HATCH VALLEY–Socorro quarterback Isaiah Ocampo tossed four touchdowns, and Cenyon Scarborough added a fifth as the Warriors rallied from a 14-0 deficit for a 37-20 District 3-3A win over Hatch Valley on Oct. 20.
It was a must-win for Socorro if the Warriors (7-2) wanted to keep their football playoff hopes alive. Socorro is No. 7 in the MaxPreps and New Mexico High School Coaches poll.
“I think that the win in this game is big. If we can finish it with the win next week, we’ll be in the top eight. If you’re in the top eight, you’re doing something right,” Socorro coach Damien Ocampo said.
At the start against Hatch Valley (5-4), it didn’t appear it would be the Warriors’ night as the Bears struck for two scoring passes. Socorro caught on fire following a 32-yard field goal by Kaden Dow and outscored Hatch 37-6 the remainder of the way.
“I’m just proud of these guys to be down 14-0 against these athletes. They got dudes to be down 14-0 and a battle back the way we did and for our kids to be positive and just get after it. I’m so proud of them,” coach Ocampo said.
Patrick Ware-Moya’s fumble recovery set up the Warriors’ first touchdown of the night as Ocampo found Alex Amaro on a 27-yard pass. Dow’s kick split the uprights for a 14-10 score.
Ocampo set up the longest scoring pass of his varsity career when he pounced on a Bear fumble and hit Jay Lee in stride on a 92-yard touchdown.
Hatch couldn’t get on track offensively, and freshman outside linebacker Dakota Johnson had much to do with the Bears’ unbalance as he slipped into the defensive end slot and, by the game’s end, was drawing double-team blocking.
“We’ve been working with Dakota so hard because he doesn’t have much football experience, but he loves the game. He absolutely loves the game, and he’s going to be special. It’s taken us
this long just to teach him, and I’m so thankful that we have good coaches that work with him and are patient,” coach Ocampo said.
Nazario Silva tipped a pass into Johnson’s hands, which set up a 12-yard TD linkup between Lee and Ocampo.
Jacob Angel gave the Warriors their next opportunity with a huge kickoff return to the Hatch 22-yard line, and Fernie Torres was Ocampo’s next scoring target on a 15-yard touchdown pass.
A scary head-to-head collision sent Ocampo to the sidelines. Still, the Warriors didn’t miss a beat as Scarbrough burned Bears’ defenders on a 74-yard TD pass to Amaro. The play caught the Bears off guard because Scarbrough’s big pass came without warming up.
“I’ve got all the confidence in Cenyon throwing. He can spin it. He’s a great deep-ball thrower,” coach Ocampo said. “He’s awesome.”
Ocampo’s night under center included four TD passes and 12-18 passing for 247 yards. Amaro pulled down seven passes for 149 yards, and Lee had six receptions for 157 yards. Both players had two touchdowns.
Andres Gonzales had 11 tackles on defense, Scarbrough had nine, Pete Lopez and Dow had eight, and Angel and JoJo Barba had seven.