The Socorro Warriors were able to pull out the win under the Friday night lights, overcoming a scrappy Hope Christian Huskies team 35-3. The score did not reflect how scrappy the middle of this game was, but a big fourth-quarter had the Warriors securing their fourth straight win to remain undefeated on the season.
“The kids played hard tonight,” Head Coach Damien Ocampo said. “We didn’t execute well, but fortunately we got into our groove later in the game and were able to pull away. Hope played us tough and they’re a really fast team.”
The opening drive seemed like this could turn into a total blowout fast. Socorro had the ball first and it took just three plays to get in the endzone, highlighted with a big catch by senior Adadrian Jackson to get inside the red zone and running back Marcus Armijo punching it in on a wildcat style play.
On the defensive end, the Warriors were playing big man ball in the trenches with seniors Moises Castillo and Josh Lopez suffocating the Huskies’ offensive line and running game. On a third and long Hope avoided a three-and-out to start the game with a sweet pass to junior Cade Johnson. That was followed up with a huge 55-yard catch and run by junior Devon Fujimoto. Hoping to tie things up, the Warriors made a stand and stopped them at the one-yard line for a turnover on downs.
From there sloppy play on both sides kept the game at 7-0 after one. Adadrian Jackson had a punt return touchdown to start the second, but a block in the back negated the big play. Frustration turned into lapses in judgment. The Warriors were called for a horse-collar tackle and then a facemask on back-to-back plays, keeping Hope Christian’s drive alive. Socorro held them to a field goal with two minutes left. Their offense followed that with a lightning 60 yard TD by Jackson to make it 14-3 at the half.
The third quarter was a battle of the midfield. Both teams were able to make positive plays, but the endzone seemed to elude them both until Jackson was able to score, making it 21-3 going into the final quarter.
On the first play of the fourth quarter Huskies senior quarterback, Zakai Harmon was gang tackled hard, which was an easy unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. The Warriors coaching staff were furious with some of them getting verbal warnings from the ref and coach Ocampo having to force his team to back up on the sidelines. Shortly after the big penalty, Jackson showed off his defensive skills with a big interception. After another scoring drive to make the lead 28-3 Jackson grabbed another pick on the Huskies. A final touchdown sealed the deal with the game ending 35-3.
It was obvious this game was taken over by Jackson from start to finish. “There wasn’t any plan to what I did out there,” he said. “My goal was just to ball out and have fun with my boys for my senior year. My mentality is that I’m better than anyone I line up against, that’s how I play every game.”
This season is about getting over the hump for players like Moises Castillo. “I was a sophomore on the team that went to the state championship,” he said. “Ever since then I’ve had a nasty taste in my mouth. Hope didn’t realize we were going to punch them in the mouth so fast which is how we expect to play all season. Never take our foot off the gas.”
The Warriors were missing senior running back Jordan Armijo due to injury which was a big loss. The Warriors remain 4-0 and travel Friday to face off against the Estancia Bears who are currently 1-3.
3A 3 District Standings:
- Hot Springs
NM Class 3A Standings:
- West Las Vegas