Category Archives: Colt Football

Colt defense paves way to win over Texico

NMMI’s Elijah Evans with a punt return in the first half against Texico. He had three returns for 85 yards. Photo by cadet Christopher Mumba.

NMMI Sports Press – Brian DeGruchy

The New Mexico Military Institute Colt football team improved to 3-0 on the year with a 32-21 victory over the Texico Wolverines at Colt Field on Friday night.

The first quarter was a scoreless affair by both teams although NMMI was threatening on the Texico 11 yard line when the first quarter ended. A couple of plays later the Colts scored on a pass from Daniel Xibille to Elijah Evans. Evans had fumbled the ball on the one yard line, but it was recovered by teammate Roberto Laporte in the end zone for the Colt touchdown.

The NMMI defense scored one of their two touchdowns on a fumble that was carried into the end zone by Diego Hernandez to give the Colts a 14-0 lead. Texico would answer back with a touchdown and two point conversion to close the Colt lead to 14-8. With 17 seconds left in the half Xibille found Joshua Lopez in the front corner of the end zone for a 20 yard touchdown. Xibille would then call his own number for the two point conversion to go up 22-8 at the half.

The second half started with a Texico score and extra point as they still trailed 22-15. Texico would stop the NMMI offense the next couple of drives, but the NMMI defense would step up with a pick six from Joshua Lopez from 38 yards out to widen the Colt lead 29-15. Xibille would get the last points for the Colts on a 29 yard field goal to give them the 32-21 victory.

Head Colt football coach Randy Montoya praised his defense and special teams.

Coach Montoya said, “We found a way to win. The defense got us some points and the field goal at the end of the game that was huge. Just finding a way to win at this stage is very important, but we still have a lot of work to do.”

Next week the Colts will face the Hagerman Bobcats at NMMI Colt Field on Friday Sept. 13th at 7:00 PM.

Colts blank Tigers to move to 2-0

Colt wide out Joshua Lopez with one of his two TD receptions vs. the Tigers.

NMMI Sports Press

The New Mexico Military Institute Colt football team won their second road-game of the season, blanking the Tigers in Capitan, 28-0.

NMMI’s stingy defense allowed the Tigers just 17 net yards on offense, including minus 24 yards on the ground on 32 rushing attempts.

On the offensive side of the ball, the Colts showed off their passing attack, something that head NMMI coach Randy Montoya hasn’t had much of in recent seasons. The Colts accumulated 129 yards in the air and 3 touchdowns, with quarterback Carlos Xibille going 8-for-18 from the pocket, or on roll-outs. His top target was Joshua Lopez who hauled in five catches for 69 yards and two of those TDs.

NMMI’s ground game was dominated by the big senior fullback-turned-tailback, Arturo Cuen, with help from the fellow big seniors on the offensive line. He rumbled and stumbled for 122 total yards on 11 carries.

Most of NMMI’s scoring came in the first half, as they punched in their first points at the tail-end of the first quarter with Roberto Laporte hauling in a 1-yard pass-and-catch from Xibille, which was set-up by a 38-yard streak down the sideline by newcomer Elijah Evans on a hot-route.

Their next score came with 8:44 left in the second. Xibille plunged in from 1-yard out to cap a 9-play, 38-yard drive.

The Colts’ last strike in the first half came at the 1:01 mark. After a 34-yard punt return by Evans put NMMI on the Capitan 11, the Colts needed just two plays to hit paydirt, Xibille hitting Lopez over the middle for an 11-yard TD.

NMMI’s final tally came in the third with 2:48 left in the quarter. Lopez on a post-route, caught a pass from Xibille in the back of the end-zone from 25-yards out, ending a 83-yard drive that spanned 13 plays.

With the win, NMMI moves to 2-0 on the season, while Capitan drops to 0-2.

Up next for the Colts will be their first home game, Friday, Sept. 6 at NMMI’s Colt Field, against the visiting  Texico Wolverines.

All-District and All-Academic accolades for Colt Football

NMMI Sports Press

For the fifth time in six years, the Colt football team made the state playoffs.

Under eighth-year head coach Randy Montoya, NMMI ended the regular season with a 6-4 overall record and earned the No. 10 seed, before being upended on the road in the first round of the Class 3A State Championships by seventh-seeded Hatch Valley, 44-21.

As part of that solid regular-season performance, 20 different Colt players earned 28 slots on this year’s All-District Team: five players and six spots on the first team; eight selections and 11 spaces on the second team; and 10 athletes and 11 places as Honorable Mentions.

“I thought we were represented very well on the first and second teams, especially considering we were third in our district and just how tough our district was,” said coach Montoya. “I’m just very pleased with how our kids performed and that they were recognized for their efforts.”

Of special note was the respect given to NMMI’s offensive line, with all five starters making the All-District squad. Juniors Colton Claypool and Riley Robertson were tapped to the first team, senior Zachary Martin and junior Andrew Oldfield made second team, and junior Aaron Gonzales garnered HM accolades.

“Our offensive line was definitely the backbone of our team this year,” explained Montoya. “Most of them started last season as sophomores, did the same again this year as juniors, and hopefully will all come back and start for us again next year. It’s so important because it all starts up front.”

Montoya also talked about the play and prowess of the Colts’ other first-team selections.

“[Senior] Jalil Brown made first team running back. When he was able to get loose into the secondary, he sure made things happen. [Junior linebacker] Arturo Cuen was the mainstay and leader of our defense this year. And [junior] Roberto Laporte made first team as defensive end, leading the team in sacks.”

In addition to the All-District honors, the Colts also had 18 players make the All-Academic team.

“I think this might be the most we’ve ever had on the All-Academic team.” said Montoya. “When a kid can take care of business in the corps, on the field, and in the classroom, that’s pretty special. It’s not easy earning academic accolades here at the Institute – I’m just very pleased with all of them.”

Colts fall to Bears in first round of State

Senior running back Jalil Brown breaks a tackle enroute to his first of two rushing TDs against Hatch Valley in the first round of the NMAA Class 3A State Playoffs.

NMMI Sports Press

The NMMI football team put up 21 points in the second half, but it wasn’t enough to overcome a slow start, as the Hatch Valley Bears bested the Colts in the opening round of the NMAA’s Class 3A State Playoffs, 44-21.

The Bears posted touchdown drives on their first two offensive possessions, then added a third TD right before the end of the half on a 60-yard interception return, giving Hatch a 20-0 lead going into the locker rooms.

After giving up another score to the Bears at the start of the second half, NMMI’s offense finally got on-track, putting together a 10-play 68 drive, capped by a 28-yard TD rush by senior running back Jalil Brown.

A 38-yard Hatch field goal made the score 29-7 in the fourth quarter with 11:55 remaining.

The Colts’ next drive stalled out at the Hatch 42 with a pass attempt from quarterback Jasper Best to Charles Lewis falling incomplete on a fourth-and-six. But linebacker Arturo Cuen forced a Bear fumble, recovered by defensive end Roberto Laporte, getting the ball back to the NMMI offense. The next play, Brown again led the Colts into the end zone, this time with a 41-yard rush, making it a 29-14 game with 9:42 still left to play.

Two more Bear TDs – at the 6:52 and 2:25 marks – put the game out of reach, with NMMI’s final scoring drive coming with less than 2 minutes remaining. Halfback Charles Lewis ran in for NMMI’s final touchdown, a 9-yard rush finishing a 6-play, 55-yard drive.

The Colts tallied 272 total yards of offense in the contest –  just 30 yards shy of the Bears’ output – led by Brown’s 14 carries for 134 yards. Lewis gained 63 yards on 9 attempts, Best was 11 for 39 on the ground, and Cuen as fullback ground out 22 yards up the middle on 4 rushes.

Cuen also had a stellar night on defense for the Colts, leading the team with 19 tackles: 10 solo and 9 assists.

Although head Colt coach Randy Montoya was disappointed with the loss – NMMI’s third to Hatch in the first round of the playoffs since 2014 – he was pleased with the play of his seniors and happy with how the team responded to the ups and downs over the course of the season.

“I’m just grateful our seniors got to play in this game and of all the obstacles we overcame to get here,” said Montoya. “Our kids showed heart, didn’t quit, and played a much better game in the second half. I’m proud of that.”

Colt football ready to tackle Hatch in opening round of state

2018 Colt Varsity Football

Who: No. 10 NMMI (6-4) at No. 7 Hatch Valley (5-5)
What: Opening round football game of the NMAA Class 3A State Playoffs
Where: Hatch Valley Bear Stadium
When: Kickoff at 1:00 PM on Saturday, Nov. 10
Coaches: NMMI head coach Randy Montoya, eighth year (35-49); Hatch head coach Louis Howell, second year (13-10)
Last meeting: opening round of the 2016 playoffs – Hatch won at home 64-42
Season points for and against: NMMI PF (184) PA (218); Hatch PF (173) PA (190)
NMMI head coach Randy NMMI and his Colt football team are back in the playoffs for their fifth time in six years.

This season the Colts have put together a solid 6-4 overall record, earning the No. 10 seed in the twelve-team NMAA Class 3A State Championship bracket. They’ll face the No. 7 Hatch Valley Bears, on the road, on Saturday, Nov. 10 at 1:00 PM.

“I think the seeding was just about right,” said coach Montoya about the Class 3A bracket, “that’s just where we had our team placed as well.”

This will be the third match-up in the opening round of state between Colts and Bears, with Hatch taking both previous contests on their home turf: 64-42 in 2016,and 27-10 in 2014.

“We’ve got a tough opponent – seems like the past two or three years that we’ve gone to the playoffs, we’ve been in Hatch. So we’re familiar with the area,” continued Montoya. “They’ve got a good team; I think we’ve got a good team; so should be a good showdown.”

NMMI is coming off a big road win against district opponent Tucumcari where the Colt offense produced 43 points and broke open big holes for senior backs Jalil Brown and Charles Lewis, who combined for 275 yards on just 19 carries.

“I think it was important to get back on that winning track,” emphasized Montoya. “That helped build the confidence of our kids, and made us realize that we still are a good team despite the ups and downs that all teams tend to have over the course of a season. It gives us some momentum going into the playoffs.”

The Hatch Valley Bear offense runs multiple formations to throw teams off guard, and they do a good job at it.

“Our defense is going to have to recognize those formations in order to stop them,” said Montoya.

Defensively, the Bears run a flex nose – sort of a “difference between a 5-2 and a 5-3.” said the NMMI coach. “Their front line is solid with a nose guard that is really tough and linebackers that flow really well. It will be a good test for our O-line.”

The Colt offense has amassed 2,025 total yards of offense this season and a 4.2-yard average per play, thanks to a quartet of excellent rushers in the backfield.

Tailback Brown leads the running attack with 650 yards on 79 carries; halfback Lewis has 550 yards on 85 attempts; fullback Gus Curnutt pounded out 279 yards on 64 chances; and quarterback Jasper Best has scrambled for 222 yards on 82 rushes.

“Without having a quarterback, we’ve been having to switch things up on offense these past few weeks, said Montoya about his own offensive unit and game plan. “But we’ll show multiple fronts, see if we can take advantage of anything they’ll give us on defense.”

The Colt defense is led by linebacker Arturo Cuen’s 46 tackles and Roberto Laporte’s four sacks.

NMMI typically runs a split 4-4. “We’ll mix things up with our split,” said Montoya, “try and run some blitzes and see what we can do depending on the formations they come out in.”

When asked about the keys to the game, coach Montoya stressed the turnover factor.

“In big games like this, we’ve got to take care of the ball – turnovers are going to be huge. And again, recognizing formations: lining up correctly so that we don’t get out leveraged. We also need all three aspects of the game to play well: the offense needs to take care of the ball, the defense needs to be aggressive, and the special teams can’t take any plays off.”

“We’re excited about this opportunity, hoping to do something that hasn’t been done around here in about 14 years – that’s win a playoff game. That’s what we’re shooting for,” finished the coach. “We’ve have a good week in practice, so I think we’re up for the challenge.”