Mountainair High School’s six-man football team continued its winning ways during this shortened, spring season by rolling to a 52-0 mercy-ruled rout over the Roy/Mosquero Longhorns on March 27 at home.
Mountainair wasted no time scoring on a defensive touchdown in the game’s opening minutes and continued to score on every offensive possession.
The undefeated Mustangs added a safety and returned a kickoff for a TD to produce their largest margin of victory this season.
“I think our kids played tough, every one of them,” Mountainair head coach Robert Zamora said after the game.
Mountainair senior Cade Brazil returned a blocked Longhorns’ field goal attempt for the Mustangs’ first touchdown. Fellow senior Gabriel Padilla skimmed inside the pylon on a 15-yard scamper to the left side for the Mustangs’ second touchdown. Padilla then caught a TD pass from Brazil on Mountainair’s next drive to put the home team up 20-0.
On the Longhorns’ next possession—starting inside their own 10-yard line—the Mustangs defense smothered the visitors’ quarterback in the end zone for a safety.
Mountainair senior Brandon Burkeen returned the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown to push the lead to 28-0 at the end of the first quarter.
In the second quarter, Brazil threw his second TD pass of the game to senior Kayzen Greene.
On the point after touchdown, the Mustangs lined up for a kick, but instead pulled off a nifty fake with a pass to Alex Ortiz for a 35-0 lead.
The extra point scored on the play exemplifies one of the many differences of six-man football: the standard 2-point conversion after a touchdown in 11-man football is only a 1-point conversion in six-man ball. Conversely, the traditional PAT kick results in two points in six-man.
Other notable differences include the smaller size of the field—80 yards long instead of 100—along with a narrower 40-yard width. The offense needs to travel 15 yards to convert a first down; and the rosters are much smaller.
In fact, the winless visiting team—a combination of players from northeastern New Mexico’s Roy and Mosquero high schools—consisted of four players from one school and three from the other. With seven total players on its six-man roster, Roy/Mosquero only had one sub, who was called into action when one of the team’s starters got hurt.
Late in the second quarter, Mountainair’s Dylan Greene took a pitch and darted 20 yards for a touchdown to put the Mustangs up 43-0 at halftime.
In the second half, Zamora brought in several of his subs, and put sophomore Jacob Zamora at quarterback.
Midway through the third quarter, on an option play that included a couple of laterals, Jacob Zamora ended up with the ball and zig-zagged through a crowd of defenders for the Mustangs’ final touchdown of the game and a 49-0 lead.
Mountainair marched downfield one last time but the drive ended when Adrian Luna was stopped at the 1-yard line. On fourth-and-goal at the 1-yard line with 9:52 remaining, the Mustangs kicked a field goal to end the game on the 50-point mercy rule.
“We had a lot of subbing, and the second team, even the freshmen, they really stepped up and kept the momentum going,” coach Zamora said, adding, “That’s what we try to coach and that’s what they did today, so I’m really proud of them.”
In this Covid-postponed football season, the New Mexico Activities Association decided not to have postseason playoffs or a championship. Instead, teams will play in bowl games. The NMAA paired teams they determined to be comparable for their respective bowl games.
“We’re looking forward to it,” coach Zamora said. “Let’s continue to play and give the seniors another game.”
Mountainair’s bowl game will be at home against the undefeated Clovis Christian Eagles, April 2 at 7 p.m.