In a road game the Tigers were capable of winning, errors, miscues and a couple questionable calls resulted in the Tigers coming home from Moriarty last Friday, putting a 20-13 loss in the books.
Let’s look at the calls first. Flags were deadly to our Tigers under the lights at the Pinto’s stadium. The most costly was a 69 yard touchdown run by quarterback Benito Villa called back on a Tiger holding call. Looking at the game film it was a call that could have gone either way. It could have been called or not called by the officials. By then, in the thirds quarter, it was already plain to everyone that the game was being called tightly, so no surprise there. It was costly, but it didn’t decide the game. There were six flags thrown against the Tigers costing them 45 yards, but there were seven thrown on the Pintos for 73 yards. The officials didn’t cost the Tigers the game.
The Tigers had four fumbles, all recovered by their opponents. Then again, the Pintos had three, losing two of them. Two Tiger passes were picked, something uncharacteristic for our team. Two in a season, yes, two in a game, unheard of, until last Friday. Moriarty only lost one pass to an interception. Of course, they only passed three times, all incomplete, except the one a Tiger caught. That one was picked off by Josiah Tidwell as the Pintos were pushing into the red zone, ironically getting that close by recovering one of those Tiger fumbles.
In a game more suited to a Friday the Thirteenth, for a while it seemed like the team that screwed up last would be the one to lose.
Right to the end, this was a game for the Tigers to take, but on this particular Friday night, it wasn’t in the cards. Still, there were some bright spots. Even with all the adversity, Villa passed seven of 14 and had 181 yards of offense on passing, connecting with all four Tiger receivers. Tops in that department has to be Cameron Zamora and Devin Gonzalez, both a perfect two for two. Gonzalez picking up 28 yards, and Zamora adding 68 yards and the Tigers first touchdown at the end of at 59-yard run, early in the second quarter. Also catching the ball were Jesus Gomez and James Childress, who ran his in another 60 yards for the second Tiger touchdown.
When it came to the rush, an area the Tigers can usually be depended on to pick up another hundred yards or more, they were held to just 58, including 17 gained by Josmar Avalos on six brutally hard carries.
Defensively, the Tiger’s Blue Swarm was potent with 60 tackles total. Hopper Madrid came up big in that department with fie solo hits and four more he was a part of. Madrid also recovered both Moriarty fumbles, one he returned 55 yards to the one-yard line, but the Tigers weren’t able to punch it through for points. Tidwell came up big as well, with four unassisted tackles and Childress added three more. Of course, it was “Superman” Villa who was tops, with a total 13 hits, seven of them solo tackles.
So, the Tigers had their unlucky Friday the thirteenth, full moon game a couple weeks late, on September 20, a date they need to both remember and be motivated by and also put behind them. It’s done and over with. History.
Next up for our Tigers, now sitting on a 3-3 record, is tonight, October 4 when they take on Albuquerque in our house, Tiger Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Next week, October 11, the Tigers have their bye week, and can use the time to get healthy and prepared for when 3-3A District competition starts, at Cobre on October 18.