There have been some ugly moments in the long rivalry between West Las Vegas and St. Michael’s, and Saturday’s football game had a few to spare.
St. Mike’s, the third-ranked team in Class 3A, won 42-6 to keep pace with Raton, a 48-12 victor over Pojoaque, in District 2-3A. WLV fell to 2-6 and 0-2 in district.
For the Horsemen, the problem Saturday was penalties. Twice, they had scoring plays negated because of yellow flags, and the offense backed itself up repeatedly because of such miscues.
For the Dons, it was turnovers that made the afternoon messy. A half dozen cough-ups led to Horsemen points, and in a couple of junctures, the turnovers put an untimely end to promising Dons drives.
Exhibit A: Following St. Mike’s first score, the Dons were intercepted on the very next series, and that set up Giovanni Coppola’s 30-yard touchdown haul with 5:06 left in the opening quarter.
The Horsemen nearly made it 21-0 at the end of the period before Spencer Parson picked off a pass deep in WLV’s red zone. But St. Mike’s intercepted soon thereafter and a 10-yard lob to Michael Aranda (followed by a Coppola extra point) made it 21-0 with 9:34 left in the first half.
After each side fumbled the ball away to open the third quarter, St. Mike’s stretched the margin to 28-0 on a 21-yard play.
West averted a shutout with a big play-action toss from George Martinez to Adrian Lucero that set the Dons up at the Horseman 2-yard line. The next play, Lucero rushed in to make it 28-6.
Coppola answered with a rushing TD and point-after try for a 35-6 spread with 7:56 to go in the third quarter. He’d score again on a 58-yard scamper with 1:04 left in the period.
A fourth-quarter safety — West’s Martin Blea was tackled in his own end zone — rounded out the scoring.