So is that Pojoaque football team legit?
After Friday, the West Las Vegas Dons might be inclined to say yes.
The Elks ran their record to 6-1 with a 28-18 decision against the Dons at Perkins Stadium in the District 2-3A opener for both schools.
It continues a brilliant start for Pojoaque, which had been an also-ran in the district’s football race for years.
But it was a closer game than the final score indicated, and with 10 minutes left, the Dons trailed by a mere three points.
Michael Armijo’s rushing touchdown made it 21-18 with 10:35 left in the fourth quarter; a subsequent two-point conversion try failed.
Pojo answered with a confident drive closed by Michael Garcia’s 7-yard quarterback keeper resulting in a TD and the final 28-18 margin.
West hurt itself with turnovers, including four interceptions that helped lead to Elk points.
An interception return for a touchdown gave Pojoaque a 6-0 edge midway through the opening quarter.
With the WLV defense applying heavy pressure — notably Manuel Silva’s two quick sacks on Garcia — the Dons fought back. George Martinez hooked up with Adrian Lucero for a game-tying score with 8:08 left in the second period; the go-ahead extra point missed wide left.
But Garcia passed to Carlos Vigil for a retaliatory TD, and a two-point conversion toss to Robert Vigil was also good, making it 14-6.
After a good kick return by Armijo, Martinez led the Dons deep into Pojo territory. Elk Jeremy Martinez — no relation — foiled the drive when he picked off a pass in the end zone. At half, the score was 14-6.
Strong defense and a long punt return by Jonathan Roybal set West up in the third quarter. AC Lux had a big catch and Lucero rushed for a fourth-down conversion as the Dons marched into the Elks’ red zone. Martinez took it to paydirt himself, cutting the gap to 14-12 with 7:31 left in the quarter.
Again, however, Garcia had a quick answer. With 1:10 left in the third, he threw an 11-yard TD and an extra point made it 21-12.
Note: WLV alumnus Michael Medina is now Pojoaque’s defensive coordinator.