In its most lopsided victory of the season, Estancia High’s football team completely dismantled the visiting McCurdy Bobcats 62-0 in last Friday’s Class 3A state quarterfinals.

Zeke Tapia scored seven touchdowns rushing and Cruz Moreno had two interceptions returned for TDs.

The officials stopped the game at halftime on the 50-point mercy rule.

Each of Estancia’s first six offensive plays were Tapia carries. Fifteen of the Bears’ 19 total offensive plays were Tapia carries.

Tapia capped the Bears’ three-play opening drive with a 15-yard touchdown; he burst into the clear for a 40-yard scamper on the Bears’ second possession; and on the first play of the ensuing possession he broke free and raced 73 yards to the end zone.

On Estancia’s next possession the Bears gave the ball to Moreno a couple of times but once again Tapia capped the drive with a touchdown—this one from 5 yards out—and the home team was sitting on a 27-0 cushion with two minutes still left in the first quarter.

“Our coach teaches us to run inside the tackles, that’s our game plan,” Tapia said. He gained 349 yards on 15 carries.

At the start of the game, Estancia head coach Stewart Burnett said the Bears weren’t happy that the No. 9 Bobcats had been “talking trash” in the Española newspapers. “All week they’ve been saying they’re just as physical as us,” Burnett said.

A quote by McCurdy’s quarterback Andres Martinez in last week’s edition of the Rio Grande Sun stated, “I think we’re definitely physically right there with them.”

McCurdy’s coach Ron Gallegos was also quoted in the same article about the Bobcat’s passing game, stating, “when it’s on target, nobody can beat us.”

Both quotes got the top-ranked Bears riled up. “We wanted to show them,” Tapia said. “We had to prove what we have.”

Estancia was missing starting quarterback Isaiah Chavez—who sat out with a sore ankle—and went with freshman Garrett Noblitt who was making his first-ever varsity start.

But the Bears still piled up 418 yards rushing.

Meanwhile the Bobcats never got anything going against Estancia’s defense. “When [the players] go out with a chip on their shoulder they can do some very impressive things,” Burnett said.

The No. 1 Bears travel to Eunice on Saturday to take on the No. 4 Cardinals.

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 [email protected]