Cayden Dunn ran for two touchdowns, Justin Carmona added another, and the Moriarty defense did the rest as the Pintos got past the visiting Hot Springs Tigers 20-13 Sept. 27

“It’s a big win for us,” Moriarty head coach Gabe Romero said. “I thought our kids stepped up and played well.”

Rebounding from their 41-0 defeat Sept. 20 at Santa Fe Capital, the Pintos jumped out to a 6-0 lead on Justin Carmona’s 21-yard touchdown run.

“Coach told me to run outside, like go way outside, and I did that, and I went in there smoothly,” Carmona said. He finished with 65 yards on nine carries.

“Andres [Lopez] turned in a beautiful block,” Pete Sandoval added about Carmona’s TD run. Sandoval, Moriarty’s workhorse running back, sat out for all but two plays of the game due to a hamstring injury.

Dunn scored his first touchdown on a 21-yard run in the second quarter to put Moriarty (2-4) up 14-7 at halftime.

Moriarty head coach Gabe Romero in the final moments of the Pintos’ win over Hot Springs Sept. 27. Photo by Ger Demarest.

Midway through the third quarter, Hot Springs (3-3) scored on a 67-yard pass but the Pintos blocked the PAT attempt to maintain a 14-13 lead.

Dunn broke through a hole and scampered 43 yards for his second TD with 1:42 left in the third to increase the lead to 20-13.

“It was a really big night, I don’t know how else to explain it,” Dunn said. He tallied 129 yards on 15 carries.

“He had a very good game,” Romero said of Dunn. “We were shorthanded and Cayden stepped up, played a great game.”

Moriarty’s defense stifled the Tigers the rest of the way, including stopping them with a stout goal-line stand inside the Pintos 5-yard line early in the fourth quarter, and recovering a Tigers’ fumble at the Pintos 3-yard line with 3:40 left.

“Our defense played great,” Romero said. “Those two defensive stands at the end were huge.”

After recovering the fumble, the Pintos ran out the clock with runs by Dunn, Lopez, and Carmona to seal the victory.

“I just had that killer instinct, we all did, we had to ensure the game,” Carmona said, adding, “My biggest motivation was Pete [Sandoval], even though he was on the sidelines.”

Moriarty senior Kate Colson was crowned homecoming queen during halftime.

The Pintos have a bye this week and play Oct. 11 at Kirtland Central.