Five turnovers, penalties doom the Warriors
Friday was Homecoming for Socorro High School and the Warrior football team was looking to cap off the festivities with the school’s first district win since 2012, but fell short with an 8-6 loss to the Hot Springs High School in large part due to five turnovers and an uncharacteristically high 9 penalties on the evening. The Warriors came into the contest riding a six game winning streak and having out scored their opponents by a combined score of 196-34 during the streak. The Tigers came in at 3-3 having beaten Thoreau 45-0 in their last outing to break a two game losing skid. With both teams looking to get off to a good start in District 3, knowing that it is one of the toughest districts in New Mexico, the atmosphere was intense and the game was a battle throughout.
The Warriors received the opening kickoff returning it to their own 35 and moved the ball well before quarterback Clint Wellborn lost a fumble at the the Tiger 18 yard line. Hot Springs then moved the ball across mid-field before turning the ball over to the Warriors with a fumble of their own at the Warrior 48. The Socorro then turned the back over to the Tigers on the very next play when Thomas Padilla fumbled the ball going around right end at the Tiger 48. The Tigers moved the ball into Warrior territory before the being stopped on downs at the Socorro 32.
The Warriors moved the ball to the Hot Springs 44 yard line before being forced to turn the ball over on downs by the Tiger defense. The teams exchanged punts on their next to two possessions. On their fifth possession of the half the Tigers took possession at the Warrior 40 and moved to the 13 before being pushed back to the 16 yard line where they attempted to get on the scoreboard with a 33 yard field goal that was deflected by Damien Townsend and fell well short of the goalpost and the Warriors gained possession at their own 20 yard line. The Warriors moved the ball up field to the 40 with an 18 yard pass completion from Wellborn to Justin Angel. The Warriors earned another first down and were in Tiger territory at the 42 facing a third down and five when an attempted pass from Wellborn to wide receiver Orlando Garcia was intercepted by Cody Moore at the 38 and returned to the Tiger 46 yard line The Tiger advanced the ball as far as the Warrior 35, but penalties moved them back and they were unable to capitalize on the turnover as time ran out and the score remained 0-0 entering halftime.
The Warriors kicked off to Hot Springs to start the second half and the Tigers returned the kick to their on 40 where they would go on a seven play drive that would break open the scoreless deadlock. Facing third and seven at their own 43 Tiger senior quarterback Adrian Chavez, completed a pass to Cody Moore that he advanced to the Warrior 35 for twenty-two yards and a first down. On the next play the Chavis ran for five yards, but the Warriors were hit with a face masking penalty that moved the ball to the Warrior 15. The Tigers handed the ball to freshman Benito Villa on first down and he picked up five more yards to the Warrior 10. On second down Villa again received the hand-off and ran for four yards to the Warrior 6 yard line and the Warriors were hit with a personal foul penalty that moved the ball to the Warrior 3 where it was first and goal. The Warriors stuffed Chavez for no gain on first down, but on second goal Chavez rolled to his right where he found Moore wide open for the three yard touchdown strike and a 6-0 Tiger lead with 8:08 left in the 3rd quarter. The Tigers chose to go for two points and were successful giving them an 8-0 lead.
After returning the kickoff to the 26 yard line the Warriors marched in eight plays, including a twenty-one yard scamper by Thomas Padilla, down to the Hot Springs 8 yard line, but the drive ended on a fumbled snap from center recovered by the Tigers at their 7 yard line. After the picking up a first down at the 19 yard line Tiger quarterback Adrian Chavez was stripped of the ball by Warrior defenders and it was recovered by Gabriel Sanchez at the Hot Springs 18 yard line. The Warriors picked up three yards on a Mike Armijo carry to the 15 and had 2nd and seven. On the second down play quarterback Clint Wellborn was hit by an unblocked Adrian Chavez in the backfield as he tried to make a pitch the ball to Thomas Padilla on an option play and the ball sqirted free and was recovered by Hot Springs’ Seth Childress at the 25 yard line ending another scoring opportunity for the Warriors.
After an incomplete pass and a run for no gain the Tigers were in a third and 10, but were able to get the first down on a twenty-nine yard pass play from Benito Villa to Juan Ortiz to the Warrior 46 yard line. After two running plays the Tigers were again facing a third down and long when Villa found Ortiz again for a twenty-two yard gain to the Warrior 22 on a play action pass that was the last play of the third quarter. After losing three yards on two runs and an incomplete pass the Tigers lined up to kick a field goal at the Warrior 25, but instead faked the field goal and failed as their pass fell incomplete.
Trailing by eight the Warriors put together their only scoring drive of the night. The drive began with Mike Armijo carrying up the middle for three yards, followed by a 17 gain around the left end by Thomas Padilla giving the Warriors a first down at the Warrior 45. Consecutive carries by Armijo moved the ball to the Tiger 48 yard line, but on third down Padilla mishandled a pitch from Wellborn for a loss of five back to the Warrior 47 where it would be fourth down and eight for the Warriors. With time becoming a factor Coach Andrew McCraw decided to go for the first down rather than punting and called a halfback pass with Padilla throwing to Andre Gonzales twenty-seven yards and a Warrior first down at the Tiger 26. The Warrior continued to move the ball gaining another first down at the 15 on runs by Justin Angel and Mike Armijo. The Warriors got four yard from Armijo on first down then were held to only one yard on second and third downs and were facing fourth down and five from the 10 when Coach McCraw called for run around left end by Angel that picked up the first down at the Tiger’s 3 yard line. Wellborn then carried the ball twice up the middle to get Socorro on the scoreboard with 6:18 left in the game. Still trailing by two the Warriors lined up for a two point conversion attempt and handed the ball to Mike Armijo and he was hit in the backfield by Hot Springs’ Adrian Chavez before having a chance to turn upfield and the try failed and left the Warriors trailing 8-6.
Hot Springs returned the ensuing kickoff to the Warrior 46 yard line and kept the ball on the ground with Chavez and Villa taking every carry picking up three first downs and running ten plays to run the clock out on game. With the win Hot Springs is now 4-3 and 1-0 in district play and the Warriors fall to 6-1 and o-1 in district play. The Warriors will travel to Hatch next Friday to take on the defending state 4-A champion Bears. The Tigers will travel to Silver City next week.
Passing: 2-completions 6-attempts 45-yards 1-interception
Wellborn 1-5-18-1 Padilla 1-1-27-0
Rushing: 45 attempts 169 yard
Armijo 22/68 Padilla 10/49 Angel 5/31 Wellborn 8/21
Total Offense:215 yards
Fumbles-5 Fumbles Lost-4
Passing: 6-completions 12-attempts 93-yards 0-interception
Rushing: 51 attempts 144 yards
Total Offense:237 yards
Fumbles-3 Lost Fumbles-2