ARTESIA — After being away from the Bulldog Bowl for three weeks, Artesia High School returned home, knocking out the Alamogordo Tigers 50-0. The game ended in the latter stages of the third quarter thanks to the mercy rule.
Those who believe in superstitions may think the full moon over Bulldog Bowl may have had something to do with the win or past state champions from 1957, 1967, 1977, 1987 and 2007 that were honored before the game.
Seven was a good number for the Bulldogs on Friday night as they received the opening kick off from the Tigers. Artesia didn’t waste anytime scoring the opening points as senior quarterback Taylor Null threw a 55-yard strike to senior running back Tyler Greenwood. The extra point kick was good as the home team went up 7-0 in the opening seconds of the game.
Alamogordo was taken down on their opening drive and the Bulldogs were able to score again with 8:50 left on the clock as Null found junior running back A.J. Estrada on a 10-yard pass. The extra point attempt was good, extending Artesia’s lead to 14-0.
The Tigers fumbled in their own territory on their second offensive series. Senior running back Robert Fernandez later scored on a 25-yard run and the Bulldogs had a commanding 21-0 lead at the midpoint of the opening quarter.
Minutes later Alamogordo’s offense was still having problems getting into gear. The Bulldogs were a well-oiled machine as Null threw another 10-yard strike to junior running back J.R. Bustamante with 3:26 left in the opening period. Artesia was keeping the Tigers in the rear view mirror with a 28-0 lead.
Nearly 20 seconds later Alamogordo fumbled and senior linebacker Blake Pruitt picked up the loose football and ran 18 yards for another score. The extra point attempt was good and Artesia led 35-0.
Artesia’s commanding lead brought on the running clock in the second quarter. The Bulldogs were able to score one more touchdown in the first half as backup junior quarterback Trent Taylor threw a 4-yard pass to Estrada with 5:48 left before halftime.
In the third quarter, the Tiger offense showed some life and got into Bulldog territory. Artesia would stop Alamogordo at their own 25.
The Bulldogs put the game on ice with 3:15 left as Taylor hit junior running back Collin Turner on a 50 yard pass. Artesia had trouble handling the snap for the extra point kick, which turned out to be a blessing as an impromtu 2-point conversion gave the Bulldogs the early win.
“I think we were really pleased with the effort the guys gave,” said Artesia head coach Rex Henderson.
He said the team executed the game plan and played consistent.
Artesia is now 5-2 and has an off week before starting district play Oct. 20 at Roswell High.
Henderson was asked about plans for the off week. “We’re going to scout some teams and start working on district opponents.”
He added that the Bulldogs will be using the off week to heal up.
Alamogordo is winless and hosts the Coyotes next week.