NMMI Sports Press
No. 4-ranked Arizona Western College wasted no time in getting on the scoreboard vs. NMMI Saturday, scoring on the first play from the line of scrimmage with merely 16 seconds gone on the clock. But the Broncos didn’t lay down and play dead against the powerhouse squad, ending up on the losing end of a 28-26 final that came down to the final seconds and a missed 2-point conversion.
The 75-yard carry early in the game quieted the full house, as did two more unanswered TDs. Matador Trenton Hosick carried the ball in twice: with 4:39 remaining in the first quarter and at 9:28 in the second. But the Broncos put their first points on the board less than a minute later, when Conner Cramer passed 40 yards to Brandon McLaughlin with 8:45 remaining in the half.
“One thing about this group is they have a lot of character; they’ve got a lot of fight,” said head coach Joe Forchtner. “It would have been easy to get down when they scored on the first play; when we went down 21-0; but they just kept fighting. I’m just so proud of these guys.”
Down 21-6 at the half of the Western States Football Conference opener, the Broncos started from their own 25, marching 75 yards in nine plays to close the gap to 21-13. The teams then traded possessions for most of the third quarter but with :58 remaining, Hosick passed to Darrell Monroe to make it 28-13.
But that was all the AWC offense the Bronco defense would allow, and the NMMI offense would get oh-so-close, keeping the fans on their feet.
The Broncos missed a chance early in the fourth when Davon Conyers intercepted a Matador pass at the NMMI 45 and returned it back to the AWC 20. QB Cramer then tried four passes but had to turn the ball over on downs, and Arizona Western kept possession for almost five minutes, missing a field goal that was blocked by NMMI’s Faafetai Lulu.
That defense led to the third NMMI TD of the night, after a long drive that ended with a Cramer pass to Romell Guerrier and a successful kick by Nicholas Litang, making it 28-20. But the clock was ticking down — only 2:15 remained — and the Broncos did what everyone in the stands was thinking: Litang had an onside kick and Desmond Blue came out of the bottom of the pile with the ball to give possession to the Broncos.
Cramer combined successful passes for positive yardage along with Matador penalties to move the ball down to the AWC 2. With the crowd unable to sit down as the clock showed :20 remaining, the Broncos were called for pass interference. That moved them back to the 17, but another Cramer to McLaughlin pass was good for the TD, and with 10 seconds remaining in the game, NMMI had to go for two to send it into overtime.
This time, Cramer was on the receiving end of a pass, from halfback Darryl Wiggins, but it fell incomplete and Arizona Western got the ball back with one second remaining to take the two-point victory.
Forchtner would have liked a different outcome, but had no fault with his players.
“It didn’t turn out the way we wanted, but hopefully we get another shot at these guys,” he said. “We’re just going to keep doing what we’ve been doing. Clean some stuff up and just keep fighting.”
And by taking a top-5 team to the wire, the Broncos have proved they’ll be a force to reckon with as the WSFL season continues.
“I love this team,” Forchtner said. “I love the fight in them. I love their attitude. I just love these guys. And we’re going to keep doing things the right way. We’re going to keep hitting and we’re going to keep running the ball. We’re going to keep blocking. I like where this team is headed.
NMMI Sports Press
The Colt cross country teams opened their seasons in style Saturday, taking home three individual first place medals, two team trophies and another dozen medals for top-10 finishes at the Wanda Dyer Invitational, hosted by Valley Christian Academy. Despite missing five Lady Colts and a dozen or so Colts due to 21 Day ceremonies on campus, the NMMI runners showed they will be a force to be reckoned with as the season progresses.
Sierra Walker easily outpaced her closest competitor in the girls varsity race, coming in more than two minutes ahead of a Tucumcari racer. Colt Emily Locasio was only 10 seconds behind the Rattler, taking third, with Andrea Anchondo in seventh and Samantha Rodriguez just missing the top 10 with an 11th place finish.
Because they only had four runners, the Lady Colts couldn’t compete as a team, but that wasn’t the case with the boys, who had ample numbers to win both the varsity and JV races.
Senior Juan Estremadoyro was 1:30 ahead of the second-place runner, crossing the line at 17:17. But without two of their varsity runners, the Colts had to sweat it out against Hagerman, whose athletes finished second, third and fourth.
The difference came down to Estremadoyro and the No. 2, 3 and 4 Colts, who came in in fifth, sixth and seventh, to edge the Bobcats by a mere point, 28-29.
Christon Toya finished at 19:33.82; Byron Mitchell at 20:09.35; and Joshua Piñon, 20:32.39.
The Colts and two Hagerman runners were the only ones competing in the JV race, but that didn’t make any difference, as everyone still ran fast and the event featured one of the closest finishes of the day. After Nicholas DuBois won the JV crown in 20:47.51, Dimitri Maloney and Bobcat Patrick Jurado were neck-and-neck coming into the chute. Maloney had just an extra bit of oomph, beating Jurado at the line in 21:36.20 to loud cheers.
Rounding out the Institute runners were Alexander Mitchen, fourth, 23:13.27; Liu Zidai, fifth, 24:34.46; Paul-Jacob Samano, sixth, 24:58.39; Alvaro Garcia, seventh; 27:29.56; and Michael Waruingi, eighth, 30:27.26.
Colt coach Jan Olesinski was pleased with the results, especially by his top two runners.
“They ran awesome,” he said. “Sierra ran by herself all race. Very hard to say, but I believe it was her best time here ever. And Juan, he looked much better than ever. He looks more relaxed. So after working for three years, I hope he will have a great season.”
Because it was the first race of the season and the Colts had a lot of youngsters running, there were some mistakes, like starting too fast, but Olesinski didn’t have too many complaints.
“I wish they had run smarter races, but overall I was very pleased and happy, because they ran and tried their best. They made some mistakes, but that’s how you learn.”
Workers and VCA runners at the meet were wearing Artesia orange T-shirts in honor of long-time Bulldog cross country and track coach Marcos Morillon, who passed away unexpectedly Aug. 23.
The Colts will be back in action Sept. 12 at the Pecos Valley Invite, where they’ll get to see how they do against Class 5A and 6A schools.
Boys varsity, team — 1, NMMI, 28; 2, Hagerman, 29
Individual — 1, Juan Estremadoyro, 17:17; 5, Christon Toya, 19:33.82; 6, Byron Mitchell, 20:09.35; 7, Joshua Piñon, 20:32.39; 10, Ben Clemens, 20:43.32
Boys JV, team — 1, NMMI, 17
Individual — 1, Nicholas DuBois, 20:47.51; 2, Dimitri Maloney, 21:36.20; 4, Alexander Mitchen, 23:13.27; 5, Liu Zidai, 24:34.46; 6, Paul-Jacob Samano, 24:58.39; 7, Alvaro Garcia, 27:29.56; 8, Michael Waruingi, 30:27.26
Girls varsity, team — 1, Sierra Walker, 20:52.77; 3, Emily Locascio, 23:28.15; 7, Andrea Anchondo, 24:09.71; 11, Samantha Rodriguez, 26:21.22
NMMI Sports Press
FORT SUMNER, N.M. — The Colt football team has a lightning delay to thank for a 41-6 win over a combined Fort Sumner/House squad in Fort Sumner Saturday.
NMMI rolled into town under overcast skies, and just as the weather wasn’t looking promising, neither were the Colts. They did score first, making it 6-0 on a 19-yard tipped pass from Jake Guerrero to Jack Tingwall, then 7-0 on the kick by Hans Von Bertrab Madero.
But until the game was delayed with five minutes remaining in the first half, the Colts looked lethargic, able to score only once more while giving up a TD to the Foxes. The host squad ate up much of the clock in the first quarter, finally scoring with 1:55 remaining. The kick failed, giving NMMI a slim 7-6 lead.
The Institute made it 13-6 with 7:47 remaining in the second when Carlos Xibille carried the ball in. But that’s where the game stayed until lightning caused the game to be delayed. Officials waited more than an hour to see if they could resume, but continual flashes lighting up the skies finally forced them to postpone the match until Saturday at 10 a.m.
And that’s when everything changed.
“Needless to say, I didn’t get very much sleep last night from what I saw,”said Colt head coach Randy Montoya. “Props to Fort Sumner. They came out. They were ready to go. They had a great game plan for us. The kids came out this afternoon and made the adjustments that we talked about and showed them. I thought it was a good sign for their maturity. That was one of my question marks coming in: how they would respond and how they would be able to make the adjustments. So very pleased with how well they, in a quick turnaround, made the adjustments and were able to do what they were able to do.”
NMMI added 28 unanswered points in the third quarter.
The defense forced the Foxes to punt on their first possession of the second half, then the offense made it 20-6 on a 28-yard Guerrero pass to Christian Padilla, and a good kick by Von Bertrab Madero. Fort Sumner was pushed way back on its next possession, then the Colts needed only three plays to score again, on another Guerrero to Padilla pass.
The Institute got the ball back on an onside kick by Von Bertrab Madero, and three plays later, Xibille carried it in with 4:49 left in the stanza.
The Foxes were driving when their quarterback fumbled and Colt Dillon Reynolds picked up the ball. Four quick carries — by Guerrero, Xibille, Gavin Maloney and Xibille again made it 41-6 with :49 seconds remaining on the clock.
The night and day improvement — literally — on both sides of the ball pleased Montoya.
“What made me toss and turn last night is the way we came out defensively last night. I was worried. We missed tackles. We weren’t lining up correctly. So the way they came out this afternoon is what I was expecting. So that was very nice to see. And, of course, offensively, our backs were running well; the ball was thrown well today; and we made plays when we needed them.”
Once the margin widened, Montoya gave a plentitude of players a chance to see action. And fans used to seeing the Colts keep the ball mostly on the ground got a surprise as they aired out the ball.
“Again, we saw a few things that we thought we might be able to take advantage of,” Montoya said. “We could have had another (pass reception) on the other side. We just dropped the ball, so we came to the other side and Padilla made some great plays and Guerrero made some great throws. It was just a great team effort today and I was really pleased with the way they came out this morning.”
NMMI is on the road again Sept. 5 when they’ll face Capitan, which beat Hagerman 38-30 Friday.
NMMI Sports Press
In the morning game, NMMI fell to the Temple Leopards in four, winning a long second set but falling overall 23-25, 28-26, 17-25, 25-22.
Facing the Buccaneers in the afternoon match, the Broncos led in every game but couldn’t hold on, falling 15-25, 25-27, 18-25.
“We were beating Blinn every game to 15, but then we just couldn’t finish,” said head coach Shelby Forchtner.
Asked whether they were playing tougher teams that they did at their home tourney, or whether the youth was showing through, Forchtner said It was a combination of both. And, she said, “We have a lot to work on” before heading to Prescott, Ariz., for the Roughrider Invitational Sept. 4 and 5.
LUBBOCK, Texas — The Bronco cross country team dusted off some of the rust at the Lubbock Christian Rust Buster relays Friday, and while the format was a little different, the NMMI coaches sounded very pleased with what they saw.
The format had each team pair up runners, who then ran 1.5 miles, handed off to the other runner, then repeated the course. Each runner ran 3 miles, but they got a break in between. For the institute, Valeriia Uvarova and Katarzyna Rosikon ran as the No. 1 team, finishing third overall.
Uvarova finished in 18:04 and Rosikon 18:27, which coach Jack Batson was very pleased with.
“They were very good times,” he said. “You run in the 18s, you’re doing very well. They got a little bit of rest in between, but sometimes it’s easier to keep running than stop and restart.”
The Broncos faced two NCAA teams — Portales and New Mexico Highlands — NAIA schools Lubbock Christian and Wayland Baptist, and Region V competitors Odessa, West Texas College and New Mexico Junior College.
Amy Farfan Aguilar and Ealiza Villanueva paired up, finishing 15th, but Villanueva pulled out her hip goig down a hill, resulting in a slower-than-expected time of 22:21. Farfan Aguilar ran 19:57, and Batson said they’ll be hoping Villanueva heals quickly.
Brennis Dulany and Lorraine Banimataku paired up for 20th place, with times of 21:34 and 24:26 respectively, and three Broncos ran individual 1.5 mile races.
Thea Minor finished the shorter distance in 12:37; Amanda Hawkins in 12:59; and Lorish Puluspene in 13:58.
Batson said both he and head coach Jan Olesinski were happy with the efforts.
“Oh yes. Very much. Very much,” he said. “Now we know and they know what to expect.”
The Broncos will run their first traditional meet of the season Sept. 5 when they travel to Snyder, Texas, for the Western Texas College Meet.