A second-half surge helped Moriarty’s football team turn a close game into a 36-0 rout last Friday over the visiting Grants Pirates.

“Mistakes at the beginning put us in a hole,” said Moriarty head coach Joe Anaya referring to early penalties and a turnover. In the first half the Pintos got into the Pirates’ red zone–the area inside the 20-yard line—three times but only had a 6-0 lead at halftime.

Midway through the third quarter, on a screen pass to Pirates running back Trey Narramore, Moriarty defensive back Elijah Tapia plucked the ball from Narramore’s hands and scooted 51 yards to the end zone to bump Moriarty’s lead to 13-0.

On the Pintos’ next possession Allen Michel dashed 63 yards for a TD to put Moriarty up 20-0.

With 7:03 left in the game Matt Smith plowed through the Pirates defense for a 63-yard touchdown. Smith said the TD was redemption for his turnover in the second quarter. “I wanted to make up for that fumble,” Smith said. “So, I bounced it out, cut back in, and I just raced as fast as I can.”

With 2:42 remaining, Seth Castillo appeared to get into the end zone—one of the officials even signaled a touchdown—but another official claimed he was down at the 1-yard line. On the next play Michel scored his second touchdown of the game.

Moriarty got its lone first-half TD when Jon Ipiotis pounced on teammate Michel’s fumble in the end zone at the end of the Pintos’ opening drive.

Because Albuquerque Academy moved to an independent schedule, Moriarty plays Grants twice this season, but only the upcoming Oct. 30 game at Grants will count as a District 5-5A contest.

Moriarty’s first district game will be Friday when the Pintos host undefeated St. Pius X.