LAS CRUCES – One year after ending a 43-year losing streak to Mayfield, the Hobbs football team ended another decades long losing streak to a team from Las Cruces. This time it was Las Cruces that the Eagles beat on Saturday at Field of Dreams. Hobbs won 36-21.
Prior to the Eagles victor on Saturday, the last time Hobbs had beaten Las Cruces was in 1968.
“That is crazy,” Hobbs coach Charles Gleghorn said. “Our kids are proud of that, especially our senior class to be able to say it went from 1968 to 2018, that is a cool deal for them and a big deal for our program too.”
Hobbs jumped out to a quick lead in the first quarter, scoring three times in a span of 21 seconds.
“If we had played really good, I think we could have won by 50 points,” Gleghorn said. “But, that does give us a lot to go back and look at and get better on because this is the first game of district and we have a long way to go.”
The Eagles got on the board first when Dylan Condarco caught an 11-yard touchdown pass from Michael Greenough. Damien Navarro’s extra point attempt was wide and the Eagles led 6-0 with 6:48 left in the first quarter. Las Cruces fumbled away the kickoff and Hobbs got the ball back on the Bulldawgs’ 37. Two plays later, Greenough connected with Navarro on a 37-yard TD pass and the Eagles led 13-0. Las Cruces muffed the kickoff again, giving Hobbs the ball on the Bulldawgs’ 40. On the first play, Greenough connected with Semaj Cotton for a 40-yard touchdown with 6:27 left in the first quarter.
“We were just doing what we do,” Cotton said. “We practice at practice and we executed and scored.”
Las Cruces had only one legitimate touchdown, a one-yard run in the fourth quarter. The Bulldawgs first TD came with 6:07 left in the second when Ricky Clark caught a pass that Evan Grey was unable to intercept. After batting the pass around, Clark got control of the ball and scored on what was a 42-yard pass.
The Eagles went into halftime leading 20-7.
Hobbs pushed its lead to 23-7 in the third quarter when Navarro drilled a 34-yard field goal with 9:18 left in the quarter.
Las Cruces’ other touchdown was a 55-yard interception return from Clark. The Bulldawg defensive back picked off Greenough’s third-and-three pass and scored, briefly cutting Hobbs’ lead to just eight points, 29-21.
Greenough had a rough game. Despite throwing four touchdown passes, the senior also threw four interceptions. He nearly had a fifth, but a defensive penalty by Las Cruces wiped that one away.
“The four interceptions, that is my fault,” Greenough said. “But the team rallied around me and the defense kept stopping them. We got life at the end and just kept scoring.”
Hobbs also lost a fumble, though that turnover was not Greenough’s fault. Jaime Rivera lost the ball after making a catch and trying to gain extra yardage.
“I think we could beat that team by 50, but we didn’t,” Gleghorn said. “We definitely have to get better at that stuff.”
Cotton scored three times for the Eagles. After his first quarter score, the senior wide-out had a 51-yard TD reception in the fourth quarter and a 20-yard TD run on Hobbs’ final offensive drive of the game.
“Greenough told me to hold on to (the ball) and he told me where the hole was going to be,” Cotton said. “I just hit the hole full speed.”
“That rushing TD to seal the game was unbelievable,” Gleghorn added. “He just carried dudes into the end zone after he got face masked. That is like the heart of an Eagle right there.”
Defensively, the Eagles forced Las Cruces to turn the ball over on downs twice while also forcing the Bulldawgs to go three-and-out four times. Hobbs also intercepted a pair of passes and sacked the quarterback three times.
Jett Black and Evan Gray had the interceptions for the Eagles while Jacob Burkett and Jimmy Harrison each had 1.5 sacks. Harrison’s sack was a huge one as he nailed the Bulldawg QB for a 30-yard loss.
“That was crazy,” Harrison said. “The d-line and everyone just got their job done on that play. Everyone did their job on that play.”
With the win, Hobbs improves to 4-1 on the season and 1-0 in District 3/4-6A play. The Eagles will be back at home on Friday when they host Oñate at Watson Memorial Stadium.