By Mike Tooley
The Tigers of Hot Spring High pounced all over the Wildcats of Tularosa Friday night, Aug. 29, during the first half of play, and then held on to a 20-13 victory, thanks to a timely interception by Christian Hopkins in the closing moments of play.
Tularosa usually has the Tiger’s number in the opening contests, but this year, the Tigers took the opening kickoff and drove 76 yards in 11 plays to take a 6-0 lead with less than five minutes expiring off the clock.
Nick Moreno capped the drive with a four-yard run, but missed the PAT, kicking the ball outside the uprights. The drive took the Tigers 4 minutes, 27 seconds to complete.
In an almost identical drive during the second quarter, the Tigers drove 62 yards in 16 plays with Moreno again climaxing the drive on a one-yard run to put the Tigers up by a score of 14-0. Cody Moore gave the Tigers the extra two points on a run for the conversion.
It was all Tigers during the first half of action. They controlled the tempo from the opening kickoff, keeping the ball on offense for a total of 18 minutes. The Wildcats only had the ball for six minutes.
The Wildcat offense continued to have problems in the second half, as they took the kickoff and only managed to get the ball to their own 42 yard line, where they were forced to punt on a fourth down situation.
On the following possession, the Tigers were blindsided on an interception, when Darin Welty attempted a pass to the sidelines only to have the ball intercepted and returned for a score by Wildcat defender Gariel Montoya. Gregory Gonzalez booted the extra point and the score put the Wildcats back into the game, trailing by seven points. 14-7.
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