Home Sports Local Sports Bobcats beat NMMI in last-minute thriller

Bobcats beat NMMI in last-minute thriller

The Bobcats’ Eric Vargas (12) searches for a lane as he runs the ball against the NMMI defense Friday night in Roswell. (Shawn Naranjo Photo)

Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

By Peter Dindinger
NMMI Sports Press

After being sidelined in Week 3 due to COVID-19 protocols, the New Mexico Military Institute Colt football team made it back out to the gridiron for a classic Chaves County rivalry game against Hagerman.

Colt quarterback Juan Badillo (10) calls his own number and runs for a big gain. (Shawn Naranjo Photo)

With the game tied 12-12 in the fourth quarter and 30 seconds on the clock, the Bobcats could decide their own destiny.

Quarterback Jonah Bejarano stepped up in the pocket to evade the rush to find Abel Alvidrez, who made a one-handed catch and rushed into the end zone for the game-winning eight-yard touchdown as time expired Friday night at Colt Field, giving the Bobcats an 18-12 victory.

The Bobcats (2-1) picked up their first win over NMMI since Sept. 20, 2013. NMMI had won the last three meetings in 2019, 2018 and 2014 by a combined score of 59-22.

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NMMI had led the series with a 5-4 record since 2008.

It was an uneventful first quarter as each team looked rusty on offense with the score tied at 0-0.

Hagerman struck first with 1:30 left in the second quarter as Alvidrez rushed into the end zone from 17 yards out.

After an unsuccessful two-point conversion, the Bobcats held a 6-0 lead.

The Colts (1-2) scored on their next offensive series after a four-play drive that was capped off by an 11-yard touchdown reception by Diego Hernandez from quarterback Juan Badillo.

NMMI failed the point-after attempt to tie the game with 26 seconds left until halftime.

To start the second half, the Colts got the ball first.

An eight-play, 60-yard drive resulted in a clutch 12-yard touchdown reception by Gael Venegas in the far left corner of the end zone from Badillo.

After another failed point-after attempt, NMMI held a 12-6 lead with 6:17 in the third quarter.

The Colt defense came up big on next the series by getting a sack from Alexander Johnson that pinned the Bobcats deep, which led to a three-and-out to end the quarter.

As the penalties stacked up for the Colts, the luck began to change for the Bobcats.

NMMI was forced to punt on fourth-and-eight after putting together a five-play drive that ran the clock down to 4:45 in the final quarter.

Deep on their own six-yard line, the Bobcats flipped the script in an instant with a 94-yard touchdown strike from Bejarano to Doryan Galvan.

With a chance to win the game with a simple kick, Hagerman went all in and attempted the two point conversion, which was spoiled by Johnson, who met Bejarano at the line of scrimmage.

A false start call and three incomplete passes ended NMMI’s chances at pulling off a victory late in the game.

Punting away on fourth-and-15, Hagerman got the ball on the NMMI 49 after a false start penalty was enforced at the start of the drive.

A 41-yard pass put the Bobcats in good field position with a few ticks left on the clock.

Bejarano spiked the ball and Hagerman took a timeout with just eight yards to go to the end zone. Seconds later, Alvidrez was underneath a dog pile of teammates after catching the go-ahead touchdown.

Hagerman had 209 yards of offense compared to NMMI’s 192.

The biggest breaking points were the 13 penalties for the Colts, which resulted in 104 yards. There were 20 flags thrown throughout the contest, stacking up to 154 yards.

Badillo led NMMI with 150 yards of total offense. He completed 9 of 19 passes for 130 yards and two touchdowns.

Simen Johansen finished with 33 rushing yards on seven carries while Hernandez led the receiving corps with four catches for 53 yards.

NMMI travels to Truth or Consequences next Friday for a 7 p.m. kickoff against Hot Springs, while Hagerman plays in Tularosa on Sept. 24.

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