Moriarty came out of the gate a little sluggish in its Oct. 21 home matchup with the Española Valley Sundevils, but once the Pintos found their footing, they slammed the door on their district rivals and locked it with a deadbolt.

Amare Gonzales ran for four touchdowns and threw a touchdown pass, Gray Wolf added two TDs, Matthew Romero and Michael Magoffe each scored a touchdown and Isaiah Quintana caught Gonzales’ TD pass to lift the Pintos to a 62-28 blowout.

Moriarty stalled on its opening drive and turned the ball over on downs near midfield.

Española capitalized with a two-play drive that was capped by a 32-yard touchdown pass. The Sundevils added a 2-point conversion for a quick 8-0 lead.

“We were a little disappointed with the slow start,” Moriarty head coach Gabe Romero said, adding, “I thought our next offensive series, we took control and did what we needed to do.”

The Pintos erupted for 27 unanswered points, starting with Wolf’s 3-yard touchdown run and 2-point conversion to cap a 12-play drive and tie the score 8-8.

Gonzales capped Moriarty’s next drive with a 3-yard scamper to put the Pintos up 14-8 at the end of the first quarter.

After Moriarty recovered an Española fumble, Gonzales capped the Pintos’ next drive with a 1-yard plunge to make it 20-8.

Wolf’s 16-yard TD run with 3:13 left in the second quarter put the Pintos up 27-8.

Española scored its second TD with 1:29 left to cut the margin to 27-14.

Gonzales closed out the first half with a 26-yard dart to Quintana who grabbed the pass and fell into the end zone for a 34-14 lead.

In the second half, Gonzales added two more touchdown runs—including a 45-yarder. Matthew Romero and Michael Magoffe sealed the win with their TDs. Magoffe also picked off an Española pass and returned it 44 yards.

Magoffe was the leader in Moriarty’s 398-yard rushing attack: he piled up 127 yards on 12 carries. Santiago Chavez carried the ball 15 times for 87 yards; Gonzales tallied 78 yards rushing on eight carries; Romero added 45 yards on 10 carries; Wolf had 41 yards on four carries.

The Pintos’ 62 points was the most they’ve scored all season.

“At the end of the day, it was a pretty convincing win for us,” coach Romero said.

With the win, the Pintos (7-2 overall, 2-0 in district) will face Taos (8-1, 2-0) for a district-championship showdown on Oct. 28.

Moriarty’s defense, led by Preston Hatten, No. 62, and Jace McCutcheon, No. 8, smothering an Española ball carrier, Oct. 21, 2022. Photos by Ger Demarest.