Panthers score 67-0 win over Thunderbirds

Sierra Grande High School’s Tyler Kester (58) tackles Sangre de Cristo’s Jose Lopez (1) for a loss in Friday’s game at John Roybal Jr. Field. The Panthers defeated the Thunderbirds 67-0 (Courier photo by Ken Hamrick).

BLANCA – The Sierra Grande High School football team played its second game on its new field, John Roybal Jr. Field on Friday. It remained undefeated on the new field.

In fact, it was the Panthers’ second straight victory by a lop-sided shutout as they defeated Sangre de Cristo 67-0.

“You have to come out and set the tone early,” said Sierra Grande coach Luis Corona. “We take pride in the defensive side of the ball. Once we were able to get the ball rolling, our offense picks it up and we kept playing. We have to play for four quarters.”

Sangre de Cristo had the ball first but it turned the ball over on downs. Sierra Grande scored on the very next play as Aron Ojeda threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Kester. The point-after attempt was blocked and the Panthers led 6-0.

The Thunderbirds again went three and out and this time the punt was blocked. Again it didn’t take long for the Panthers to score as Ojeda ran to the end zone from 12 yards out. The kick again was no good.

After Sangre was forced to punt again, Carlos Cerrato-Flores send a punt deep onto the Sierra Grande side of the field. But Brian Ontiveros picked up the ball and dodged several Thunderbird defenders and ran 70 yards for the touchdown. The snap on the conversion was high and Ayden Lopez attempted a pass, but it was unsuccessful.

The Panthers scored again the next time it had the ball as Ojeda and Kester hooked up again, this time on an 8-yard touchdown pass. Lopez converted the kick (worth two points in 6-man football) and Sierra Grande led 26-0 after the first quarter.

The Panthers scored again early in the second quarter as Ojeda threw his third touchdown pass. This time he tossed to Diego Romero for a 15-yard scoring strike. Kester made the kick and the lead grew to 34-0.

Sangre finally ventured into Sierra Grande territory but came away empty. Ontiveros then returned his second punt for a touchdown, this time on a 56-yard return. Lopez made the kick and the Panthers led 42-0.

The Sierra Grande defense accounted for the next touchdown as Angelo Lucero intercepted Anthony Garcia and he returned the ball 28 yards for a touchdown. The snap on the conversion again was high, but Lopez threw to Manuel Miranda (worth one point in 6-man) and the Panthers had a 49-0 lead at halftime.

The Panthers scored on their first possession of the second half as Damian Ferran took the ball 40 yards for the touchdown. The kick was blocked.

The Thunderbirds ventured into Panther territory on their first possession of the second half. However, Sangre came away empty again.

Jack Johnson scored on the second play of the fourth quarter on a 4-yard run, but the kick was no good. Alex Gonzalez wrapped up the scoring late in the game on a 1-yard plunge. The pass was unsuccessful on the conversion attempt.

Sierra Grande accumulated 185 yards of total offense with 104 coming on the ground. Johnson was the leading rusher with 37 yards on three carries, followed by Ferran with 35 yards on two carries, and Gonzales with 20 yards on two carries.

Ojeda completed five of six passes for 81 yards. Kester was the leader in receiving with two catches for 26 yards.

Sangre de Cristo was limited to minus-31 yards of total offense. Garcia led the running game with 20 yards on 12 carries. Jose Lopez completed two of five passes for four yards. Garcia had one reception for six yards.

Sierra Grande (4-2, 2-1) will travel to La Veta on Thursday. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.

“La Veta’s going to be tough,” Corona said. “We just have to prepare. It’s going to be a short week but we play one way all the time and that’s hard for four quarters. We just have to see what happens after Thursday.”

Sangre de Cristo (0-5, 0-4) will host Mountain Valley also on Thursday. Kickoff is at 6 p.m.

Sierra Grande 67, Sangre de Cristo 0

Sangre de Cristo 0 0 0 0 – 0

Sierra Grande 26 23 6 12 – 67

First quarter

SG – Kester 18 pass from Ojeda (kick blocked), 8:25

SG – Ojeda 12 run (kick failed), 6:32

SG – Ontiveros 70 punt return (pass failed), 4:23

SG – Kester 8 pass from Ojeda (A. Lopez kick), 1:47

Second quarter

SG – Romero 15 pass from Ojeda (Kester kick), 9:02

SG – Ontiveros 56 punt return (A. Lopez kick), 2:51

SG – Lucero 28 interception return (Miranda pass from A. Lopez), 2:30

Third quarter

SG – Ferran 40 run (kick blocked), 9:14

Fourth quarter

SG – Johnson 4 run (kick failed), 9:26

SG – Gonzalez 1 run (pass failed), 3:03

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