It was a match up of unlikely undefeated teams, but the Centennial Hawks swooped into Socorro and snatched a win against the Bulldogs 48 to 7.
While many wouldn’t have picked either team to be 3 -0 more than halfway through September, the Hawks looked unstoppable all night while the Bulldogs had trouble getting anything going on offense.
The Hawks scored 27 unanswered points in the first half before the Bulldogs could generate any momentum.
Quarterback Dante Lopez led the aerial assault, scoring on passes of 45, 14 and 37 yards out. Despite the success, Lopez pointed to Socorro’s defensive scheme being an obstacle during their week of preparation.
“I was kind of unsure. When we were watching them on film, their defense was weird,” Lopez said. “I was a big nervous, but it ended up working out for us.”
“We saw a lot of film on them, they’re big and physical they’re playing really well, so we expected a tough contest,” Centennial head coach, Aaron Ocampo said. “They are tough, they have tough kids. We kind of clicked early in the passing game and I think we got them down a little bit and that helped. Defensively we played really strong, we were able to limit a lot of big gains.”
Socorro managed to score moments before the first half with the help of a defensive turnover as Demian Solis intercepted a pass in good field position for the Bulldogs. A couple of plays later, the Bulldogs scored on 24-yard screen pass.
It looked as if Socorro had gained momentum, forcing a quick three-and-out from the Hawks to get the ball back with seconds left in the first half. It was then the Hawks would force a fumble and score with 9 seconds left to play in the half, extending their lead 34 to 7.
“I think once we had a couple of those big passes, I felt pretty good about it,” Ocampo said. “Once we started to getting those real good stops on defense, I felt pretty good too. It was one of those games, we had a big lead at half time last week and we felt in control, but against these guys they have good athletes and such good coaches. I was kind of worried they were going to come back.”
Frustration started to show when the Bulldogs were called for several personal fouls, but the Hawks did not react to any of it.
“We try to pride ourselves on the intangibles, the things you can’t measure,” Ocampo said. “We want them to play disciplined and focused and not talk. I thought the officials did a good job of controlling it, because it was getting a little bit chippie out there. Sometimes that’s football.”
The Hawks will take their undefeated record against the Las Cruces Bulldawgs who edged out Rio Rancho 34-31.
“That’s a good rivalry game, it’s probably going to be a pretty packed house at the field of dreams,” Ocampo said. “We’re excited, it should be a fun atmosphere for our kids to play in.”
Socorro has a bye week and will attempt to bounce back from the loss as they take on the Franklin Cougars Oct. 1.