ALBUQUERQUE — Coach Damien Ocampo was looking for a full four quarters of football from his Warriors, and Socorro didn’t disappoint in a 41-0 domination of Hope Christian at Wilson Stadium on Saturday.
The Warriors scored on their first possession and never looked back as Marcus Armijo set up his first touchdown pass of the day when he intercepted Huskie quarterback Brent Miller’s pass to set up Socorro at the Hope Christian 37-yard line.
Armijo worked the niches in Huskies’ defense throughout the game, finding extra yards in clutch situations with his feet while lighting up the scoreboard with his arm. Armijo delivered his first of three touchdown passes (also ran for one TD) when he hit Alex Amaro with a 17-yard strike, and the receiver gathered the ball in off the tip of his fingers at full stride into the end zone.
Kaden Dow delivered on the first of his five extra-point kicks to make it 7-0.
While the Warriors may have delivered a 41-0 shutout, Ocampo had praise for the Huskies and a defense that hit so hard they were knocking helmets off Warrior players.
“These guys are good. They’ve got talent, and we just played lights out,” Ocampo said. “I mean, we made a lot of mistakes. But we made a lot of mistakes against an athletic team. I mean, they’re one of the most athletic teams in the state. They’re just working on getting things together, but they’re good.”
Still, the Warriors were better.
“They (Huskies) got dudes all over the field for sure, so I’m real proud of our guys,” Ocampo said.
Socorro stuck to the ground and established a 21-0 lead with Garrick Gutierrez scoring on a 4-yard run and Amaro weaving through the Huskie defense on a 25-yard scramble. Sandwiched between those two scores was a reverse run for a score by Amaro, but the Warriors were penalized on the play.
Ocampo tested the metal of his team on their final possession of the first half when he elected to run a bold fake punt play on fourth-and-three at the Warriors’ 22. It was about showing his confidence in the Warriors — especially after giving up the ball on a circus-like interception on their previous possession.
“There are times when you need to be smart and make sure you don’t do anything that would put a game on the line when it’s late and stuff like that,” Ocampo said. “Then there are times when you have got to show your kids that you got all of the confidence in the world in them. The fake punt was one of those times, and you know, I look at a player, and I want to show him I’ve got confidence in him.”
Ocampo was referring to tight end/linebacker Caden Moreland, who ran for 13 yards and a first down. A 17-yard catch by Damien Greenwood set up Isaiah Ocampo’s 24-yard touchdown reception from Amaro and gave the Warriors a 28-0 advantage.
Socorro’s defense bent at times but never broke and even provided a goal-line stand in the fourth quarter, when a tipped pass put them into the red zone. Warrior defenders Moreland, Brian Armijo, Cenyon Scarborough, Warren Kertnaker and Dow were constantly around the ball and providing crucial stops.
With a smothering defense taking care of business, the Warriors could work out the roster while still putting the ball into the end zone.
Greenwood picked up a score on a 28-yard reception from Amaro, and Damien Ocampo showed Socorro’s flash of the future. Following a scary play where Amaro lost his helmet, he was forced to keep running because no whistle was blown until several seconds later.
Amaro emerged uninjured; still, Ocampo elected to stick in his second-team quarterback, who also happens to be his son Isaiah. The sophomore delivered the final blow, setting up his 7-yard touchdown with a third-down pass to Dow to the Huskie’s seven.
Isaiah Ocampo didn’t panic when the ball was snapped high and punched in the final Warriors’ score.
The Warriors play host to Gallup’s Miyamura Patriots (1-3) on Sept. 16.
“They’re big, they’re physical, and they are a team that has probably had the toughest schedule in the state to start,” Ocampo said. “We have to step up our game ridiculously if we want to compete with these guys.”
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. in Socorro.