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St. Michael’s defense too strong and aggressive for Santa Fe High

By Arnie Leshin 
Arnie Leshin

Again, not once, but twice, Santa Fe High reached the St. Michael’s goal line and fell short. And just like last year’s game at Ivan Head Stadium, it became Horsemen’s stout defense that paved the way to their offense Friday night in the 87thmeeting of the long series.

It wound up 41-0 and followed the shutout over Capital the week before as St. Michael’s continues to recover from its 0-3 start. The schedule works in its favor now, with non district foe Shiprock making a visit to the Christian Brothers  Athletic Complex Friday afternoon, followed by Santa Fe Indian School’s District 2-3A visit the following Saturday afternoon.

Last night was also officially St. Michael’s home field. The Siringo Road rivals formerly played on alternate fields, but was moved yearly to Ivan Head due to the Horsemen field not having the space for this game.

No matter, they won at Capital, they won at Santa Fe High, so taking to the road only upped their record to 2-3 and now brings them closer to .500.

As for the Demons, now 2-4 after wins over Espanola Valley to end their 35-game losing skein, and then stunning previously unbeaten Bernalillo.

But just like year under new head coach Andrew Martinez, they began this contest with a burst that ended short of the goal line and enabled St. Michael’s to score the only points it would need.

The first time, it was 7-0 after Santa Fe High had three shots from the one-yard line and a fourth from the 3 that wound up with an incomplete pass.

The next time, the Demons made it to the crease of the goal line midway through the second quarter, and lost the ball on downs.

Not only did it take all of the air out of frustrated Santa Fe High, it led to a 78-yard scoring drive engineered by senior quarterback Dominick Morgan. He tossed a short pass to speedy senior Luke Kastendieck, who sped all the way into the faraway end zone.

Before this, Kastendieck scored a TD on a 20-yard run for the 7-0 lead that was followed by senior Andrew Salazar’s first of six PATs. He and Morgan scored twice, while running back and a touchdown each from running back Alejandro Talamantes, who was filing in for injured starter Derek Roybal, and freshman back-up Lucas Coriz.

Cortiz, playing quarterback in the third quarter, dashed 27 yards to pay dirt and Talamandes had four runs of at least 11 yards that included a 55-yard TD in the third quarter. In fact, his 123 rushing yards were only nine short of the Demons’ entire offence of 132.

Along with the two failed trips to the goal line, Santa Fe High also got the ball moving behind freshman quarterback Luc Jaramillo and senior running back Sammy Martinez, the team’s leading rusher who had only 25 yards on 13 carries, but did pick up 57 yards on a kickoff return in the first half.

Jaramillo, whose brother, Chross, played three years for St. Michael’s and his senior year for Capital, had a big game against Bernalillo, but this time he could connect on only 4-of-18 throws for 50 yards and an interception.

Morgan, in turn, scored on his only two rushing tries and passed for 11 yards that included the long pass-play touchdown with Kastendieck. Morgan’s TD runs were of the short variety, 13 and 7, Coriz took over in the third quarter and rushed for his touchdown of 57 yards and passed for 50 in limited time. No doubt he will be next season’s starting quarterback.

The Demons committed five penalties for 32 yards, but the Horsemen led here, too, with 115 yards on 11 flags. Santa Fe High is home Friday night to Aztec, which defeated Albuquerque St. Pius X, 28-24, in a non-district contest. The Shiprock game at St. Michael’s was changed from Saturday to Friday.

In other games, Robertson held off the challenge of Tucumcari, 28-20, West Las Vegas shut down Clayton, 50-0, Valencia nipped Bloomfield, 17-14, in overtime, Artesia rolled over Lovington, 50-21, in the clash of Albuquerque schools, Eldorado romped over Del Norte, 46-16, Goddard edged Los Lunas in overtime, 28-27, and Moriarty over Hot Springs, 38-14.

Then there was Capital making the trip up to undefeated Taos and returning with a 45-16 setback. It dropped the Jaguars to 1-4-1 and put the Tigers ar 5-0.

Taos took an early 7-0 lead on a 52-yard punt return by Justin Good, also rhe starting quarterback. From there, the home team upped the lead to 21-0 on a pair of touchdowns from Jonathan Garcia with 2:34 remaining in the opening quarter.

After that, Good completed a 46-touchdown pass to Angel Limas and Limas then kicked a 43-yard field goal for the 43-0 lead at halftime.

Capital scored twice in the fourth quarter. Its next stop is at Portales Friday night. Taos plays the same night at district foe Grants, which is 4-0.

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