La Cueva High School’s varsity football team brought the hype to Rio Rancho on Friday, beating the Rams 30-7 in the first game of the 2022 season. According to MaxPreps, there were at least 1,000 fans in attendance with fair weather and dry field conditions for the night.
The Rams scored first when Rio Rancho’s Sebastian Rubio intercepted the ball with seven minutes to go in the first quarter, completing a 42-yard return for the pick six. The Bears returned the favor when La Cueva’s Ian Sanchez ran the ball in to the end zone for a 21-yard touchdown. The Bears then took the lead when La Cueva’s No. 1 Jack Limon completed a 34-yard rushing touchdown, bringing the score to 14-7 after the extra point was made by Mason Crowell.
With nine minutes left in the second quarter, Crowell cleared the posts again with a 25-yard field goal for the Bears, giving them a 17-7 lead. Rio Rancho’s No. 26 Andrew Gustafson came out with a big sack at the end of the second quarter, but the Rams offense couldn’t convert the hard hits to points, ending the half 17-7.
With 11 minutes left in the third quarter La Cueva’s Nick Mertz forced Rio Rancho to punt after sacking the Rams’ quarterback. After a first down with eight minutes to go on Rio Rancho’s 41-yard line, Aidan Armenta completed a 30-yard pass to Ian Sanchez for another Bears touchdown.
The Bears weren’t done, though. Armenta was on target again, throwing a 39-yard pass to Jackson Hix for a fourth-quarter touchdown. Crowell made good on the extra point, bringing the score to 30-7. The Rams couldn’t come back, ending the night with the sole touchdown, being defeated at home in their first game of the season.
La Cueva’s next game is against Cleveland High School Friday, Aug. 26. The home game will be played at Wilson Stadium starting at 7 p.m.