Referees set frustrating scene for Warrior football loss

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The Warriors came out strong in the first half of their district matchup against the Hot Springs Tigers on Friday night in T or C.

Susann Mikkelson/El Defensor Chieftain: Socorro Warrior Juan Gamez, No. 68, blocks for No. 3 Tyler Crespin in a rough matchup against the Hot Springs Tigers in Truth or Consequences on Oct. 25. The Warriors came out strong in the first half, but finished with a frustrating loss of 20-28.

The defense had one of its best games of the year, and offense was hot. The Warriors scored all of their 20 points for the game in the first half. At halftime, they were up by two, at 20-18. The game was subject to some harsh calls, which hurt the Warriors most in the second half, after a fumble and a very aggressive Tiger defense seemed bent on doing whatever was necessary to stop the Warriors.

They got the job done, ending the game with a 20-28 loss for the Warriors.

Junior Tyler Crespin, No. 3, most often serves as the team’s quarterback, but seemed to be everywhere on Friday night. Crespin had two of the team’s three touchdowns, both rushing; he had a total of 89 yards — 60 rushing and 29 passing — for the game. Freshman Mike Armijo was close behind with 81 yards, all rushing, and one touchdown. Crespin also had the team’s only fumble, in the second half.

Defensively, senior Zeb Esquivel carried the weight, with 12 total tackles, including nine solo and three assists. Junior Seve Naranjo had six solo tackles and one assist. Esquivel also had 54 rushing yards and 17 receiving yards on offense.

The game was a whole team effort, though, with tight team play throughout the game. Defense was at its strongest of the season, showing great improvements in blocking and tackling, clearly having a significant impact on the end score.

The loss can be attributed greatly to some harsh and disappointing calls and lack thereof on the part of the referees for the game. There was contention from the beginning of the game between the refs and the coaches. This contention seems to filter down to the teams, which got rough toward the end of the first half. Coach Cody Lee directed his coaching team to brush off the calls and focus on coaching their teams. However, the lack of calls by the refs on poor plays continued to plague the coaches and the team throughout the second half.