The Del Norte High School Knights beat the Atrisco Heritage Academy Jaguars Saturday 26-7 at Wilson Stadium. Del Norte scored a touchdown on the first possession of the game in the first quarter for a 6-0 lead. The Knights offensive alignment of four receivers spread out the Jaguars defense making it vulnerable to a running play.
Atrisco Heritage could not advance the ball and Del Norte’s quarterback Martin Jaramillo completed a pass to his wide receiver. Knight runningback Bradford ran the ball to the Jaguar’s five yard line but the play was called back due to a holding penalty. Jaramillo tried to run to the right but he was stopped by Atrisco Heritage defenders. Then Del Norte was forced to punt on fourth down when Jaramillo dropped back to pass but his throw went off the hands of a wide open receiver.
Atrisco Heritage received a penalty for blocking in the back on first down. Then Jaguar quarterback O’Donnell was intercepted by Diego Trujillo. The Knights took advantage of the turnover by gaining good yardage on a running play to the 23 yard line. Wide receiver Milledge made a fine catch at Atrisco Heritage’s eight yard line as the first quarter ended. But the Jaguar’s defense was able to keep the Knights out of the end zone when the second quarter began. Atrisco Heritage ran consecutive running plays up the middle and moved the chains for a first down. But the Jaguars were forced to punt when they couldn’t advance on four more running plays.
The Jaguars stepped up defensively and intercepted Jaramillo’s pass. The defensive back returned the ball to the Knight’s 28 yard line. But the Jaguars were unable to get into the end zone. Del Norte was unsuccessful on three plays and went for it on fourth down. The Knights were stopped short of the first down. Atrisco Heritage took over at its own 29 yard line. The Jaguar quarterback was sacked at the 35 yard line as his offensive line didn’t give him time to throw. The quarterback tossed a pitchout to Lopez on the next play but the runningback was stopped by Jones.
A running play to Isaiah Luna also came up short. The second quarter ended with the Knights leading 6-0. The second half started with Atrisco Heritage kicking off to Del Norte. The Knights picked up five yards on a first down running play. But the team was penalized on each of the next two plays for illegal motion. Atrisco Heritage forced Del Norte to punt by stopping a passing play and a running play. When the Jaguar’s got the ball back they lost 15 yards on first down when the center’s snap sailed over the quarterback’s head. It looked dismal for the Jaguar’s on second and 25. But the runningback got outside and ran down the left sideline to the Knight’s 27 yard line.
A successful fullback handoff picked up another seven yards. Then Atrisco Heritage got its only score of the game when Number 15 took a handoff and tried to go around the right side. There were too many defenders in that area so he reversed his field and out ran everyone chasing him as he dashed into the end zone. Atrisco Heritage led 7-6 after running the next play into the end zone for the extra point. Del Norte took over and was called for holding on second down. A good-looking short pass by Jaramillo over the middle picked up eight yards.
The left-handed quarterback was blitzed on the next play and he handed off to his fullback on a draw play for good yardage. Del Norte went for it on fourth down and made the first down. But then the team lost yards on a block-in-the-back penalty. The Knights picked up more yards on a running play to the left when the Jaguars received a five yard penalty. Hayes ran to his left on a running play and just when he was about to be tackled he reversed his field and none of the Jaguars could catch him. It was a 42 yard touchdown run. In the Young American Football League a successful kick after a touchdown counts for two points and the Knights led 14-7.
Atrisco Heritage picked up three yards on first down. Their running back was tackled in the backfield for no gain on the second play. The Jaguars punted on fourth down and on the next play Bradford took a handoff and ran to the seven yard line. But luckily for the Jaguars the play was called back because of a penalty. The Knights made up for that on the next play when their runningback took a handoff and eluded tacklers all the way into the end zone. The kick after the touchdown was not good but the Knights led 20-7.
Bradford, who had already down enough damage offensively from the runningback position, also played defensive back for the Knights. The speedy runner intercepted one of O’Donnell’s passes and ran the ball to the Jaguar’s 15 yard line. Atrisco Heritage’s defense stiffened and forced Del Norte to go for it on fourth down. So the Knight’s called a running play that went a half yard short of the goal line. On the next play a Del Norte runner used a stiff arm on a defender to get into the end zone for the final touchdown of the game.