Old friends. Old rivals. Tradition. The high stakes of a “bragging rights” game, when the lights are shining their brightest. Friday night’s contest between the Dexter Demons and Hagerman Bobcats had it all.
It’s a game with a name — The Battle of the Bridges. Each meeting of the south Chaves County rivals, who represent towns located roughly 6 miles apart, is a big deal. But overall, Dexter holds a decisive edge in the number of battles won.
On Friday, the Demons would add another win to the ledger, triumphing over Hagerman by the final score of 54-0.
Dexter Head Coach Arturo Duran said after the game, “It’s a rivalry game, so it’s always a big game when we play Hagerman. The kids came out, we executed when we needed to and it turned out good for us.”
Both teams entered the contest looking to keep their early-season records unblemished.
The Demons were 2-0 coming into homecoming week after most recently upending Texico 40-6 at home. Hagerman also arrived in Dexter Friday night riding a wave of success, with two wins and no losses. The week before, the Bobcats had defeated Mescalero Apache 34-14 in Hagerman.
Friday night’s game between the Demons and Bobcats was a bit one-sided from the get-go, as Hagerman had trouble getting anything going on offense. The Bobcats defense, meanwhile, played their opponents tough at times in the early going, but fell victim to big plays as the first half progressed.
The Demons meanwhile were eager to take advantage of every opportunity, even when facing challenging down-and-distance situations.
Hagerman received the opening kickoff, but was forced to punt after a frustrating set of downs. Dexter took over on its own 27. The Demons marched downfield on the ensuing drive, which featured big ground gains from quarterback Jarren Amaro and running back Nick Cobos.
Cobos ran the ball in for the game’s first score with 6:15 to go in the opening quarter. After the extra point, the Demons led 7-0.
Following the kickoff, Hagerman was forced to punt again — and once again, after taking over on their own 45, the Demons would engineer a scoring drive. The campaign almost stalled when Dexter faced a third and 18 in their own territory, but Cobos scampered for 27 yards to give the Demons a first down on the Hagerman 45.
Later in the drive, a holding penalty threatened to stall Dexter’s progress, but Amaro found receiver Isaac Irigoyon streaking toward the end zone for another score.
With 1:06 left in the first, the score was Dexter 14, Hagerman 0, a score that would hold until the end of the quarter.
But in the second quarter, things got out of hand. The Demons would add four more touchdowns in the first half — with a missed extra point after the last one — to head into the locker room at halftime with a 41-0 lead over the visiting Bobcats.
Homecoming festivities played out at halftime, and for the Dexter faithful, there were smiles all around. Once the second half began, nothing happened to change that, as the Demons found the end zone twice more in rapid succession.
The final touchdown, coming with 3:55 remaining in the third, pushed the score to 54-0. The game was called at that point due to the lopsided nature of the score.
Both teams are at home next week.
Hagerman will host New Mexico Military Institute, and Dexter will face Hatch Valley.