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Raton Tigers shut out Braves in Santa Fe 42-0

Kelton Davis, Teagan Keeler, Finn Warner, Joseph Buhrle, Isaac Provost, Cesar Iturralde, Koy Pickard, Brody Doherty, Emilio Gallegos, Fernando Gonzalez; coach Brad Doherty. Courtesy photo

by Marty Mayfield

KRTN Multi-Media

SANTA FE — The Santa Fe Indian School Braves hosted a rare Thursday night football game against Raton high school on October 18. Not only was the day of week unusual, it was also the first-ever district meeting between the two schools. Looking for their first 2AAA win, the Raton Tigers did everything right, and steadily pulled away to a 42 – 0 victory.

The reason for the Thursday evening game was to get more student participation at Santa Fe Indian School, as many of the students board at the school and go home on Friday. A Thursday evening game gives the students an activity to participate in while in school.

The Raton offense looked a bit different as the injured Aden Vanderwater was not able to play and the quarterback duties fell to eighth grader Cayden Walton.

Walton kept the drive alive early on with two separate fourth down runs of five-yards, but a block in the back penalty moved the ball back to the 26. Miscues and penalties took the ball back to the 35 for a third and 30. Unfazed, freshman QB Jesse Kelly found Isaiah Samora for the score and Garrett Kelly split the uprights to make it a 7-0 game with 2:20 left in the first.

Raton kicked off, then forced Santa Fe on another three and out. The punt gave Raton the ball on the 48. On the very next play, Kelly passed to Walton who went the distance to pay dirt. Kelly split the uprights for a 14-0 game.

On the kickoff, Brave Francisco Pino made a 38-yard return to begin the drive at the 50. A 10-yard run on the next play was wasted when Raton recovered a fumble. With Raton on offense, Richie Acevedo took the ball inside the red zone to the seven. Ismael Tafoya scrambled the distance for six points to end the first quarter. Kelly added the point and it was 21-0 to begin the second quarter.

Raton committed a face mask penalty on the kickoff to add 15 yards and gave SFIS good field position on the 43-yard line. The Braves however, could only move backwards and went three and out. Raton took the punt at the 35 on a fair catch.

Raton moved the ball on the ground with Walton and Acevedo but on a fourth and long, went to the air to Matthew Quartieri to keep the drive alive. Acevedo took the ball inside the red zone once again. Walton went 11 yards and put the ball on the one, then finished the drive with a QB keeper for six. Kelly’s PAT was good making it 28-0 with 4:13 left in the second quarter.

Santa Fe began their drive at the 33. The Braves went three and out again, giving Raton the ball at the Braves’ 40. Raton’s Kelly and Walton took turns at quarterback, moving the ball inside the red zone to the 11. Three plays later, Walton, on another keeper, found pay dirt for the score. Kelly’s PAT was good for 35-0 with eight seconds on the first half clock.

Now with a continuous clock running, Raton took the second half kickoff at the 40. Three plays later, Raton, on a Kelly to Tafoya pass, went 40 yards for six with Kelly making his sixth straight extra point to make it 42-0.

SFI’s Terrell Toledo received the kickoff, getting a 30-yard return to give Santa Fe good field position on the 40.

Santa Fe finally put a drive together that went more than three plays but, after nine plays, the Braves were forced to punt and return the ball to Raton.

Raton then went to the air to move the ball with QB Kelly making passes for short yardages, ending the third quarter.

Two plays after Santa Fe took the ball from the 35, Acevedo picked off a Shaun Riley pass at the 45-yard line. Raton, however, turned the ball over on downs at the 48.

Santa Fe went three plays and fumbled the ball at the 49 where Raton recovered. Two plays later, the running clock ended the game to give Raton a 42-0 win.

Raton upped their record to 5-4 with this first district win while SFIS fell to 3-6, and 0-3.

Raton has a bye week next week and then will finish the regular season at home on November 2 with Santa Fe St. Mikes coming into the Jungle.

The game will kickoff at 7 pm and will be broadcast on KRTN FM 93.9 and streamed on Network1sports. com.