By Eric Butler, Freedom Correspondent
From the moment of the opening kickoff, when Pine Hill’s return team was in disarray while lining up, a victory for Floyd seemed somewhat inevitable on Saturday. As the opening act in what was dubbed “Super Saturday,” a slate of three 8-man football games at Menaul High in Albuquerque, Floyd did its part with a 50-0 victory over the inexperienced Warriors.
The Broncos scored on their first play from scrimmage, when Edel Sotelo rambled 56 yards for a touchdown and 6-0 lead.
Floyd’s second possession lasted all of one play longer. Following his own 25-yard run midway through the first period, Broncos’ quarterback Chet Chenault then broke loose for a 35-yard scoring rush. After Chenault also scored on a conversion run, Floyd (2-3) had a 14-0 lead.
Pine Hill (0-5) had a roster inundated with eighth- and ninth-graders for the game. The Warriors’ offense had two first downs on the day — both on Broncos’ penalties.
“They lost six players last week. I don’t know what the problem was, but they lost six players and are just kind of trying to fill in the holes to stay alive,” Floyd coach Rafael Roybal said.
“We started today with six freshmen, one senior and an eighth-grader,” Pine Hill coach Tim Sarver said. “We’re just trying to build a program. In a couple of years, I think we’ll have something.”
The Warriors’ defense did increasingly put up more of a barrier to Floyd as the game wore on, but was generally undone by offensive mistakes.
After Floyd went up 20-0 on an 11-yard run by Sotelo, Chenault — playing defense — picked off a Pine Hill pass and ran 34 yards for a touchdown with 9:09 left in the first half. With less than two minutes left before intermission, Hunter Terry stepped in front of a Warriors’ pass and returned the ball 13 yards for another touchdown and a 34-0 lead.
The 35-point mercy rule, which allows for a running clock in the second half, was invoked when R.J. Berry rumbled for a 4-yard TD four minutes into the third quarter.
The last touchdown for the Broncos came five minutes later when Sotelo picked up a Pine Hill fumble and ran four yards to paydirt. A Broncos’ safety, when the Warriors snapped a ball out of the end zone on the last play of the game, finished the scoring.
“It’s always hard to tell if you did (make progress) in a game like that, but I think we did,” Roybal said. “Our kids played hard most of the time. Not always, but most of the time.”