“You can print it, this was one of the best performances you will ever see out of a JV team going up against a varsity squad. That is all that needs to be said.”
That was Athletic Director and Varsity Coach Damien Ocampo after the Socorro Warriors JV faced off against the visiting Crownpoint Eagles. It was a battle, but the Eagles managed to prevail with a late score that ended 34-30 Crownpoint.
“We came out banging early tonight,” JV coach Chris Scarbrough said. “The kids were on the blocks the way we coach them. In the second quarter, our team just came out flat. When the young guys get settled in instead of fighting for it, bad things can happen.”
The young Warriors came out ready to go, starting with sophomore Shane Bustamante scooping up a botched kick. Marcus Armijo had a big run before Colton Dow plugged it in on a flea-flicker trick play.
A 3-and-out defensive stop by Socorro resulted in a big punt return by sophomore Angel Perez, resulting in a zero change of yardage for Crownpoint. On the next play, Marcus Armijo had a big touchdown catch. From there it seemed like easy work with the scoreboard showing 22-0 at the end of one.
Then Crownpoint got sneaky, as in a big score on a quarterback sneak by junior Tyrell Archie. Things were trending in the wrong direction for the Warriors after a scramble fumble recovery in Socorro’s territory by the Eagles. Fortunately, junior Warren Kurtnaker saved the Warriors with a fumble recovery of his own. That kept the score at 22-6 at the half for Socorro.
The second half came and it did not look good for the Warriors early. Freshman Isaiah Ocampo had a brilliant run around the left side of the defense. Called back due to a holding penalty. Crownpoint was in business with sophomore Tydon Tsosie finding the endzone to cut the lead to just two.
An injury to freshman Gabriel Giron did not help the Warriors. He did walk off on his own two feet. It appeared that the JV crew was going to pull off the upset with Garrick Gutierrez coming up with a huge run, breaking tackles left and right towards the endzone. 30-26 Warriors.
“In the moment that touchdown felt great,” he said. “Unfortunately our team didn’t seal the deal but we performed excellent tonight. We just scored too early. Scoring the final touchdown would have been amazing.”
The Warriors did leave time on the clock, allowing Eagles’ Tsosie to plug in the final game-winning touchdown, sending the Socorro fans home packing.
“Defensively they adjusted by getting a lot more guys in the box,” Scarbrough said. “Double tight, they were pulling big linemen in the right spots. It’s a beating for our young linemen on the offensive end. On defense we were tackling high and not wrapping up. We let the moment shift to the opponents but we still came back and almost pulled it out. That’s a great positive for the kids.”
Despite the varsity stars coming out to watch, the JV crew took the loss. After a week off post homecoming, the Warriors team will be back on the field on the road against Hot Springs October 15.