Espanola, Santa Fe Both Will Be Looking For A Win Friday

by Editor / Sep 06, 2018 / 0 comments
Espanola's Saul Salgado gets tackled for a loss by Hope Christian's Lucas Martinez.


By George Morse Sports and Outdoors

Espanola, Santa Fe Square Off With Each Looking For a Win

Espanola Valley High School and Santa Fe High School will both be looking to end a losing streak when the two teams meet Friday at Espanola. The Sundevils are 0-2 this season and haven’t won a game since defeating local rival Pojoaque Valley High School 21-0 Sept. 8, 2017 at Espanola. The Sundevils have lost nine straight games.

The drought has lasted much longer for the Demons. Santa Fe has lost 35 straight games, including their first two games of this season. The last year Santa Fe tasted victory was 2014.

Espanola’s most-recent loss was Aug. 31 when they were shutout 42-0 against Hope Christian High School at Espanola. The game ended early at 3:48 of the third quarter when officials cleared the field because of lightning nearby. Both coaches decided to end the game at that point rather than possibly resume play after 30 minutes of delay. Hope Christian improved to 2-0 on the season.

“They’re well-coached,” Espanola Coach Miguel Medina said of the Huskies. “They do what they do well.”

What the Huskies did was jump out to a quick 14-0 lead thanks to mistakes in Espanola’s kicking game. After Espanola failed to pick up a first down on its opening possession, the Sundevils shanked the ensuing punt, which traveled just 15 yards. The Huskies’ Lucas Martinez caught the ball at the 30-yard line and returned it to the end zone for a touchdown. Vince Quezada booted the first of his six extra points to give Hope a 7-0 lead.

Espanola managed a first down on its next possession, but three plays later was forced to punt. This time the snap from center sailed over the punters head. He was tackled at the Espanola 13-yard line. Hope quarterback Nick Henry threw a touchdown pass to Quezada, who then booted the extra point for a 14-0 Huskies’ lead at 7:46 of the first quarter.

“We had a lot of bad luck at the wrong time,” Coach Medina said.

Hope Christian's Vince Quezada tries to sack Espanola quarterback Makaio Frazier.

Espanola had a drive going after a 28-yard completion from quarterback Makaio Frazier to Tanner Law. A holding penalty set the Sundevils back and Hope took over on downs near midfield. The Huskies drove 56 yards for another touchdown and led 21-0 at the end of the first quarter.

Two interceptions by the Huskies led to two more touchdowns by Hope in the second quarter. The Huskies led 35-0 at halftime.

With a running clock to start the second half, Hope scored on its first possession of the third quarter on a pass from Henry to Josh Tarantino to take a 42-0 lead. That touchdown was set up by a 29-yard run by Quezada on fourth down when Espanola failed to rush the punter, who had plenty of time to dance around in the backfield before spotting an opening and taking off. A 15-yard penalty for a late hit out-of-bounds after that long run put the Huskies in position to score the game’s final touchdown. After that, lightning that had been flashing in the distance got too close for comfort and officials halted the game.

“There were times when we could move the ball,” coach Medina said. “The players need to learn the importance of coming to practice every day. What I see is guys not running their (pass) routes hard. We’re not getting off the ball.”

Espanola will face Santa Fe without quarterback Frazier. He had been limping since the first quarter and after an examination, he was diagnosed with an Achilles tendon sprain and will not play against Santa Fe. Freshman Ollie Fell  will take over at quarterback.