By N. Waddell
It as the Lobos homecoming game and they were on the field giving it all they had, playing hard, hitting hard and giving the highly ranked St. David Tiger football team all they could handle but it was the ineptness of the third team on the field that cost the Lobos a hard fought win.
The Lobos took the opening kick-off but after three plays had to punt the football away. The punt was a short one giving the Tigers good field position at the Lobo 45 yard line. After two short gains on two plays, the Tigers caught the Lobos out of position on a reverse play scoring a touchdown from 39 yards out.
The Lobos stopped the Tiger two point play to trail 0 to 6 at 9:24 of the first quarter. The Lobos’ Aaron Lagunas took the ensuing kick-off returning the football 19 yards to the 39-yard line.
The Lobo offense started a drive getting down to the 23-yard line facing a fourth down and eleven yards for a first down. The Lobo coaches decided to go for the first down falling short but on the tackle by the Tigers they were penalized for a helmet-to-helmet hit; a personal foul for fifteen yards and an automatic first down or so it says in the rulebook but not to the officiating crew on the field.
They assessed the fifteen-yard penalty and gave possession of the football to the Tigers saying the Lobos did not gain a first down on the play.
It was fourth and eleven, the play gained a yard and the penalty should have been assessed from the point of infraction; instead, the Lobo drive was stopped by the officials and possession of the football given to the Tigers at the ten-yard line. After much discussion by the Lobo coaches and the officials, the coaches were told to get back on the sideline and the call stood and the flags against the Lobos started to come out.
The Lobo defense stopped the Tigers on three plays to force a punt that took a good Tiger roll to the 28-yard line of Hayden. The Lobos started another drive that soon ended on three incomplete pass attempts and another short Lobo punt gave the Tigers very good field position but they could not move the football when the Lobo defense stiffened to meet the challenge forcing a Tiger punt.
It was a hard-hitting defensive battle for the rest of the first quarter and continued into the second quarter with the officials yellow flags coming out often for both teams. The first half came to an end with the Tigers holding on to a 0 to 6 lead.
With two starting defensive players serving, a two-quarter punishment for missing practice out of the way, their presence in the second half made a big difference. Hayden kicked off and on the runback Rodney Ortiz made a hard hit on the ball carrier to force a fumble that was recovered by the Lobos’ Jacob Manriquez at the Tiger 28 yard line.
The Lobo offense went to work driving the football down to the three-yard line with Adrian Ochoa getting the football over the goal line from the three-yard line for the touchdown. Roman Padilla carried for the two-point play to give Hayden an 8 to 6 lead at 8:18 of the third quarter.
The Lobos kicked off and the Tigers started to drive down the field behind their huge offensive line and equally big running back but on a rare Tiger pass attempt, Padilla got in front of the pass for an interception. The Lobos started a drive of their own but their nemesis reared its ugly head when the Lobos fumbled the football away.
The Tigers took advantage driving down to the 22-yard line scoring on another rare pass, scored the two points for an 8 to 14 lead at 11:05 of the fourth quarter. The Lobos took the kick-off and drove down the field with a long forty-yard pass from Erik Rivera to Ezekiel Boltarez down to the 25-yard line the big play of the drive.
After two runs, the Lobos had a first and goal from the eight-yard line. Erik Rivera took the football, broke a couple of tackle attempts to score the touchdown from eight yards out. The Tigers stopped the two-point lead for a tied football game at 14 to 14 with 7:14 left in the game.
The official’s decisions had a big part in the outcome at the end. With several plays by both offenses going out of bounds, the officials would not stop the clock. On the Tiger’s last drive, the Lobos forced the runner out of bounds with 38 seconds left in the game and still no sign of stopping the clock.
With the Tigers ready to run another play, the officials stopped the action and instructed the timekeeper to put the game clock at 53 seconds. The Tigers scored the winning touchdown and the two points with fifteen seconds showing on the clock.
The game ended with four incomplete pass attempts by the Lobos and the Tigers celebrating the win, 14 to 22.
The Lobos played their hearts out and held their heads high as they went out for the handshake; they had given one of the top teams in Division VI all they could handle and they were well rewarded for their play with the approval of the fans in the stands with their applause at the end of the game.
The Lobo offense recorded three complete passes on twelve attempts for 75 yards. The Lobos had fifty-one rushing attempts for 195 yards on the ground led by Erik Rivera’s 79 yards on twenty carries and one touchdown.
Roman Padilla had 19 carries for 60 yards, scored on a two-point play but suffered one lost fumble. Aaron Lagunas carried eight times for 36 yards and Adrian Ochoa had four rushes for twenty yards and a touchdown.
The defensive front for the Lobos had a good game with Robert Sandoval leading the way with ten tackles. Francisco Merino also had an outstanding game with nine tackles and forced two fumbles. Rodney Ortiz had eight tackles and forced the fumble at the start of the second half that was recovered by Jacob Manriquez.
Adrian Ochoa had seven tackles and a pass deflect with Erik Rivera getting five tackles and a pass deflect. Roman Padilla had four tackles and a pass interception with Manny Armenta, Gabriel Ramos and Antonio Medina each with four tackles. Aaron Lagunas contributed three tackles.
Up next, the BIG ONE! Lobos versus Bearcats on Friday Oct. 12 on Lalo Serrano Lobo Stadium with a 7:00 p.m. kick-off.
The Town of Winkelman will be hosting their annual bonfire to get the Lobos up for the big game on Thursday Oct. 11 at the Winkelman Flats Park with festivities starting at 5:30 p.m. The Town of Winkelman will be serving hotdogs, chili beans and chips and will have water bottles for all attending at no charge.
Come out and support BIG BLUE as they get into the spirit for their battle against the Bearcats.
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