A season stuffed with emotional wins and losses came to a momentarily halt on Friday, as the Cibola Raiders coasted to a lopsided victory over the Kofa Kings.
It took Cibola (4-4 overall, 1-1 region) just 19 seconds to produce its first seven points in the 54-6 rout.
Senior Quanah Locklear dropped a beautiful throw into the arms of tight end Abraham Flores for the 12-yard touchdown strike to begin the night.
This is the first game that wasn’t decided by 14 points or less for the Raiders this season.
“I’m proud of all them,” Cibola coach Steven Fritz said. “They did what we told them to do by playing with passion and heart. I can’t ask for much more.”
On Kofa’s very first offensive play, the Kings (0-8 overall, 0-1 region) coughed up the football and Cibola senior linebacker Zeke Guerrero plucked the ball off the turf and rumbled from about 30 yards out for the touchdown.
The packed house at Raider Field was rocking on senior night.
With Cibola leading now by 20 less than three minutes into the game, the Kings jogged onto the field once again to stop the bleeding. However, the nightmare continued.
The Raiders forced a strip-sack and Guerrero scooped up the loose ball and darted into the end zone for his second touchdown of the night and pushed the lead to 27.
“I’ve never scored a touchdown,” Guerrero said following his stellar performance. “I’ve been on varsity for three years and never had an offensive snap. I saw the ball, picked it up and just ran for the touchdown. Saw the ball again minutes later and just did that again.”
While one sideline was erupting in joy, the Kings’ sideline began scratching its heads. The Kings turned the ball over five times in the defeat, including once inside the redzone.
“They’re a good team,” Kofa coach David Diehl said. “They’re bigger and stronger than us. We didn’t adjust well early on. We kind of adjusted that as the game went on. That can’t happen. We have to be able to adjust quicker.”
It was all smiles for the Raiders on Friday. The offense eclipsed the 250 yard mark on the ground and didn’t need to use much of the passing attack despite tight end Liam Hoffmeyer entering the game leading the Division 6A in receiving yards amongst tight ends.
Seven different Raiders accounted for touchdowns during the game, all of them by seniors. Joshua Chavez-Madrid ran in two scores on his seven carries for 72 yards. Even Zeke Rios, who’s been out most of this season, caught a swing pass in the first quarter before scampering into the endzone for his first score of the year.
Senior Habacuc Contreras capitalized on his touches, punching it into the goal line before half.
Even the big mauler, Sebastian Garcia, joined in on the fun in the second half. The fullback rumbled for 47 yards, setting himself up for his 2-yard touchdown run. And Emiliano Perez sliced and diced his way into the endzone in the fourth quarter, putting the Raiders over the 50-point mark for the first time this season.
The yearly battle between the local teams continues to be a one-sided affair as the Raiders have won 12 straight over the Kings by an average of 35.9 points.
Kofa will host its senior night next Friday with Dobson rolling into town. The Kings are still seeking their first win of the season.
The Raiders snapped a three-game losing skid and they’ll travel across town to take on the Criminals of Yuma High.