On the heels of their uplifting victory in the Class 5A state quarterfinals, the Moriarty Pintos’ football season came to an end after running out of gas in last Friday’s 5A state semifinals.

The Pintos never got off the ground in their 42-0 defeat at the hands of to the No. 1 Centennial Hawks at the Field of Dreams in Las Cruces.

“They’re a very good team, hats off to them,” said Moriarty head coach Joe Anaya. “Best team we’ve played all year.”

Moriarty couldn’t stop the top-ranked Hawks, who took a 21-0 lead at halftime and extended it to 35-0 in the third quarter.

Moriarty’s usually strong ground game never found its footing against Centennial’s defense; the Pintos could only muster 66 total yards rushing.

Moriarty’s top running back, Allen Michel, was held to 33 yards on 10 carries, “which is way below his average,” Anaya said.

Elijah Tapia had 10 carries for 20 yards.

“It seemed with [Centennial’s] speed and size we just couldn’t do much,” the coach said. The Pintos finished the season with a 9-3 record.

According to reporting by the Las Cruces Sun-News, Centennial’s assistant coach Roger Grays died Monday from injuries he suffered Thanksgiving day in a single-vehicle crash.

Leota Harriman
Leota Harriman

Leota started working for The Independent in 2006, working her way up through the ranks. An employee buyout in 2010 led to her ownership of the newspaper. Leota has served on the board of the N.M. Press Association, and is currently its First Vice President. She is passionate about health and wellness, especially mental health, and loves making art. She can be reached at news.ind.editor@gmail.com.