MAGDALENA — Joshua Baca lit up the field as he tossed seven touchdowns and three receivers had multiple scores as the No. 4 Magdalena Steers drubbed No. 5 Tatum 54-6 for an 8-man quarter-final championship on Oct. 28.
It was a career night for the Steers’ senior signal caller as he found wideout Kael Stephens on the Steers’ first possession for a score, and he hooked up with his fellow senior on two more TD tosses.
Baca found D’Shaun Vinyard to make it 12-0, and then Baca recovered a fumble on defense to set up his 5-yard touchdown, and it was an 18-0 affair.
The Steers (7-3) left some points on the field with a string of failed extra-point attempts, which was a concern for coach Danny Daniels after the game.
“I think we left 10 points out there, and we can’t do that against Lordsburg. We got to be more efficient than that. And when the field is shorter, the defense is all there, so we got to execute a little bit harder,” Daniels said.
Daniels was pointing to a second half where the Steers bogged down and were nowhere near as efficient as they had been in building a 32-0 first-half lead. To get that total, Baca found Stephens on a pair of short TD passes and Joseph Zamora on a PAT pass.
“We came out aggressive and were focused, and I appreciate that,” Daniels said. “Then we come out in the second half — we let the other team dictate what we did out there.”
Tatum (5-5) tacked on a quick score, and any chance of a 50-point mercy-rule win faded as the Steers got sloppy. A Steers’ turnover slowed down the offense, but Baca tacked another TD pass on a 14-yard hookup to Martinez.
Baca would round things out with a pair of five-yard strikes to Vinyard and Martinez, and his ability to extend plays isn’t lost on his coach.
“He’s our best football player. He’s capable, and sometimes he wants to do everything with his arm, but when he pulls it down, he’s hard to stop too,” Daniels said.
The Steers’ reward for victory is a date Nov. 4 against No. 1 Lordsburg, a 50-0 winner over No. 8 Menaul. The Mavericks are 9-0 and averaging 52 points a game on offense and 13.2 points on defense.
“We gave up three scores against them in district play that we shouldn’t have because of mental mistakes,” Daniels said. “We have studied our film and will be looking to make some adjustments.”