What a slugfest.
Class 5A Miyamura’s lightning-quick offense had the Patriots within striking distance. Still, Socorro broke open a three-point, fourth-quarter game for a 46-29 win at Eddie Castaneda Field on Sept. 16 as the No. 3 Warriors improved to 5-0.
The game wasn’t two minutes old when Warriors’ quarterback Marcus Armijo drew first blood on a seven-yard run, and the senior field general was far from done. Kaden Dow’s extra-point kick split the uprights for a 7-0 lead. Less than 30 seconds later, the Patriots returned the favor on a 73-yard sweep, and the play set the tone of the evening for the Warriors’ defense — which was to make sure the runner didn’t get outside.
Faced with its speediest opponent to this point of the season, Socorro attacked in a pack and did its best to avoid having its cornerbacks out on an island. It worked for the most part, but for coach Damian Ocampo it was about attacking what the Patriots were giving up.
“They have a guy up front who’s special. He’s excellent. And so, we had to see where he was lining up, which dictated much of what we were doing,” Ocampo said. “That’s why we switched sides, but you know, Marcus came through big tonight. Everybody saw the type of runner he is. I’m telling you — he’s as good as they come.”
The same can be said for tight end and linebacker Caden Moreland who was on the receiving end of two of the three touchdown passes served up by Armijo. With the score knotted up at 7-7, Armijo hit Moreland on the fly for a 44-yard score, and the receiver beat his man to the end zone.
Armijo kept the Patriots’ defense off balance with his snap count that produced four offside penalties against Miyamura and three first downs for the Warriors.
The Patriots picked up their second scoring opportunity following a long punt return. They knotted the score at 14-14, but Socorro wouldn’t blink as Brian Armijo raced 64 yards for the Warriors’ longest touchdown of the night.
A quarterback keeper put the margin at eight points, 22-14. Socorro was unable to capitalize on a fumble recovery by Damien Greenwood, but the Warriors would set themselves up more than once.
Greenwood and nose guard Xamien Aguilar teamed up to crush a Patriot drive late in the first when they stopped a third-down running play that would have swung the game’s momentum in the opposite direction heading into halftime.
Despite two excellent receptions by Greenwood and Isaiah Ocampo, the Warriors ran out of first-half time before they could put another ball into the end zone.
“We had to play our rear ends off just playing with them,” Ocampo said. They’re very talented and physical. I was proud of our guys.”
In the second half, Cenyon Scarborough’s fumble recovery set up a 31-yard field goal by Dow, but the Patriots came right back with the game’s longest score of the evening on an 88-yard run.
With 8:49 remaining in play, the Warriors hit their full stride, and it was through the air where Armijo found creases in the Patriots’ defense. When he hit Alex Amaro with an 18-yard strike, the Patriots were reeling and arguing among themselves. It was the perfect time to take advantage, and Amaro hooked up with Moreland for his third TD pass of the night on a 17-yard score.
Armijo tallied the final score on a seven-yard run and the 49-26 score.
Up next is No. 2 Raton as the Warriors hit the road for their biggest matchup of the season.