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Cibola outscores Farmington in Homecoming showdown


FARMINGTON − Despite a four-touchdown performance by quarterback Trel Griego, the Farmington High School football team came up short in a 41-36 shootout against Cibola on a warm, muggy afternoon at Hutchison Stadium.

Meantime, Navajo Prep played their best game of the season, but still came up short on the road Saturday, losing 42-36 at Crownpoint.

Here's a look back at a busy Saturday in prep football.

CIBOLA 41, Farmington 36

Quarterbacks Aden Chavez and Trel Griego put on a show for those in attendance Saturday afternoon at Hutchison Stadium, combining for ten touchdowns and more than 600 yards in total offense.

It was Chavez and the Cougars however, who proved best in the fourth quarter, stopping the Scorpions on their final drive and preserving a 41-36 win in the Scorpions homecoming game.

Chavez threw for five touchdowns and ran for another as the Cougars improved to 4-0 on the season. The senior quarterback, who led the state in yards passing and was one of the leading passers as a junior last year, has thrown for 11 touchdowns in three games as starting quarterback for the Cougars this season.

"He's a very good quarterback but every quarterback looks really good against a broken coverage," said Farmington coach Jeff Dalton. "We had a few too many of those and it cost us."

The loss drops the Scorpions to 1-3 on the season after winning last week on the road against Los Lunas.

Chavez got the Cougars on the board in the final minutes of the first quarter, finding Branden Castillo open on the near sideline for an 11-yard scoring pass. Meantime, the Scorpions were slow in finding an offensive rhythm, often settling for short gains on their early drives before punting the ball away on each of their first four possessions.

The Cougars extended their lead to 14-0 early in the second quarter when Chavez rolled out from the 1-yard line and beat the Scorpion defense into the end zone.

Farmington answered back on the following possession, with Trel Griego finding Michael Beck open downfield for a 44-yard touchdown pass that trimmed the lead to 14-7.

The Scorpions defense suffered a big hit midway through the second quarter when senior linebacker Isaac Foutz was called for a targeting foul against Cibola's Marcus Wilson. The 15-yard penalty also came with an ejection from the game for Foutz, one of the leaders of the Farmington defense.

"It was an unfortunate circumstance, but we have to keep playing the game," Dalton said after the loss.

The Scorpions tied the game when Ethan Tsosie broke a pair of tackles and ran into the end zone from 10 yards out with 5:04 left in the first half.

The Cougars opened the second half scoring with a juggling catch in the back of the end zone by Marcus Wilson on a well-thrown 26-yard pass from Chavez. Meantime, Farmington's offense was again having difficulty gaining positive yards, going three-and-out their first two drives to open the second half.

Beck provided a spark for the Scorpions when he took an errant snap from center on a punt formation and ran nearly 50 yards to move the ball across midfield. Griego found Josiyah Archuleta and Tsosie for back-to-back first down catches before Beck grabbed his second touchdown catch of the game. The extra point attempt was missed, keeping the Cougars in front 21-20 with 5:10 left in the third quarter.

The Cougars came right back, getting a huge pass completion from Chavez to Daniel Benham which set up Chavez' third touchdown pass of the game, again finding Castillo on a slant route in the back of the end zone and a 28-20 lead. Again, the loss of Foutz on the field gave Chavez a bit more time to find receivers down the field.

As the game of back-and-forth continued, Griego found a wide open Cayden Halliburton sprinting down the center of the field for a 75-yard touchdown catch. Griego then tied the score when he connected with Senecca Charley for a successful 2-point conversion and a tie game at 28 apiece.

"(Griego) did a good job keeping his head on his shoulders," Dalton said. "He's going to continue to get better, but we put ourselves in too many bad situations and too many times behind the chains."

Chavez continued to pick apart the Scorpion defense, completing back-to-back passes to Brayden Mummert and Benham before finding Castillo breaking free from the Scorpion defense for a 30-yard touchdown strike to open the fourth quarter.

Farmington churned the ball down the field on their ensuing drive, with solid running from Griego and Tsosie as well as a clutch reception from Halliburton. The Cougars gave up 15 yards on a personal foul penalty that put the Scorpions inside Cibola's 30-yard line. As the clock turned under six minutes to go, Tsosie got open in the flat on the far sideline inside the 10-yard line.

Griego completed a great pass to Smith to get the ball to the 1-yard line before taking it in himself for a touchdown and the 2-point conversion which gave them a 36-35 lead with 4:50 left in regulation.

"The guys on offense did their job, and while none of them were perfect, they came up with some big plays and did a great job blocking down the field as well," Dalton said. "That's what I'm most proud of."

It took less than two minutes for Cibola to get back in front, with Chavez tossing his fifth touchdown pass of the game, and fourth to Castillo to give the Cougars a 41-36 lead after a failed two-point conversion attempt.

On the final drive, Farmington moved the ball across midfield as the clock ticked down under two minutes, thanks to a pair of pass interference penalties against the Cougars that extended the Scorpion drive. On fourth down and needing nine yards to keep the drive going, Griego was flushed from the pocket and sacked to seal the victory.

Farmington will be on the road this Saturday at 1 p.m. to face Albuquerque High, who fell to a record of 1-2 after losing on Friday night to West Mesa by a final of 27-21.

CROWNPOINT 42, Navajo Prep 36

The Crownpoint High School football team got a game-winning touchdown pass from Tyrell Archie to Mohamed Fakron in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter, earning a hard-fought 42-36 win at home Saturday over Navajo Prep.

Crownpoint, which led 22-8 at the end of the first half, watched their lead evaporate in the third quarter thanks to a pair of rushing touchdowns by quarterback Lucius Hale and Daniel Yazzie and an interception returned for a touchdown.

The Eagles, which hadn't scored more than 14 points in each of their first two games, found themselves in the lead entering the fourth quarter by a score of 30-28.

Yazzie extended the Navajo Prep lead to 36-28 early in the fourth quarter after he scored from a yard out before Crownpoint answered with back-to-back touchdowns.

Archie, who threw for two touchdowns in the victory, tied the game at 36 apiece with a scoring strike to Tydon Tsosie and a two-point conversion pass reception to Taye Harvey before the eventual game-winner.

Crownpoint improves to 3-1 on the season, and have won two straight after defeating Zuni by a final of 35-16 last weekend. Navajo Prep remains winless on the season before facing Ignacio at home Friday at 7 p.m.