 p.m. at Albuquerque’s Milne Stadium.