In their Aug. 27 matchup against Albuquerque Academy, Moriarty’s offense didn’t get inside the Chargers 20-yard line until late in the fourth quarter—and ultimately the Pintos came up short.
Trailing by two touchdowns with 8:02 remaining in the game, the Pintos started their final drive on their own 24-yard line. Several running plays moved the Pintos into Academy territory. Quarterback Amare Gonzales’ short pass to Santiago Chavez gave the Pintos a first down at the Academy 30-yard line with 3:40 left. Matthew Romero’s 14-yard run gave the Pintos a first down at the Academy 16.
When the next three running plays produced short yardage, the Pintos were facing fourth-and-7 at the Academy 13 with a little over two minutes to go. Moriarty decided to go for it. Gonzales rolled out to his left and had Michael Magoffe open in the end zone.
But Academy’s defense chased down Gonzales and sacked him—and the Chargers avenged last year’s playoff loss in Moriarty with a 20-7 victory.
Academy scored on its opening drive with a 23-yard touchdown pass to take a 7-0 lead.
All three of Moriarty’s first-half drives ended in punts.
Moriarty’s only touchdown came on an 84-yard punt return by Isaiah Quintana early in the second quarter. Quintana received the punt at the Pintos 16, scooted to the left past an Academy defender and darted down the sidelines to the end zone to tie the score at 7-7.
“I just took off,” Quintana said.
Academy scored on its opening drive of the third quarter to go up 14-7. The Chargers scored their final TD near the end of the third quarter.
The Pintos started the second half with a turnover on their first possession. The Pintos’ next two drives stalled in their own territory.
“We had some trouble getting the offense on track,” Moriarty head coach Gabe Romero said. After the game, Romero encouraged his players that the loss “is just a speed bump, it’s not a roadblock. You guys determine what happens next.”