Junior running back Angel Perez finds open ground.
Russell Huffman | El Defensor Chieftain photos

Despite winning its regular season game 29-0 against Cobre, No. 1 Socorro practiced like a team on a mission last week, and the Warriors look like they want to extend their margin of victory in the playoffs.

Practices during Socorro’s bye week have been well attended and conducted in a business-like manner. The Warriors have been in this situation before, but they may not have been as battered as the 2022 team.

“We’re trying to get healthy. We’ve had a lot of guys out in practice. It’s the first day we’ve had the majority of our guys,” head coach Damien Ocampo said.

That first day was Nov. 3, meaning the Warriors had gone three whole days without all their starters in the lineup. Despite all those injuries, Socorro posted two shutouts while not running the ball well in the second half of both games.

“I usually don’t like bye weeks, but this year we need it. I mean, we have a lot of guys out right now. So, we need it this year. I like it this year,” Ocampo said.

Socorro’s Colton Dow heads to the end zone.

A healthy Socorro is a dangerous Socorro on offense, where the Warriors are led by dual-threat senior quarterback Marcus Armijo who has amassed 1,377 yards through the air. Armijo’s arm has generated 22 touchdowns, and his 92 carries for 958 yards have added 15 more scores on the ground.

Armijo (10.4) isn’t the Warriors’ only double-digit per-yard rusher. Brian Armijo has rushed for 642 yards on 59 totes and has six touchdowns to his credit. Senior running back Garrick Gutierrez has been hampered by an injury most of the year. Still, he has seven scores and 307 yards off 55 carries.

When it comes to spreading around the ball, Armijo has found many targets this season. The receptions per yard are astounding, considering the Warriors use a single-back offense designed to get short-yardage passing.

Socorro has 11 receivers averaging 11 or more yards per catch, and freshman Jay Lee leads the way with a 23-yard average. Lee only had three catches, but those big numbers bled into Socorro’s numbers.

Junior wideout Alex Amaro is head and shoulders above other Warriors with 36 catches for 481 yards and seven scores. Caden Moreland is also coming up big with 18 receptions for 343 yards and five touchdowns.

Isaiah Ocampo has 15 receptions for 261 yards (2 TDs), and Damien Greenwood has ten catches for an average of 15.9 yards per catch and three touchdowns. Warren Chewiwi’s four catches netted 44 yards and two scores.

On defense, Moreland is the Warriors’ tackle leader with 72 stops (13 tackles for losses), but Brian Armijo is right behind him with 69 tackles.

Armijo is a ball hawk with a nose for the football, and he has an astounding 50 solo tackles and 17.5 TFL. Warren Kurtnaker is third on the tackle chart, with 53 tackles and 30 solos.

Despite being double-teamed most of the time, Xamien Aguilar has 22 solo stops and 44 tackles.

“We’ve had a good week of practice, and we’ve got just about everybody back healthy,” Ocampo said. “We may have to make lineup adjustments as we did against Cobre the first time, but we will be ready to play.”

Kickoff for Friday’s game against Cobre is set for 7 p.m.