Home Sports Local Sports Colts can’t slow down Cobre, lose 48-33 in first round

Colts can’t slow down Cobre, lose 48-33 in first round

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NMMI quarterback Daniel Xibille gets to the corner on a keeper in the first half against Cobre Saturday at Colt Field. (Shutternut Photo)

Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

The New Mexico Military Institute Colts lost a shootout on Saturday to visiting Cobre High School, 48-33.

NMMI was tapped as the No. 7 seed in the 12-team NMAA Class AAA Football State Championship bracket, earning a first-round home game against the No. 10 Cobre Indians.

The Colts managed the first points of the game, needing just six plays to move 34 yards into the end zone, capitalizing on a fumble on Cobre’s first possession of the game. Sophomore QB Daniel Xibille got credit for the TD from one yard out, after a pair of nice gains by senior running back Arturo Cuen and a trio of rushes by junior running back Carlos Retamoza. NMMI missed the PAT kick to go up 6-0 with 8:50 left in the first quarter.

Cobre came back, however, with touchdowns and PATs on both of their next drives: one for 11 plays and 57 yards; the next a seven-play, 92-yard affair, capped by a 65-yard pass-and-catch from QB Esquiel Dominguez to Enrique Quinteros. Those scores gave the Indians a 14-6 lead to close out the initial period.

Xibille got NMMI back to within two on a 64-yard option keeper, but the PAT pass attempt for the tie failed, making it 14-12 in favor of Cobre with 11:09 left to play in the first half.

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Cobre quickly scored again, using the same Dominguez-to-Quinteros combo, this time for a 71-yard TD. The Indians were up 21-12 with 10:40 left in the second.

The Institute came right back, mounting a 10-play, 71-yard drive that took nearly five minutes off the clock. Xibille had his third rushing TD of the game from three yards out. This time the PAT kick was good: Cobre was still up 21-19, with 5:42 left in the half.

But Cobre closed out the half with two unanswered touchdowns. The first was after a 12-play, 52-yard drive that took the clock down to just 33 ticks. The next came after an Institute fumble. Two plays and 20 yards later the Indians had a 35-19 lead going into the locker rooms.

The Colts made it a ballgame again by scoring on their opening possession of the second half. Three rushes by Cuen, and another by Xibille, advanced the ball 61 yards to pay dirt. Cuen got the TD this time, from eight yards out. He also got the rushing PAT for two, to make it 35-27 with 10:54 left in the third.

Another Dominguez pass to Quinteros, however, increased Cobre’s lead, and after a missed PAT kick, it was 41-27.

NMMI’s next possession was halted on the Indian 46 after an Institute fumble. Cobre again capitalized, going 46 yards on 11 plays for their final points of the game, and also taking five precious minutes off the clock.

The Colts were down 48-27 with a minute and change left in the third. They drove down to the Cobre eight-yard line, but came up empty after another fumble and turnover.

NMMI’s final score came on a pick-six. Sophomore defensive end Diego Hernandez jumped up to snag an attempted screen pass, then scrambled 60 yards into the end zone.

Down 48-33 with 4:15 remaining, the Institute tried an onside kick that failed. NMMI did get the ball back twice more — once on an interception by junior DB Oscar Gomez, and again after an Indian punt — but were unable to put any more points on the board.

NMMI racked up 432 total yards on offense against Cobre: 307 yards on the ground and another 125 in the air. Xibille was NMMI’s top gainer on the ground with 134 total yards and 3 TDs on 14 attempts. Cuen had 79 yards and a TD on 10 carries; senior fullback Gus Curnutt had 4 rushes for 39 yards; and Retamoza ran six times for 38.

Gomez and junior RB Diego Bustamante were Xibille’s top targets, both catching three passes for 46 yards.

With the playoff loss, NMMI finishes the season with a 6-5 overall record.