Category Archives: Colt Football

Colts win defensive battle at home vs. Loving

Claudio Cuen boots his second field goal of the game, putting NMMI up 8-6 late in the fourth quarter. Great job by placeholder Christopher St. John to get the low snap set up in time.

NMMI Sports Press

Falcon defensive back Ezequiel Lozano just misses getting an interception.

The Colt football team got their first win of the season, upending the visiting Loving Falcons, 15-6.

As the low score indicates, this game was a defensive battle, with wet weather conditions and a soggy natural turf field making drives difficult for both offensive units.

NMMI’s offense was the first to put points on the board, but not until the 3:29 mark in the second quarter.  Junior Claudio Cuen made good on a 30-yard field goal, capping a drive that started on the Colts’ own 19 and spanned 20 plays and lasted over 8 minutes.

Arturo Cuen with the tackle for a loss, setting up an NMMI safety the very next play.

On the Falcons’ ensuing possession – their first of the second quarter – NMMI’s defense put two more points on the board with a safety, thanks to a pair of tackles for losses. The first was by sophomore linebacker Arturo Cuen for a nine-yard loss, pinning Loving back at the three. On the next play, the entire NMMI defensive front got through, sacking Falcon quarterback Kevin Martinez in the end zone.

QB Christopher St. John drops back to pass.

Neither team was able to score in the third, but a Colt fumble early in the fourth gave Loving the ball 1st & 10 on the NMMI 26. The Falcons needed just 3 plays to get past the goal line, Brandon Rainey rushing in for the 14-yard touchdown with 9:44 left. The PAT rush attempt failed, making the score 6-5 in favor of the Falcons.

NMMI was forced to punt on their next possession, but again the Colt defense bowed up, forcing and recovering a fumble at the Loving 23 with 4:58 left on the clock. After stalling out on the Loving 15, coach Randy Montoya again sent in the field goal unit. Despite a low snap, Cuen again split the uprights, this time from 32-yards out, giving NMMI an 8-6 lead with 3:20 remaining.

11-yard pass reception in the second quarter by senior wide receiver Connor Roe.

“Great job by Claudio Cuen all the way around,” said coach Montoya. “Not sure how we got off that second field goal – it wasn’t a pretty snap at all, but somehow St. John got it down and Cuen punched it through.”

Senior cornerback Connor Roe then picked off a pass to stop Loving’s next possession. The NMMI offense then ran off another minute and 52 seconds off the clock, but was forced to punt, giving Loving a final chance to with 55 seconds, 1 & 10 from their own 22.

Junior safety Frank Matheson put the game away for good, intercepting the ball on the very next play, returning it for the 30-yard touchdown.

“Our defense has been our backbone all year long, and they came up big tonight when we needed them,” said Montoya. “Nine of the points we scored tonight came from our defense. I’m just proud of the team – we’ve been fighting hard all year and this win is a huge morale booster for us, especially with district coming up next week.”

That district schedule begins with Ruidoso at home next week; kickoff at 7:00 PM on Friday, Oct. 6. It will be the first district game for both teams. The Colts will go into the contest with a 1-5 overall record; the Warriors with a 4-2 overall record.

Mandatory Moments

by Cadet Abigail Valadez

There’s some sort of simplicity in being told exactly how to have fun, when and where to be at what time and in what type of clothing, like someone is giving you an excuse to throw stress in the wind for a few hours and just enjoy life.  My favorite example of this simplicity starts when the golden hued leaves first begin to lift off their branches, and ends when the bitter cold of winter comes only in whispers of the breeze—football season.  There’s something about Friday Night Lights that seems to make everything from the paper you left until the night before to whether or not that guy in chemistry caught you staring at him in class today totally irrelevant.  Football games are that touch of high school normalcy that becomes so rare in an environment where bugle calls get you up before your eyelids are ready, classes are meant to prepare you for college, and every second in between opening and closing your eyes has a strict purpose.  Games give you the option of eating whatever you can afford to splurge on from the concession stand—and you will probably do it because it’s definitely the best food you’ll get all week.  Whether you choose to watch the game and join in the chants and cheers or take the time to talk to friends, it’s time well spent, even if you have no other choice but to spend that time at a football game.  Then there’s that moment when everyone, no matter high school or junior college, girl or guy, athlete or non athlete, become one as we all sing the fight song.  In that moment, for me, it is impossible to feel anything but pride. Pride in my team, pride in my school, pride in the legacy I have chosen for myself and all of the people along the way.  It is in that moment that being required to attend the game is no longer a bad thing, there’s nowhere in the world I would rather be actually.  Worries get lost in loud surround sound chants of “Ra, ra, ra” as everyone’s fist punches an invisible enemy in the air, and the only thing that really matters is where that brown leather ball is headed next—hopefully in our running back’s hands and straight into the end zone.



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 Friday, Aug. 25,  which will 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,” the coach said. “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-foot-6, 160 pound), played deep-snapper and O-line for the Colts last season. This year, however, 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 6-2 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) 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),” continued Montoya. “He’ll start both ways on offense and defense, probably a majority of linebacker on defense.”

The final returning senior is Roe (6-1, 160).

“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, 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.

“The first team we played was Texico,” the coach said. “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:

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: