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Thu, Feb. 27

WHS whips Pinon, ready for Orme

In the school's biggest rout in four years, the Williams High football team overpowered Pinon Friday night, 56-0, in a game stopped by officials at halftime on the Class 2A mercy rule.

Chris Loxterman ran for three touchdowns and threw for a fourth in the lopsided affair that amounted to a tuneup for this week's game at Orme.

"We could've played the junior varsity when it was 14-0," Williams coach Rick Shipley said. "But that won't make us a better football team for Orme next week. It was important that our varsity kids got some reps in tonight."

Williams has played one fewer game than other teams in the conference with the cancellation of the Sept. 14 contest vs. Valley.

The Vikings dominated from the beginning against Pinon, which had all appearances of being a junior varsity-level team.

"Special teams played better, we've been practicing on that," Shipley said. "The linemen are starting to come around."

The Vikings took the opening kickoff and drove 65 yards to the end zone in 10 plays. Senior Joel Kurtz ran for 48 yards in the drive.

On the fifth play of the game, quarterback Chris Loxterman threw a perfect pass into the end zone, but it was dropped by the intended receiver. The TD came later on a three-yard run by Kurtz.

Jermund HegDal got a workout at kicker and made five of seven point-after-touchdown attempts. His first try sailed wide.

Pinon picked up a first down on its opening drive but fumbled the ball away as Alex Mallett fell on the ball. The Vikes responded with another TD drive, capped with a five-yard jaunt to the end zone by Juaquin Ortiz.

A key play in the drive was a 21-yard pass from Loxterman to Gil Pacheco.

Pinon's next drive ended with an interception by Loxterman. Four plays later, he was in the end zone on a five-yard TD run.

The Eagles again turned over the ball on their next drive. Kurtz recovered a fumble for the Vikings.

Loxterman capped a four-play drive with a 10-yard TD run on the final play of the first quarter.

In the second quarter, Williams scored on a 12-yard run by Loxterman, a 19-yard pass from Loxterman to Nicolas Padilla and on a three-yard run by Mariano Zabala on a drive set up with a blocked punt by Mallett.

Kyle Dent tackled Pinon's quarterback in the end zone for a safety and a 49-0 Williams lead with 1:15 left in the half. On the ensuing punt return, Juan Ortiz broke free down the right sideline and after 46 yards, he fumbled the ball on a pitch attempt to Juaquin Ortiz. Ortiz picked up the ball and ran the final 11 yards to the end zone.

The Williams defense had several big plays, holding Pinon to zero yards rushing and only 24 total yards. The Vikes had nine tackles for losses.

Kurtz rushed for 86 yards on 11 carries. Loxterman completed 6-of-10 for 82 yards, including three balls to Pacheco for 39 yards.

Williams (1-1, 3-2) plays at Orme Friday in a game for second place in the region. The Warriors are coming off a 28-6 win over Mogollon in a result that surprised many.

"They're pretty much a straightforward team with a good running back and physical up front," Shipley said. "It's a big game because they really took it to us the past few years."

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