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Miyamura falls to Aztec, 64-56

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Pats draw Deming in first-round state playoffs

The Miyamura Patriots gave up 34 first half points and went on to lose to 5A foe Aztec High 64-56 in an offensively-charged football game played Nov. 3 at Angelo DiPaolo Memorial Stadium. The game was the last of the season for both teams. The Patriots lost a week earlier to another San Juan County 5A team (Farmington), 54-40.

Miyamura now plays Deming (6-4, 3-0) Nov. 10 at home and in a first-round state playoff game. The Wildcats are coming off a 42-14 thrashing last week of Alamogordo.

LOTS OF OFFENSE

The offense of the Patriots averaged 44 points a game on the 2017 football season, while giving up just 17 points a game. As a result of the win, Aztec solidified the runner-up spot in District 1-5A and Miyamura finished in third place.

“We fell behind early and that contributed to the loss,” Miyamura head coach Wes Shank said after the game. “I knew our defense would get us back in the game. We fell short in the end, though.”

The Tigers got on the board quick and often in the first quarter with senior quarterback Cody Smith scoring on a 5-yard run on a six-play 75-yard drive. The 2-point pass conversion was good and the Tigers were sitting on an 8-0 lead. An interception by the Tigers led to a 13-yard touchdown run by Smith and within minutes the score was 14-0.

A pair of successful run and pass plays enabled Aztec to get and stay inside the red zone of the Patriots and Smith again found daylight on a 7-yard touchdown run and a 20-0 Aztec lead. Smith found a cutting Justin Black on a 9-yard pass route and the score ballooned to 28-0 with 48 seconds left in the first half.

“They are a very good football team,” Aztec head coach Matthew Steinfeldt said. “We got a big lead early. You got to give credit to their defense in the second half.”

The left-handed Chavez entered midway through the second quarter and immediately got the Patriots’ offense going. The senior moved the Patriots down field with pinpoint passes to senior wideouts Giovanni Chioda and Brandon Vidal. The Patriots scored on a short pass from Chavez to senior A.J. Silva. Chavez later it Vidal on a 19-yard touchdown to make the score 34-14 in favor of Aztec.

THE SECOND HALF

Chavez and Vidal seemed to just be getting started at the start of the third quarter. Vidal got behind the entire Tigers’ secondary and Chavez found him in stride on a 64-yard score with just 25 second into the third quarter. Chioda found openings in the Tigers’ man-to-man pass defense and decoyed himself long enough for Chavez to find Vidal on an 8-yard TD.

Smith scored again for the Tigers to increase Aztec’s lead to 48-27. A couple of facemask penalties against Aztec allowed Miyamura decent field position in which Chavez scored on a 7-yard run.

The third period ended with the Patriots trailing 48-34, but with momentum. Chavez hit pay dirt on a 5-yard TD run with 11:21 left in the fourth quarter which cut the Aztec lead to 48-40. Black scored again as did the Patriots.

Aztec got a hold of a Miyamura on sides kick attempt and Smith scored his sixth TD of the game for a 64-48 Aztec lead with just under four minutes left in regulation. Silva scored on a 5-yard pass from Chavez as time ran out in the game.

The 64 points were the highest scored by Aztec this season. The Tigers play Goddard (4-6, 0-3) Nov. 11 at Aztec.

By Bernie Dotson 
For the Sun