McCurdy's Marcos Gonzales runs for yardage against Cuba. Photo by George Morse with the Valley Daily Post
McCurdy Routs Cuba 59-15
By George Morse Sports and Outdoors
McCurdy Charter School knew what they had to do after losing their opening game to Raton High School 34-7 Aug. 26 at Raton. The Bobcats needed to bounce back against Cuba High School in their home opener Sept. 3 in Espanola. McCurdy did what they needed to do, routing the Rams 59-15 to even their record at 1-1 on the season.
“They were ready for it,” McCurdy Coach Ron Gallegos said. “They wanted it and you know what, they got it.”
Senior quarterback Andres Martinez led a balanced Bobcat offense. He threw three touchdown passes and ran for three touchdowns.
“We took care of business,” Martinez said.
It took McCurdy a little while to get going. On their second possession, Martinez found sophomore wide receiver Gabriel Huerta behind his man and hit him with a 25-yard touchdown pass to open the scoring at 4:42 of the first quarter. McCurdy led 7-0 after Raul Arroyo’s extra point.
The Bobcats were back in business shortly thereafter when Josh Lujan blocked a Cuba punt and McCurdy took over at the Rams’ 15-yard line. A holding penalty cost the Bobcats 15 yards. Martinez got back all of the yardage lost on the penalty and a whole lot more, running through tackles and into the end zone for the game’s second touchdown.
“I’ve been trying to lower my shoulder and not shy away from contact,” Martinez said.
McCurdy added another score and led 19-0 when the Rams got on the board. After a 56-yard run with a screen pass by Brian Lee, quarterback Adam Segura scored on a quarterback sneak. The score was 19-7 after a successful point-after touchdown.
Whatever momentum the Rams may have had was taken away by McCurdy’s Lucas Samora, who returned the ensuing kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown. He turned a potential disaster that had the crowd gasping into a big play that had them cheering. After letting the kickoff go over his head and having to chase it down, he ran over several defenders on his way to the end zone.
“I got a couple of good blocks to get to the 50 (yard line),” Samora said. “I broke a couple of tackles and just kept running.”
With 1:34 left in the first half, McCurdy added another score on a quarterback sneak by Martinez and the Bobcats led 31-7 at halftime.
McCurdy stopped Cuba on the Rams opening drive of the second half and took over on their own 24-yard line. Martinez dropped back and launched a bomb down the left sideline to sophomore Ernesto Martinez, who had gotten behind his defender. Ernesto caught the ball, kept his balance and raced into the end zone to complete the 76-yard scoring play.
McCurdy added a safety when the ball was snapped over the head of the Cuba punter and the Rams covered it in the end zone, making the score 39-7 in the third quarter.
The Martinez-to-Martinez combination struck again later in the fourth quarter from 30 yards out. The Rams got one of their few opportunities to cheer when Orion Putman returned the ensuing kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown, then ran for the two-point conversion to make the score 46-15 with 8:41 left in the game.
McCurdy’s Josh Waters scored on a short touchdown run and Andres Martinez scored his third touchdown of the game to complete the scoring for the Bobcats.
McCurdy’s Ace Gabrentina has solidified McCurdy’s defensive line since returning from a trip to the Phillipines.
“His coming back has improved the defensive line tremendously,” Coach Gallegos said. “The defensive line stayed put.”
The game was marred by penalties, including several personal fouls and an ejection against McCurdy
“I always look at what we need to improve on, like penalties,” Coach Gallegos said.
The Bobcats host Santa Fe Indian School Saturday in Espanola. The Braves beat Cuba 28-14 in their opening game of the season, than suffered a close 28-26 loss to Wingate High School Sept. 1 in Santa Fe.
Last season, the Braves beat the Bobcats 42-28.