Moriarty High’s football team scored 19 unanswered points in the second half of last Friday’s homecoming game to cruise to a 25-0 victory over the Class 5A Capital Jaguars.

The win puts the Pintos at 5-0, their best start in 10 years.

Clinging to a slim 6-0 lead at halftime, Elijah Tapia, Xavier Romero and Nick Padilla all scored touchdowns to turn a close game into another Moriarty shutout. “We came out ready to play but [Capital] came out and hit us in the mouth a little bit,” Moriarty head coach Joe Anaya said of the Jaguar’s scrappy first-half performance.

After Matt Smith’s first-quarter touchdown got Moriarty on the board, the Pintos struggled to get into the end zone. Shortly after his TD, Smith—the Pintos workhorse fullback—left the game with a leg injury.

In the third quarter the Jaguars drove downfield and were first-and-goal inside Moriarty’s 10-yard line.

But on fourth-and-goal at the 1-yard line, the Pintos put up a wall and stopped Capital cold. “That was a big momentum changer,” Anaya said.

The Pintos then mounted an 11-play, 95-yard drive that ended with Tapia’s 6-yard touchdown. He led the Pintos with 112 yards rushing on 16 carries.

Following a fourth quarter Capital fumble, Romero plunged through a cavernous hole at the 1-yard line.

With just over 5 minutes remaining in the game, Padilla—who shared quarterback duties with Dylan Tapia—rolled to his right from the 11-yard line and slipped past a pair of Capital defenders for his first-ever varsity rushing touchdown.

I got a good block from Robert Najar,” Padilla said. “I just saw daylight and dove for the pylon and luckily got in.”