Sundevils Lose First On The Hill In “Rain & Sleet Bowl”

Sundevils at Sullivan Field in Los Alamos Friday night. Valley Daily Post photo

Sundevils Lose First On The Hill In “Rain & Sleet Bowl”

No Defensive Answer For ‘Topper Running Game

Mother Nature Also Helps Tackle Sundevils

By Robert A. Naranjo

LOS ALAMOS – The driving rain and cold conditions in Los Alamos for an important District football game between the Española Valley Sundevils, (previously, 7-O), and the Los Alamos Hilltoppers, (previously, 3-5), was an ominous indication that something was not going to go right for the undefeated Sundevils. The weather immediately deteriorated into what Post Sports termed the “Rain & Sleet Bowl” at Sullivan Field in Los Alamos. The lightning came all right, not the Sundevil-type fans are accustomed to, but the dangerous and deadly real stuff. Throw in a power outage for good measure, “mixed up” referees as the KDCE radio announcers called them, and the game, which started at 7 p.m., and ended at about 1O:1O pm, also ended the Sundevils’ seven (7) game winning streak.

EVHS fans packed the visitors seats at Sullivan Field. Valley Daily Post photo

Real Lightning And The Hilltopper’s “Ground And Pound” Running Game

The Sundevils, accustomed to the cool but bearable night games at Sundevil Stadium, at the base of the foothills, were not expecting the wintery-type cold weather, a pumped up Hilltopper football team, dangerous lightning, a power outage, game delay, and referees that need to back to ref school. But be that as it may, credit must be given to Los Alamos on their first possession of the game. Before one could say “Atomic City,” Los Alamos took the opening drive all the way in for a score using a “ground and pound” running game as KDCE’s play-by-play announcer, Tomas Garcia referred to it. The Hilltopper doing the running and pounding for nearly every running play was Derek Selvage. He ended the game with over 2OO yards and a big reason for the Hilltopper victory according to announcers. Hilltopper Nicholas Quarteri  also ran for good yardage and played a solid game.


EVHS Ties Score At End First Quarter, Wheels Come Off In Second,

Play In “Rain And Sleet Bowl,” Errors Costly

Española Valley, with a never-say-die attitude, appeared as if they were going to shake the nerves and the cold off when Sundevil, Santiago Vigil, tied the game with 58 seconds left in the first Quarter. It was in the second Quarter that the fired up Hilltoppers, with rain coming down hard on Sullivan Field, took advantage of Sundevil errors and quickly scored two touchdowns and a two-point conversion to lead the game 22-6. Española Valley, on a QB Marcos Flores run, after an L.A. punt, broke loose with a great run and with the help of an L.A. penalty, put the ball on the Topper 25-yard line. A Sundevil TD looked eminent, but the ball was fumbled on a Flores handoff and the Sundevils headed into halftime facing a big challenge to overcome in the second Half.


Hail, sleet and cold rain affected much of the game. Valley Daily Post image

Scoreless Third Quarter Until Sundevils Score Right Before Fourth

In the third Quarter both teams remained scoreless, making the Espanola errors that turned into scores. more magnified until “number 45” for the Sundevils, Damian Velasquez, came into the game but was not on the media player lists. Both KRSN in Los Alamos and KDCE announcers did not know who he was until a woman Sundevil fan came up and informed them. Moments later Velasquez, “the Mystery Man” as Garcia called him scored for the Sundevils right before the end of the third Quarter, but the two-point conversion was no good and the teams headed into the fourth Quarter with a 22-12 score.

Both Teams Score In Fourth

In the fourth Quarter, Los Alamos’ Selvage and Saunders, ran the ball and valuable time off the clock. A big first down by Selvage midway through the fourth Quarter and a few plays later turned into a score, L.A. got the two-point conversion making the score 38-12 and pretty much putting the game out of reach for the Sundevils. But don’t tell them that! Two quick scores by the Sundevils with the last TD by Flores and the two-point conversion made the score 38-28 with little time left in the game.

The ensuing on-side kick which “went wrong” and, indeed, symbolic of the game, turned into an L.A. run into the end zone for the score and capped with the two-point conversion, made the final score 46-28.

The loss puts Española Valley in a must-win situation against the Capital Jacquars next Friday Oct. 3O at Sundevil Stadium in Española in order to stay in the District race.

The Sundevils stayed in the game all the way till the end. Coaches and players on the sideline. Valley Daily Post photo

Post Game Thoughts By KDCE’s Play-by-Play Announcer, Tomas Garcia, And Color Commentator, Rudy Sisneros

What They Said:

Los Alamos “…came down and scored on the opening drive” said KDCE’s color commentator, Rudy Sisneros, “…and that set the tempo of the game.”

“Española Valley’s offense was very explosive, but the defense couldn’t stop the Hilltoppers,” said Rudy Sisneros.

“L.A. rose to the occasion — this is the best game they have played all year,” observed Sisneros.

“I don’t know about this officiating crew here tonight. They’re pretty much mixed up. Those are the words, mixed up,” said KDCE’s Sisneros.

“The refs don’t need to give Los Alamos any help,” said play-by-play announcer, KDCE’s Thomas Garcia.

A bright spot in the game for the Sundevils was the play of Derrick Velasquez, who Sisneros said was “ready for District play.” He “got the opportunity on a Sundevil player injury and showed what he could do,” Sisneros quipped.

Missing due to injuries were big linemen and important players for the Sundevils, Pacheco and Salazar. Tthat “hurt the Sundevils” said Sisneros.

Next up for the Sundevils,

Capital Jaguars

@ Sundevil Stadium, 7 p.m., 1O/3O