By the time the Durango High School offense had run four plays, it had scored three touchdowns. It was a sensational first-quarter performance for the Demons, which blew out Farmington on the road Friday night.
The Colorado Class 3A No. 10 Durango football team raced out to a 40-0 lead after one quarter of play against New Mexico Class 5A fifth-ranked Farmington High School. The game was over in a flash, as a running clock went into effect with Durango up 35 points or more. The lead was 46-6 at halftime, and the Demons (2-2) easily finished off a 53-13 victory against the previously unbeaten Scorpions (4-1).
Senior Everett Howland rushed for four touchdowns for Durango, while junior quarterback Jordan Woolverton passed for a pair of scores and ran for two more.
“It felt amazing,” said Howland. “Our whole team knows what we’re capable of, and we showed everyone that tonight.”
Durango’s defense received interceptions from Breyton Jackson, Cole Matava and Woolverton, all in the first quarter, to help set up quick scores.
“We were bringing some zone blitzes and put the pressure on their quarterback,” DHS head coach David Vogt said. “Their quarterback threw the ball up, and our kids went and got it.”
Farmingtoon head coach Jeff Dalton said the Demons gave new looks defensively than what the Scorpions had seen on film in preparation, and Durango’s ability to take away the run on early downs was key.
“Durango gave us matchup problems,” Dalton said. “They had a great defensive gameplan and nullified a lot of what we do in our running game. If our run game isn’t working, it’s easy for them to settle into pass coverage. The Durango coaching staff had a great plan and had our number tonight early, and it got out of hand.”
The Demons totaled 306 yards of total offense in the first half alone. Woolverton hit Ben Finneseth on TD passes of 82 yards and seven yards. He also had TD runs of 27 and 57 yards in the first half.
“It felt so good to get our offense going and show everyone what we can do,” Woolverton sad. “If we get rolling, we’re an effective offense.”
Howland’s rushing touchdowns came in all varieties. On Durango’s first offensive play, he raced 54 yards for a touchdown to make it 7-0 with 10:44 to go in the first quarter. After the third Durango interception of the first quarter, the Demons took a 33-0 lead on a 4-yard Howland TD run. In the second quarter, Howland scored on a 1-yard run to make it 46-0. He added another TD in the fourth quarter, this time on a run of 74 yards. He now has seven rushing touchdowns this season and went over 500 rushing yards through four games played.
“I’ve seen our line all summer putting in the work to get Everett those big holes to run through,” Woolverton said. “Nobody on our team is having success without that line up front. They continue to impress me, and so does Everett.”
Farmington mounted some solid drives after the game was already put away. Quarterback Caleb Carrillo routinely hit wide receiver Macen Alley on crossing routes. The Scorpions’ first score came on a 1-yard Carrillo touchdown run that made it 46-6 just before the halftime whistle.
The third quarter ticked away quickly without either team finding the end zone, as Durango was kept out of the end zone on fourth-and-goal from the 3-yard line. The Scorpions then mounted a 10-play. 97-yard scoring drive capped off with a 37-yard TD pass from Carrillo to Ethan Thomas. FHS refused to let Durango go up by 50 points to end the game per New Mexico Activities Association rules.
“Our seniors showed great leadership and set the tone for that stuff,” Dalton said. “Thomas Montoya and Caleb Carillo weren’t gonna stop trying to move the ball, and defensively, our guys didn’t show any quit tonight. We could have rolled over and let them mercy rule us, but our kids fought for pride there in the second half and actually improved as a football team.”
The Demons answered right back after their lead was cut to 46-13 to stop the mercy-rule running clock, as Howland ripped off his 74-yard TD run to keep the clock running once more.
The Scorpions will have a bye and then hit the road for two weeks to face Rio Grande in Albuquerque then a trip to Bayfield before the start of league play.
“Part of the tough task of becoming a great program year in and year out is learning how to deal with stuff like losses like this,” Dalton said. “We’ve been here before; we’ve been dominated by Durango before when we were a pretty dang good New Mexico team. We have a lot of places to grow, and Durango exposed those things tonight.”
It was a big win for the Demons, which had lost two in a row to elite Colorado top-five teams in Palisade and Montrose.
Now, the Demons will try to get healthy and ready to play the Vallecito Bowl at 7 p.m. Friday at cross-county rival Bayfield and will look to retain the traveling trophy without a matchup again scheduled with Bayfield for at least the 2020 season.
“We are super excited for that one,” Woolverton said. “It’s the last time we’re going to get to play them again for a while. We’re coming in with a head full of steam after this game. I’m ready to go and excited for that one. Can’t wait.”