The Carlsbad Cavemen held off a late surge from the Alamogordo Tigers Friday night, 47-37, notching the first victory in District 6-3/4A play as the games take on an extra urgency with state playoff implications on the line for the final four weeks of the season.
First half belongs to Eli Asay
Carlsbad’s senior running back upped his overall season total touchdown tally to 13 scoring four touchdowns in the first half.
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He ran for two touchdowns totaling 105 yards and caught two touchdown passes totaling 128 yards from senior quarterback Dane Naylor as the Cavemen and Tigers went back-and-forth in the first half.
“He’s really sharp in picking up the schemes as far as what we put in there for offense,” said Cavemen first year coach Oliver Soukup.
“He is our workhorse (and) he’s fast I don’t think there’s anybody in the state that’s faster than him.”
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Balanced approach reigns in second half for Carlsbad
Down 30-27 at halftime, Soukup said Carlsbad corrected mistakes from the opening half that stabilized the Cavemen’s play in the second half.
Carlsbad ran nearly six minutes off the game clock on the opening offensive drive of the third quarter.
Senior tight end Austin Blair ended the 80-yard drive with 15-yard touchdown pass from Naylor. The extra point kick moved Carlsbad ahead 33-30.
“Time of possession is a giant element in winning football games. Really proud of our offensive kids and our offensive staff,” Soukup said.
Early in the fourth quarter, the Cavemen achieved some breathing room as senior running back DJ Moore caught a 23-yard pass from Naylor and Blair recovered a fumbled Alamogordo punt.
The Tigers tried to stage a comeback as senior wide receiver Joseph Marquez caught a 14-yard touchdown pass. Alamogordo converted the extra point kick as Carlsbad’s lead was 47-37.
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Carlsbad’s defense kept the Tigers in check in the closing stages of the final period.
Stovall, Marquez and Mayberry shine for Tigers
Marquez scored two touchdowns for Alamogordo Friday night. His first score was an 85-yard kickoff return in the first quarter along with his touchdown reception in the fourth quarter.
Alamogordo senior fullback Ryan Stovall scored two touchdowns in the first half on short runs.
Tiger senior running back Damon Mayberry scored on a 64-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.
Carlsbad (3-3;1-0) travels to Las Cruces on Oct. 6 for another district game against Organ Mountain.
Alamogordo (3-3;0-1) travels west to Las Cruces Oct. 7 for a district contest against the Las Cruces Bulldawgs.
Mike Smith can be reached at 575-628-5546 or by email at [email protected] or @ArgusMichae on Twitter