The Taos High School Tigers finally got in the win column, taking down the Shiprock High School Chieftains, 53-0. The win was so decisive, the game was canceled at halftime in accordance with the New Mexico Activities Association's "Mercy Rule."
The NMAA Mercy Rule states:
"When a team is ahead by 35 or more points, the clock will not stop during out of bounds, incomplete passes or first downs. The clock only stops for timeouts or scores. If the point differential becomes less than 35 points, regular timing resumes. A game is ended at halftime or during the second half if a team is 50 or more points behind."
As the THS Tigers went into the locker room at halftime, the scoreboard read 53-0, well within the NMAA standards for the Mercy Rule.
The game was extra disappointing for the Chieftains, as this was their Homecoming game and had a fairly large attendance of over 100.
It was the Tigers fifth game of the season and the team's first win. "The teams we have played before have been winning teams, except for Kirtland Central, and so we have had a tough road up to now," said Tigers coach Art Abreu. "But we really know who we are as a team because of that very tough route. Our goal in this game was just to get in, get done what we had to get done, and get out safely."
Coach Abreu said he is proud of the entire team and happy that, though the game was cut short, he managed to get every kid on the team some playing time.
"Everyone got to get on the field for at least a couple of snaps, and that is really cool."
The victory comes at an opportune time for the Tigers as they look to face off against Bernalillo at home on Sept. 24 in the THS Homecoming game. The team will enter that game with a much-needed confidence boost, but they will be facing off against a Bernalillo team that has only given up one touchdown all season. Luckily, that touchdown was last week, so Abreu is hoping Bernalillo may be slowing down just as Taos is speeding up.
"[Bernalillo is] coming in here emotional and trying to get back on track and we are looking to stay on track," said Abreu. "This is the' battle of who wants it more' time of the season."