By Mike Tooley
The Hatch Valley High School Bears exploded for 28 points in the third quarter to blast past the Tigers of Hot Springs High School in a District 3-4A contest 49-13 in Tiger Stadium.
Through the first quarter and midway through the second quarter, the Tigers seemed to be well in control of the contest, leading 13-0 with 9:46 remaining until halftime. The first Tiger score came in the closing seconds of the first period, following a 72-yard drive that took nearly seven minutes to complete. Sajid Porras climaxed the drive with a 10-yard run, and Nick Moreno kicked the extra point, giving the Tigers a 7-0 lead at the close of the quarter.
In the opening moments of the second quarter, the Tigers recovered a Bear fumble on the Bear 43 yard line and took advantage of the turnover by putting six more points on the scoreboard. Following a 51-yard sprint by quarterback Darin Welty, the Tigers moved into the end zone on a pass play with Welty tossing a five-yard strike to Christian Hopkins for the touchdown. Moreno carried on the extra point attempt, however was stopped short of the goal line.
That would be the final points scored by the Tigers in the contest, however the Bears seemed to regain their composure and put together two sustained drives of their own, scoring seven points with 6:43 remaining in the half, and then took the lead with another seven points with 2:48 remaining in the first half, to give them a lead of 14-13.
The Bears took the opening kickoff of the second half and marched 83 yards for a score with 8:47 and then the game turned into a rout for the Bears.
The Bears blocked a punt on the Tiger 14 yard line with 6:47 on the clock and took advantage of the turnover for seven points, and on the next series, the Bears intercepted a Tigers pass on the Tiger 32 yard line, and returned for another touchdown and extra point with 5:09 remaining. The Tigers fumbled on their next possession, with the Bears picking up the ball on the Tiger 21 yard line and returned the ball for another score, giving the Bears a 42-13 lead going into the final period.
The Bears scored their final touchdown of the game with 6:25 remaining following a 55-yard drive.
The win for the Bears keeps them in third place in the district 3-4A while the Tigers moved to fourth.
PLAY WINLESS SOCORRO FRIDAY
In their final two games of the regular season, the Tigers will be on the road, traveling to Socorro Friday night, Oct. 31, to battle the winless Warriors and then will play the Silver City Colts in the final game of the regular season.
In their eight games of the season, the Warriors have lost to Capital 25-13, Ruidoso 55-0, Bloomfield 45-6, Laguna Acoma 40-8, Pojoaque Valley 40-20, Estancia 56-0, Silver City 56-0 and to Cobre 48-6. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m., in Warrior Stadium.