Horsemen had routed Tigers in four previous games
By Arnie Leshin
Taos figured enough is enough.
It has played St. Michael’s four-straight times on the football field and fell each time. Not a game was close, with the Horsemen scoring 141 points and yielding 59.
So the two non-district rivals were ready to kick off another season Saturday afternoon, but where? It was here say, here say, but when St. Michael’s athletic director Tom Manning got in touch with Taos, it wasn’t like what their websites said, St. Michael’s at Taos.
No, it was played Saturday at the Christian Brothers Athletic Complex, except that there was a one-hour delay when reports of lightening was told to the officials.
But once the game got underway, it was all Tigers in a 59-18 rout. This was not expected, but Taos hit the road to make a statement.
“That’s exactly what we wanted to do,” said Tigers’ head coach Art Abreu, Jr. “ home or away, they pushed us around, and riding down here, we were certain it was going to be our day”
That it was, and in the same manner that the Horsemen had won going away those previous four games.
It was never close. Taos prevailed in all phases of the contest. It ran the ball, it passed the ball, and its defense kept the home team struggling throughout.
The Tigers scored on nine of their first 15 possessions and nearly doubled St. Michael’s offense that started senior Dominick Morgan at quarterback and gave freshman Lucas Cortiz some time to erase the jitters.
But the Horsemen had only 40 yards of offense in the first half, 23 if them coming on a trick play where senior wide-out Aiden Gantt lined up in motion, took a handoff from Morgan, and then completed a touchdown pass to senior Hayden Lee,
But when you are trailing 38-6 at halftime, it’s too little too late.
For Taos, about everything went well, or if you prefer ‘good’ behind quarterback Justin Good. He ran the show with accurate passing and his blockers powered the rushing attack.
Cortiz completed his first four passes and capped the initial drive with an 11-yard touchdown pass to Sebastian Alcarez. Cortiz finished 13-for-24, but he also threw two interceptions.
As for Morgan, who backed up Antonio Gabaldon last season, he struggled badly in the first half, going 3-for-15 through the air, was intercepted once and sacked once.
“No quarterback controversy,” said St. Michael’s head coach Joey Fernandez. “Dominick will start the next game at Portales, and that’s that.”
Taos came away with 261 yards rushing and Good connected for 176 passing yards, and went 9-for-13.
It was Fernandez’ 200th game coaching the Horsemen and he’d rather forget it and prepare for Portales.