Moments after Moriarty High School’s football team routed the Bernalillo Spartans in last Friday’s season opener, junior fullback and linebacker Matt Smith described how the team felt: “We just wanted to go fly around, that’s all we wanted to do—we were really pumped up.”
The Pintos—now playing in Class 4A—put the pedal to the metal from the outset, scoring on each of their first-half possessions on their way to a 47-0 drubbing over the visiting Spartans.
“They were ready to play, they flew to the ball,” Moriarty head coach Joe Anaya said, echoing Smith. “You could feel the energy right from the beginning. We blocked really well up front and our running backs ran hard.”
J.P. Carmona started the Pintos’ surge when he capped Moriarty’s two-play opening drive with a 23-yard touchdown run.
On the first play of the Pintos’ next possession Elijah Tapia followed his blockers and galloped 72 yards to the end zone. “The line really stepped it up, the holes were really big,” Tapia said.
He scored again on Moriarty’s next possession—bursting through a hole in the middle of the line and zig-zagging 52 yards past a throng of Bernalillo defenders.
“That one was more intense because I had to cut back a lot,” Tapia said. “My elusiveness really helped me there.”
Tapia paced the Pintos with 136 rushing yards on only three carries.
On Bernalillo’s next possession Tapia intercepted a pass giving the Pintos the ball on the Spartans 30-yard line.
Three plays later Moriarty quarterback Dylan Tapia—who shared QB duties with Nick Padilla—scored on a 22-yard jaunt to put the Pintos ahead by four TDs.
“They both did a really good job back there,” Anaya said of Tapia and Padilla.
Midway through the second quarter, Smith barreled his way into the end zone from the 2-yard line. He was the workhorse of the Pintos’ ground game with a team-high 13 carries for 132 yards.
Marvin Encinias scored his first-ever varsity touchdown on a 1-yard plunge just before halftime and the Pintos took a 41-0 lead into the locker room.
At the start of the second half Encinias mishandled the opening kickoff but quickly scooped up the ball and dashed 85 yards for his second touchdown of the game.
“That last one was a little tiring,” Encinias admitted. “I was really pumping my legs.”
Moriarty’s defense forced five punts and a turnover in the first half. The Pintos kept Bernalillo from converting a first down until the third quarter and caused the Spartans to lose more yards than they gained.
“It was really an intense game, we wanted to prove something tonight,” Smith said.
It was Anaya’s first season-opening victory as Moriarty’s skipper, having lost both last year’s and the year before to Miyamura.
“It feels great,” Anaya said, adding, “I was pretty confident with what we could do.”
But Anaya knows his team can’t rest on its laurels. “There’s a lot of tests still to be seen,” he said.
The Pintos host Los Alamos Friday at 7 p.m.