Coach Damien Ocampo was worried about a perfect storm scenario on Aug. 31, but the Warriors turned the tide and stopped Estancia’s second-half rally for a 34-19 win over the Bears.
“They’re all very different. I was worried about them because it’s like the perfect storm,” Ocampo said. “Their offense and what they do is difficult for new guys. Their offense is like crazy difficult for guys in the box, and we have two guys returning on defense.”
The Bears’ counter and read-option plays gave the Warriors fits at times, but thanks to a two-touchdown spurt, the Warriors had a 14-0 lead before the sun could get down.
Those quick touchdowns came via some nifty movement of the ball on the ground by running back Chase Boykin and quarterback Isaiah Ocampo, setting up David (Junior) Gutierrez’s two-yard direct snap touchdown for the Warriors’ first score.
Jay Lee’s strip of the football allowed Gutierrez to snag another highlight when he pounced on the football for a fumble recovery that Ocampo would turn into a six-yard scoring run.
The Bears responded with a sustained drive and scored on a six-yard run, but the Warriors answered with Ocampo finding Alex Amaro on a 9-yard scoring pass and a 21-6 advantage at halftime.
Ocampo made Estancia pay for an onside kick attempt when he popped loose for a 35-yard touchdown run that extended the Warriors’ lead, and Kaden Dow’s fourth straight extra-point kick put Socorro on top 28-6.
Boykin’s 10-yard scoring run with 7:50 remaining in the third quarter looked like the nail in the coffin for the Bears, but Estancia would tack on two more touchdowns to tighten the game up.
“Estancia’s got some of the best linemen in the state. I mean, they’re good, and the way they get on their blocks, and they’re so fast and physical. It was difficult, and I knew it was going to be difficult. You know, I do feel good about a lot of the things, but everything that we did wrong is correctable,” Ocampo said.
The Warriors immediately needed to run the football with the defensive scheme the Bears launched.
They pulled a linebacker out of the box right and put him overhanging. They basically said tonight that you have to beat us running the ball. We did get them on some play-action. We did some good stuff there, but we have to get better (2 INT). We’ve still got to be able to throw the ball when teams do that,” Ocampo said.
Did the Warriors overlook the Bears after they started with a 0-2 record?
“I think the kids believe us. I think they trust us. You know these guys. Estancia’s guys are good. They’re solid. They’re they don’t have a lot of depth. They don’t do well with teams that can score a lot. So, we should have put up more scores. We had a lot of self-inflicted injuries (mistakes) on offense,” Ocampo said.
Hope Christian is next for Socorro, and the 2-1 Huskies should prove to be a great measuring stick for the Warriors. The Huskies topped District 3-3A’s Hatch Valley 23-20, and this Friday’s game will give Ocampo an idea of where his team will place in the league standings.