Top-ranked Class 3A Socorro started slow but quickly got on pace to cut through Class 5A Gallup like a buzzsaw, and the Warriors recorded their third 50-point mercy-rule win of the year with a 55-0 road victory on Sept. 30.

After stopping the Bengals’ (0-7) opening drive and forcing a punt, the Warriors (7-0) coughed up the ball on a fumble, and Socorro had its back to the wall when the Bengals completed a 27-yard pass and got into the red zone area.

Socorro may have been backed up, but the Warriors didn’t play on their heels and attacked the offensive backfield with multiple blitzes.

Gallup’s passing attack came up short on fourth down, and when the Warriors took over, they became a statistical nightmare for assistant coach Charles Zimmerly (Coach Z), who is in charge of keeping a record of the numbers.

Marcus Armijo found Alex Amaro on a 56-yard catch-and-run touchdown, and despite turning the ball over on an interception on its next possession, Socorro was about to head to the races.

Any hopes Gallup had of scoring following the turnover were crushed by senior nose guard Xamien Aguilar who demolished a rollout play and stopped the Bengals’ drive.

Overcoming two turnovers, a called-back touchdown (17-yard run by Armijo), and a slew of penalties, the Warriors made up ground in the second quarter with Garrick Gutierrez scoring, and the second of Kaden Dow’s extra-point kicks made it 14-0. Freshman Jay Lee provided a 33-yard reception that kept the drive going.

It was a career night for Socorro’s quarterback as Armijo completed 13-18 for three touchdowns and 240 yards. Two of those strikes went to Damien Greenwood, who had three receptions for 27 yards.

Eight different receivers caught passes for Socorro, and they did so at a rate of 19.2 yards per reception.

Amaro (1 TD) and Caden Moreland (1 TD) snagged four balls each for 86 and 74 yards, respectively. Jacob Angel, Isaiah Ocampo, Lee, Andrew Handrich and Brian Armijo all had one catch.

Brian Armijo would have his name called out numerous times on the evening from his middle linebacker spot, where he notched a team-high 10 stops, including eight solo tackles. His pressure on the Gallup quarterback helped set up Cenyon Scarborough’s interception on Gallup’s ensuing possession.

Scarborough’s return to the Gallup 10-yard line was hampered by a false start, but Greenwood would catch the first of his two scores to put Socorro on top 21-0.

From there, the biggest challenge for coach Damien Ocampo was to keep his team healthy, and the answer was to spread the ball around and give his athletes their opportunities.

Marcus Armijo would keep the ball himself for the Warriors’ next tally on a 14-yard run. Warren Chiwiwi gave Socorro its next scoring chance which Moreland finished off with an ESPN highlight-worthy score.

The senior started on one side of the field after catching the ball and worked his way across it during his 57-yard catch that started 11.6 seconds on the clock, and all the time was gone when he crossed the goal line.

Leading 34-0 at the half, Socorro finished the night with Gutierrez scoring his second touchdown, Chiwiwi turning his second interception into a 65-yard pick-six, and Greenwood catching a touchdown from Isaiah Ocampo. The sophomore quarterback was 3-4 for 67 yards in his time under center.

Socorro gets the chance to enjoy a week off before starting district play, and the bye will give the Warriors extra time to prepare for Hatch Valley (4-1-1) on Oct. 14.