Moriarty High School’s head football coach Gabe Romero had some passionate words for his players after the Pintos picked up their first win of the season on Sept. 10—a 41-0 pounding over the visiting Grants Pirates.

“Tonight, you guys hit! That looked like Pintos football!” Romero told his players as they huddled at midfield with the final score still glowing from the scoreboard.

“Y’sir!” the players replied in unison.

With running back Cayden Dunn nursing a nagging knee injury and limited to one carry of the ball before being sidelined for the rest of the game, several other Pintos got an opportunity to step up.

Erik “Gray” Wolf and Kenneth Poyner both scored two touchdowns, Amare Gonzales and Matthew Romero each scored one, and the Pintos’ defense stifled the Pirates from the start, including coming up with a safety and an interception.

“Our defense played great,” coach Romero said. “I think by far that’s the best performance that our defense has had.”

Moriarty’s offensive line also was instrumental in the win, creating gaps for the Pintos running backs to gallop through.

Poyner capped Moriarty’s nine-play opening drive with a 10-yard touchdown run through a hole on the right side.

“I gotta thank my line, I mean, they gave me good blocks,” Poyner said.

Later in the first quarter, Wolf scored on a 1-yard jaunt on fourth down to make it 13-0.

“Coach told me to go put it in and that’s what I did,” Wolf said about his first TD.

Early in the second quarter, Moriarty’s defense came up with a big sack on Grants’ quarterback. On the next play, Grants muffed the snap on its punt attempt to give the Pintos the ball at the Pirates 12-yard line.

That set up Poyner’s second TD, a 4-yard scamper to put the Pintos up 19-0.

A few minutes later Moriarty recovered a Grants fumble inside the Pirates 40.

Gonzales connected with Matthew Romero on a 36-yard pass to give the Pintos first-and-goal at the Pirates 1-yard line. On the next play, Gonzales scored on a 1-yard plunge up the middle for a 25-0 lead.

The Pintos’ defense added some points by coming up with a safety with just over three minutes left in the second quarter.

On Moriarty’s next possession, Wolf burst through a gaping hole for an 11-yard TD and added the 2-point conversion for a commanding 35-0 lead at halftime.

“It was just good blocking,” Wolf said, adding that the hole “was big enough to fit a train.”

In the third quarter, Jason Garcia picked off a Pirates’ pass. That set up Matthew Romero’s 25-yard TD run to cap the Pintos’ scoring. Matthew Romero led the Pintos’ rushing attack with 94 yards on nine carries.

“I think we just came out focused and ready to go, ya know, we jumped on ‘em right away and didn’t look back,” coach Romero said. “We were very physical, we came out tonight and we hit the way we can, and the way we should, and so that was nice to see on both sides of the ball.”

The Pintos play at undefeated Bernalillo Sept. 17.