The first win could not have been sweeter for the Magdalena Steers on September 24. It was a rain covered game, but the boys finally broke through with a victory against the Dulce Hawks to the tune of 54-0.
“We really needed this win,” head coach Ryan Romero said. “After being in the loss column for three weeks straight this is a big weight off of our shoulders. It shows the work our team puts in every day.”
Every school’s homecoming football game is a tradition. Magdalena’s was in jeopardy due to the weather. Heavy rain had players from both teams forced to seek shelter in the multiple Steers facilities.
Despite the puddles surrounding the field, football was on at the regularly schedule five o’clock kickoff time with captain Josh Baca leading Magdalena on the field for the opening coin toss. Dulce won the flip and elected to receive.
It looked as though the Hawks were in business after a face mask penalty against the Steers on the first play. That would be the end of good luck for Dulce with Steer’s senior Joaquin Billy making a huge sack on third down which forced a punt.
From that point, offensively this game turned into the Baca and Pino show. The play action between the quarterback and running back left Dulce with zero answers as the Steers ran through them. Even an illegal formation penalty call could not stop Magdalena.
The initial score came from Baca hitting sophomore Kael Stephens on a catch and run for a 35 yard touchdown. The Hawks were unable to stop the Steers from getting into the end zone.
They were also being stifled by Mag’s defense. Freshman Joseph Zamora had a well timed fumble recovery which lead to a one play big touchdown by Stephens. Zamora followed that up with another fumble recovery to start the second quarter.
Magdalena was playing possessed in front of the home crowd. Pino ripped off a 75 yarder for a score. Despite a rain delay again just before halftime, the Steers were able to keep the Hawks scoreless, which invoked the mercy rule.
“This win is relieving,” quarterback Baca said. “We’ve been battling hard all year and it’s finally coming together. This is nice. We came in with the mindset of no matter what, if they’re killing us or we’re killing them, we continue to play hard every down.”
Big time scorer Danny Pino, looking like the next Adrian Peterson on this night, was optimistic looking forward to the rest of the season.
“Yes sir, we plan on winning every game. That is our mindset every day. Guaranteed we will be working hard in practice in order to win again,” he said.
Magdalena’s homecoming court were introduced on the field to end the night.
Magdalena has the neighboring Alamo Navajo Cougars knocking on the door for a Thursday game at 6 p.m. on September 30. The team will travel the following week to matchup opposite of Pine Hill on October 9.
8-Man 1 District Standings:
1. Navajo Pine; 2-4
2. Magdalena; 1-3
3. Alamo Navajo; 0-4