Estancia and Moriarty host scrimmages to gear up for football season

Both Estancia and Moriarty high schools hosted preseason football scrimmages last week as dress rehearsals for the upcoming season—and both had mixed results.

The Pintos and Bears spent this week ironing out the wrinkles in an effort to gear up for their August 23 season openers.

“It was bad, there’s no sugar-coating it, we didn’t execute,” Estancia head coach Stewart Burnett said of his team’s performance during the Bears’ three-way scrimmage with St. Pius X and Hope Christian. “We played soft, we were slow—we were both of those things in buckets.”

Moriarty High’s first-year head coach Gabe Romero was fairly satisfied with the Pintos’ performance during their scrimmage against the St. Michael’s Horsemen.

Andres Lopez getting wrapped up by a St. Mike’s defender. Photo by Ger Demarest.

“I thought we did a lot of good things,” Romero said. “There’s always things to work on but for the most part I was pleased with what we did.”

Some highlights during the Pintos’ scrimmage was a 40-yard touchdown run by Pete Sandoval and several well-executed plays by sophomore quarterback Josh Montoya.

“We had a couple of big plays, and [Montoya] is doing a good job at running the offense,” Romero said.

Romero noted that this week the Pintos’ defense has looked sharp.

“So far, defensively, everyone’s doing their jobs and covering their responsibilities,” Romero said.

During Estancia’s scrimmage, as the teams took turns running offensive plays against the other teams’ defenses, the Bears started with unsettling results against the hard-hitting Class 3A Hope Christian Huskies.

Bears senior running back Andrew Lujan carried the ball a couple of times before exiting the scrimmage with an injury.

“I lowered my shoulder and got hit and it went numb,” Lujan said. He spent the rest of the afternoon sitting on the sidelines.

Andrew Lujan on the sidelines after sustaining a shoulder injury. Photo by Ger Demarest.

“He’ll be all right, but we’re probably going to keep him out for a couple of weeks,” Burnett said.

The Bears got some productive output from freshman quarterback Ja’Brae Boyer. Burnett also said Kody Larson was “a bright spot on defense,” and he noted that none of the mistakes the Bears made during the scrimmage are fatal—so it’s better that the players get it out of their system now before the season gets underway.

Estancia’s Ja’Brae Boyer rolling out for a pass. Photo by Ger Demarest.

“We’ve got some work to do but we’ll be all right,” Burnett said. “This is a marathon not a sprint.”

Both the Pintos and the Bears kick off their seasons on the road Aug. 23. Moriarty plays at West Las Vegas and Estancia plays at Hatch Valley.