Category Archives: Colt Football

Colt football preps for season opener

2017 Colt Football


NMMI Sports Press

The Colt football team is gearing up for the start of their season, with a road game vs. Fort Sumner on Friday, Aug. 25 slated to officially kickoff the 2017 campaign.

Under seventh-year head coach Randy Montoya, the Colts have made four straight state playoff appearances, and with a crop of 22 returning players – 12 of whom had varsity playing experience last season – coach Montoya hopes to continue that streak.

“We have 51 kids total on the roster for both varsity and JV programs,” said coach Montoya. “About 30 of those will travel with our varsity – a fairly even split. Lots of good quality kids coming up from the JV program. We just need more practice and more reps. We have lots of growing to do. We’re pretty young, especially in the backfield”

Returning seniors include Gavin Maloney, Connor Roe, Hugo Varela, Ryan Houston, Tomas Mondragon and Carl Forkel – all of whom played extensively for the Colts last year.

“We do have Maloney returning at quarterback. That’s exciting, as he can do some things that we haven’t been able to do in the past. He’s been in the system for four years now. I can give him a little bit more of a free reign to make some decisions as he sees certain situations – I trust him in that.” With a 6-foot3-inch and 200 pound frame, Maloney will likely be one of the primary ball-carriers, but is also a more-than-capable pocket passer.

Houston, despite his smaller stature (5’6”, 160 lbs.), played deep-snapper and O-line for the Colts last season. This year, however, coach Montoya wants him in the backfield. “We moved him back to the fullback position, to try and get another solid blocker out of the backfield. He’s quick and a good leader, so hopefully he’ll be able to scoot through that line and get a few yards as well,” said coach.

Varela stands in at 6-foot 2-inches and 220 pounds. “Hugo is our starting center and will be going both ways,” Montoya said. “We’ll rely heavily on him to anchor those offensive and defense fronts.”

Mondragon (6’0”, 225 lbs.) is another returning senior who will also play both ways in the trenches. “He’s got a bit of an injury right now,” explained the coach “but we’re hoping he gets well and gets back to us in the next few weeks. When he does, he’ll be a big part of that offensive and defensive front.”

“Another returning senior is Carl Forkel [6’1”, 200 lbs.]” continued Montoya. “He’ll start both ways offense and defense, probably a majority of linebacker on defense.”

The final returning senior is Connor Roe (6’1”, 160 lbs.).  “Connor will be our starting wide receiver and defensive back,” said Montoya. “He’s a four-year cadet and had a good season last year. We’re expecting good things from him and hoping that he can build on that previous success.”

Because of a lack of depth and experience in the backfield, on both sides of the ball, coach Montoya plans to simplify the offensive and defensive schemes this season. “Due to the fact that we are so much younger in the backfield, we’re going to primarily stay in the ‘I’ formation on offense, rather than the four-back diamond of years’ past. We’ll spread it out every once in a while, too. On defense, we’re going to run a split 4-4; mostly just trying to simplify some things for these kids. Sometimes as coaches we overthink things too much.”

The Colts got to try out those new schemes in a controlled, four-way scrimmage last weekend in Portales. There Montoya, his coaching staff, and his players learned just how far they have to go to get up to speed.  Said coach, “The first team played was Texico. They always have a solid program. It was a good matchup: both defenses did really well and both offensives had their sparks and ups and downs. Then Portales came in and they were a whole lot quicker, team speed wise. We had to step up our game and it was good for our kids to see that level of play. Then came Eunice, and play was even faster, probably the overall best team speed that we saw. They got around the corner on us very easily, which was disappointing, but showed us something that we definitely need to work on.”

Montoya further explained what he meant about team speed: “Portales showed us very quickly in our scrimmage the difference of speed that is needed and present at this level, and how much faster we need to be. Not so much in terms of the speed of individual players, but more as far as team or game speed: getting off the ball quickly, knowing your assignments, getting to your block faster and maintaining it, playing with more enthusiasm.”

The Colts will need that ‘team speed’ come district play, which begins at home on Oct. 6 vs. Ruidoso.

“Of course our district is always extremely tough,” emphasized the coach.  “Two out of the past three years, the state champion has come out of our district. I think for the most part we hold our own during the district season, considering the level of competition. No doubt, it’s going to be another tough year, come district play, but we’ll worry about that later on down the road. Right now, we’re worried about Fort Sumner. They’ve got the majority of their kids back and they went to the state championships last year. They are a well-coached team and we’ll have our hands full with that first game of the season. We’ll just do the best we can each week and take it game by game.”

That first district game will also be part of NMMI’s Cancer Awareness Week and the ‘Cadets for the Cure’ campaign. “It’ll be a big game, a big week, a great cause, and a great chance for our cadets to help out our community,” said Montoya, who is helping the athletic department organize various activities during the week. “We are excited about it and special thanks to all the people who have been helping put all of this together.”

Colt football battles to the end in season finale


NMMI Sports Press

nmmibroncos2013reversedHATCH — The Colt football team came into the first playoff game of the season the No. 12 seed: meaning they had nothing to lose and a lot to gain should they come out on top.

They didn’t — falling 64-35 to Hatch Valley — but they showed the No. 5 team they’d come a long way since the beginning of the season, never letting the Bears get far enough ahead to completely breathe easy.

It was a game in which defense appeared somewhat optional on both sides of the ball, but even though it was the season finale for the Colts, coach Randy Montoya was proud of his team.

“There ain’t no doubt,” he said. “Our defense has been our Achille’s heel. It’s one of those things. We tried different things and moved a couple of kids around. It just is what it is. I’m just proud of these kids: how we fought through the year. We’ve come a long way from the beginning all the way to the end and the fact that we just kept fighting there at the end.”

Hatch drew first blood with a field goal just 68 seconds into the match, but NMMI took its first and only lead less than a minute later when Fausto Baranzini had a 53-yard carry to make it 7-3 Colts.

Two Bear carries for touchdowns made it 17-7 after one quarter, then they stretched it to 24-7 just 17 seconds into the second quarter.

But the Colts came back with 6:10 left in the half on a pass from Gavin Maloney to Christian Padilla, closing the gap to 24-14 before Hatch added another pair of runs to end the half up 38-14.

The third quarter started the same way the first two did, with a fairly quick score, this time by NMMI, which saw a 48-yard Maloney to Padilla pass tighten the game to 38-21. The teams then traded TDs, with Hatch scoring on yet another carry and the Colts following suit, as Maloney took it in from the 2 with no time left on the clock to make it 45-28 at the half.

The Bears got back-to-back scores to open the fourth, the first on a run and the second on their first passing TD of the game.

NMMI continued to hang in there with a 27-yard pass from Maloney to Dillon Reynolds, making it 58-35 before a final Bear touchdown wrapped up the game.

And it might have been even closer, but Montoya wanted to give seniors Benjamin Morr and Reynolds a chance to contribute to a score, and they did on the last Colt TD.

NMMI tallied some solid stats in their season closer.

Ivan Brewer was 6-for-6 in PATs, one of several perfect games he’s had. And while Hatch hasd 621 yards offensively to the Colts 432, NMMI won the battle in the air, picking up 246 yards passing, all but 37 of those from Maloney.

Padilla had 159 yards and two TDs on receptions, and Baranzini led the Colt rushing with 122 yards.

The season may be over for the Colts — and the high school career of a dozen of NMMI’s senior players — but Montoya was happy with the was the season went.

“I’m proud of these kids,” he said. “It’s been a heck of a year. Heck of a grind and I apologize for all the yelling and the screaming I do at them, but the fact of the matter is they just kept fighting. And for them to be out here; be a cadet; be a student athlete, it ain’t easy, and I’m proud of these kids and what they’ve become.”

Stream info: Colt football at Hatch, 11-Nov-16

nfhs_networkWe are not able to use our normal, free streaming service for tonight’s playoff game, due to a contract the NMAA has with the NFHS Network. This contract requires schools that are members of the NMAA to use the NFHS Network when streaming State Championship tournament events, regardless of sport.

If you wish to view tonight’s live (or archived) game stream, you will have to purchase a monthly subscription to the NFHS Network, at a cost of $9.99. You can make that purchase on this webpage: https://goo.gl/IWt6JX.

50% of all revenue received from these subscriptions is returned back to NMMI.

Once the purchase is made you can view the stream. The direct link for the game stream is: https://goo.gl/xmpU2G.

 

 

Colt football heads to Hatch for post-season play

Karen Boehler
NMMI Sports Press

ctfootnavbarheader3After playing their best ball when it counted — as the season drew to a close — the Colt football team has earned a spot in the state playoffs.

NMMI comes in as the No. 12 seed, giving them a road trip to Hatch Valley Friday. But no matter the seeding, coach Randy Montoya is happy to get another weekend on the gridiron.

“There ain’t no doubt, it’s always an honor to get in to the post season,” he said. “That’s always your goal is to get to the championship. Just the way we started out this year and the way we came together at the end, it’s good to get another week to play.”

The Bears come into the matchup as the No. 5 seed with an 8-2 record. Their losses comes to Benson, Ariz., and District 3-4A champ Cobre, who’s seeded just above Hatch at No. 4.

Montoya said they’re a good team in a tough district, but gives the Colts a good chance.

“We’ve got our hands full, but I like our chances the way we’ve been gelling together these past three, four weeks,” he said. “If we come out ready to play, I think we can make a run out of it.”

Montoya said the Bears have a good running back, wide receivers with good size, but their quarterback, Shane Cooper Carson, “just makes it really all go.” Hatch is a run first team, but has tall receivers they can throw to “to keep you honest. They’re a good all-around team, and hopefully we’ll be up for the challenge.”

NMMI comes into the game healthy and ready to go, hoping to continue to play the way they have the past two weeks.

“At this point in the season, it’s who can limit the mistakes and stay focused through the entire four quarters. That’s what we’re going for this week,” Montoya said. “We just need four full quarters and whatever happens, happens. As long as we can leave it all out there and know we gave it our best shot, we can live with that.”

Colt football finished with solid effort vs. Portales

Early in the first quarter, NMMI’s Christian Padilla makes a TD-saving tackle on Portales running back Marc Lovato. Photo by Laura Brown.

Early in the first quarter, NMMI’s Christian Padilla makes a TD-saving tackle on Portales running back Marc Lovato. Photo by Laura Brown.


Karen Boehler

NMMI Sports Press

Nigel Grubbs with the take-down of Portales quarterback Junior Ramirez. Photo by Laura Brown.

Nigel Grubbs with the take-down of Portales quarterback Junior Ramirez. Photo by Laura Brown.

Whether the Colt football team will get another week tacked onto its season is now up to the coaches who make the seedings. But despite losing to No. 2 Portales 40-16 Friday, NMMI played well, and coach Randy Montoya is proud of how they played.

“We were right there,” he said. “We were knocking and we should have punched it in, but regardless, it’s been the story of our season. We’re just right there, real close to everything. But it is what it is. I’m proud of these kids. We started with 70. We’re down to 24. So it’s just been one heck of a ride. Just proud of these guys and proud of the effort they’ve given all year.”

NMMI wide receiver Christian Padilla can't quite get to a Maloney pass in the corner of the end zone. Photo by Laura Brown.

NMMI wide receiver Christian Padilla can’t quite get to a Maloney pass in the corner of the end zone. Photo by Laura Brown.

The Colts opening possession ended in a three-and-out punt, then the Rams ate up much of the rest of the stanza, driving from their own 47 to the end zone, where they went up 7-0.

But NMMI came back with an eight-play, 60-yard drive that ended when Fausto Baranzini dove in from the one. A good kick by Ivan Brewer, and the game was knotted at 7-all.

Portales started their next drive in the first quarter and ended in the second with their next TD, but the Colts turned right back around and scored, these points coming on an 11-yard pass from Gavin Maloney to Jake Guerreo with 6:08 left in the half.

But this time, the PAT kick by Brewer was no good, and NMMI trailed 14-13.

NMMI defensive back Connor Roe come up to break up a pass intended for Ram Thomas Tulk. Photo by Laura Brown.

NMMI defensive back Connor Roe come up to break up a pass intended for Ram Thomas Tulk. Photo by Laura Brown.

Continuing the back-and-forth scoring, Portales came back on their next drive to make it 20-13, but their attempt at a PAT run was no good, giving the Colts fans hope the game would once again be tied.

And that almost happened, as NMMI started on their own 33 and made it all the way to the Portales 6. But with the clock running down, two Maloney passes — one to Christian Padilla and another to Guerrero — fell incomplete, and the Colts opted for the field goal, leaving the score at 20-16 heading into the locker room.

And the second half was all Portales; NMMI came close but couldn’t quite punch the ball in.

NMMI quarterback Gavin Maloney with the stiff arm to break free for some extra rushing yardage. Photo by Laura Brown.

NMMI quarterback Gavin Maloney with the stiff arm to break free for some extra rushing yardage. Photo by Laura Brown.

At 7:46 in the third, the Rams made it 27-16, then intercepted a Maloney pass at 3:49 and drove to the Colt 16 as the stanza ended. They made it 34-16 just 40 seconds into the fourth quarter. NMMI then drove to the Portales 4, but the home team couldn’t get across the line, turning it over on downs.

The Rams then ate up the rest of the clock before scoring again with :29 left in the game, and the clock simply ran out on the Colts.

Montoya was proud of how his team played.

“I’ve always been proud of these guys,” he said. “It’s been a tough road, ain’t no doubt. We’ve got a lot of inexperienced young kids, but they gave us everything they’ve got and that’s all I can ever ask for.”

NMMI only picked up 126 yards on the ground — far short of the 407 tallied by Portales — with Baranzini picking up 79 yards, but Maloney passed for 181 yards to the Ram’s 84. Guerrero had 95 yards receiving and Christian Padilla 64.

Whether the Colts will play again is a question that won’t be answered until Sunday, but Montoya said his team has proven they should by in the playoffs.

“This team has made great strides from the very beginning,” he said. “We fought hard in every single game. Would we like to have things back? Of course, but again, whatever happens. I’m proud of this team. I’m proud of the way they fought all year. And again, Lord willing, we do get one more week.”

The seniors on the Colt football team were honored at halftime. Left to right:  Jake Guerrero, Christian Padilla, Fausto Baranzini, Alberto Morales, Donovan Cuellar, Christian Taylor, Dillon Reynolds, Marco Varela and Victor Salame. Not pictured in Benjamin Morr. Photo by Lauara Brown

The seniors on the Colt football team were honored at halftime. Left to right: Jake Guerrero, Christian Padilla, Fausto Baranzini, Alberto Morales, Donovan Cuellar, Christian Taylor, Dillon Reynolds, Marco Varela and Victor Salame. Not pictured in Benjamin Morr. Photo by Laura Brown.