Right from the start of Moriarty football’s Nov. 4 home playoff game, the Pintos were in control.
Michael Magoffe scored three touchdowns, Santiago Chavez scored twice, Gray Wolf, Amare Gonzales and Caedon Kamplain each added touchdowns and the No. 7 Pintos dismantled the No. 10 Kirtland Central Broncos 53-2 in the first round of the 4A state playoffs. The game ended in the fourth quarter on the 50-point mercy rule.
“All year we’ve played good but there was just a little something missing,” Moriarty head coach Gabe Romero said. “Tonight, we found it.”
Throughout the matchup, Moriarty’s defense stifled Kirtland Central, keeping the Broncos out of the end zone and forcing several turnovers that led to Pintos’ touchdowns.
Moriarty recovered a fumble on Kirtland Central’s opening drive, and on the Pintos’ first play from scrimmage, Magoffe ran for a 42-yard touchdown. Moriarty had a 7-0 lead before a minute had ticked off the clock.
“We came out, we were ready, and we said, ‘Let’s punch this in right away,’” Magoffe said.
Moriarty forced a fumble on Kirtland’s next possession to set up Gonzales’ 2-yard touchdown to make it 14-0 at the end of the first quarter.
Early in the second quarter, Gonzales picked off a Kirtland pass, and three plays later, Chavez’ 1-yard plunge made it 20-0.
“We had everybody flying around, making plays, getting the ball back, and then we made ‘em pay by scoring after the turnovers,” Gonzales said. “We just clicked all night long.”
Magoffe thwarted Kirtland’s next drive when he intercepted a pass at the Pintos 30 and returned it 70 yards for a touchdown.
“Me and Gray were both right there and I just threw my hands out and hoped for the best, caught it and ran down the sideline,” Magoffe said.
The Pintos’ only hiccup of the game came on their next possession after Kirtland had punted and pinned Moriarty inside the 10-yard line. The Pintos went three-plays-and-out and were forced to punt from their own 3. On the attempted punt, the snap sailed over the punter’s head and out of the back of the end zone for a safety, giving Kirtland its only points of the game.
On Kirtland’s next drive, Magoffe picked off another pass to give the Pintos the ball near midfield. One play later, Wolf broke through a hole and darted 54 yards to the end zone to make it 33-2. He led Moriarty’s rushing attack with 119 yards on five carries.
Wolf then intercepted a Kirtland pass just before halftime.
“It’s a statement,” Wolf said about the victory. “We made a statement tonight.”
On Moriarty’s first play of the second half, Chavez slipped through a seam in the line and went 59 yards to put the Pintos up 40-2. Chavez piled up 105 yards rushing on 14 carries.
Magoffe added a 2-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter to make it 47-2. Magoffe carried the ball seven times for 83 yards. He also caught a 31-yard pass. Along with his two interceptions that totaled 95 return-yards, Magoffe produced 209 all-purpose yards for the Pintos.
After Kirtland turned the ball over on downs with three minutes remaining in the game, Kamplain scored his first-ever touchdown on a 58-yard run.
“It feels great,” Kamplain said about his TD, adding, “It was a big hole.”
Romero said he could not recall when, if ever, the Pintos had mercy-ruled an opponent in a playoff game.
“I don’t know, I’m not sure,” Romero said, adding, “But I thought right off the bat, our offense was clicking and our defense did a heck of a job creating turnovers. I think for the most part it was a pretty darn good game.”
With the win, the Pintos advanced to the 4A quarterfinals on Nov. 12 and faced No. 2 Bloomfield (10-1). Bloomfield proved to be too tough as the Broncos piled up more than 300 yards rushing and over 200 yards passing in a 62-7 win over the Pintos.
Moriarty finished the season with an 8-4 overall record and 2-1 in district.