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Bobcats on a roll: Bloomfield stays unbeaten; face Portales in state semi-finals

Bobcats on a roll: Bloomfield stays unbeaten; face Portales in state semi-finals

By Lee Begaye
Special to the Times

BLOOMFIELD, N.M. – Bloomfield continued its dominating play with a 55-0 win over Albuquerque Academy in a 4A State quarterfinal on Saturday afternoon at Bobcat Stadium.

The Bobcats pounced early, scoring four first-quarter touchdowns to effectively put the contest out of reach before the teams even switched sides. Three of them came courtesy of quarterback Blake Spencer’s arm to a trio of receivers. On the game’s opening drive the Bobcats marched 94 yards, as Spencer found wide “open” receiver Andrew Blair from four yards out to put Bloomfield up 7-0.

After a quick three-and-out by Albuquerque Academy, Bloomfield took over on its own 36 following the punt. Soon after Spencer found wideout Drew Perez in stride for a 41-yard scoring strike. Another three-and-out by the Chargers led to Spencer hurling a pass up the middle to George Rascon Jr for a 63-yard touchdown pass. The two-point conversion failed as Bloomfield led 20-0 with 3:08 left in the first quarter.

On Academy’s third possession on offense, a jump tip football between the Bobcat’s Andrew Florez and Academy tight end Lucas Tracy landed in the hands of Bobcat Eli Meador, who ran it back 26 yards for a “pick-six” touchdown. There were still two minutes to play in the first quarter and Bloomfield was up 28-0. Academy would commit four more first-half turnovers: three more interceptions plus a lost fumble. On each of its next three drives the Chargers tossed an interception. The first occurred when Bloomfield’s Drew Perez outpaced wide receiver Carter Speegle for the Bobcats’ second interception, but Bloomfield’s offense would stall to end the first quarter of play.

After a Bloomfield punt to open the second quarter, Eli Meador picked off an Albuquerque Academy pass at midfield. Despite favorable field position, the Bobcats were unable to add on to their lead: a field goal attempt sailed wide.

But Academy, taking over on its 20 yard-line, threw yet another pick. Charger QB Gabe Conway rolled right and threw a desperation pass that landed in the arms of Bobcat defender Andrew Florez.

A few plays later Bloomfield’s Peyto Duncan ran it in from eight yards out. The two-point try was good and with 7:12 before the half Bloomfield had an insurmountable 36-0 lead.

But the first-half scoring binge was far from over. Following the kickoff, Academy started its drive from its own 7-yard line. On the first play Conway tried to lateral to his right, only to gift Bloomfield’s McKell Colbert a touchdown from the 1-yard line to extend Bloomfield’s lead to 43-0 after Kaden McCown’s PAT.

With just 1:09 remaining before halftime, Spender threw his fourth first-half touchdown pass, this one a 33-yard bomb to Perez. Bloomfield now led 49-0 and a successful PAT would have literally ended the game due to the 50-point first half mercy rule. Alas, McCown’s attempt barely dribbled past the line of scrimmage. Both teams would emerge for a second half.

Academy received the football to start the second half, but within a few plays had tossed its fifth interception. Again, Eli Meador came up with the pick, this time returning it to Academy’s 16-yard line. .

Bloomfield only needed a score to end the game via New Mexico Activities Association’s “Mercy Rule,” which states “A game is ended at halftime or during the second half if a team is 50 or more points behind.” Running back Jesse Seitzinger scored the deciding points with a rush up the middle from six yards out to end the game with 7:28 left in the third quarter.

In total Bloomfield’s defense amassed six turnovers, scoring on a pick-six and a fumble recovery for 12 defensive points. Five turnovers were interceptions.

With the victory, Bloomfield improved to 11-0 on the season and advanced into the semi-finals of the 2023 4A State Football Championship bracket.

Bloomfield will travel to Portales, N.M. to face the 10-1 Portales Rams at Greyhound Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 18 with kick-off at 1p.m.


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