Estancia Bears crush Cuba Rams 54-0

Estancia players with coach Stewart Burnett in the first quarter of Friday's rout over Cuba.

Estancia High’s Josh Thomas ran for three touchdowns and caught a touchdown pass to help lift the Bears to a 54-0 blowout last Friday over the visiting Cuba Rams.

The Bears (5-4, 3-0 District 2/6-3A) scored on each of their first-quarter possessions and never looked back.

Less than a minute and a half into the game, Andrew Lujan capped Estancia’s three-play opening drive with a 7-yard touchdown scamper to give the Bears an early 7-0 lead. He had five carries for 108 yards before coming out of the game w ith an injury.

Andrew Lujan getting some attention on the sidelines from an assistant coach after an injury.

“He was pulled early due to a nagging hip injury he picked up in practice,” Estancia head coach Stewart Burnett said. “He’ll likely sit this week against Laguna to get ready for playoffs.” Thomas’ 13-yard TD run capped the Bears’ next drive.

Estancia’s defense added 2 points when Jonathan Espinosa tackled Cuba’s running back in the end zone for a safety. On Estancia’s next possession, Cruz Moreno threw a 12-yard TD pass to Thomas to put the Bears ahead 22-0.

The Bears’ defense came up big again, holding the Rams deep inside their own territory and forcing a punt that went straight up and down for zero yards, giving Estancia the ball on Cuba’s 15-yard line.

One play later, Moreno threw his second touchdown pass—a strike to Brian Walker—for a 28-0 lead. Moreno went four-for-five, passing for 84 yards and three TDs.

Cuba (5-5, 3-1) tried going to the air on its next possession, but Garrett Noblitt intercepted a pass and returned it 65 yards for his first-ever pick-six to put the Bears up 34-0 at the end of the first quarter.

Estancia’s Andrew Lujan squirting through a hole in the first quarter.

Early in the second quarter, a deep pass completion to Reyez Herrera got the Bears inside the Rams 20-yard line. Three plays later Thomas galloped into the end zone for the 41-0 lead.

Thomas scored again on a 13-yard run to finish with 56 yards on four carries. Senior wide receiver Joel Silva caught his first-ever touchdown pass to round out the Bears scoring.

“The boys played really well, it was the second time this year I feel we’ve actually played well,” Burnett said. “Cuba came out fired up, but the boys were incredibly physical and broke their belief early.”

Burnett said the Bears need to keep it going this week when they play their final regular-season game at district rival Laguna-Acoma on Friday.