Taos Tigers – 4A football champions!

Tigers capture first blue trophy in history, defeating Bloomfield Bobcats 14-7

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The Taos Tigers finished a dream season by winning the school's first football championship 14-7 over the Bloomfield Bobcats Saturday (Dec. 1) at Anaya Stadium. The Tigers withstood a cold, bitter wind and a staunch Bobcat defense to take the blue trophy. 

From the first play to the last, every moment counted. The Tigers won the coin toss – a terrifying way to start the game for any Taos opponent. The Bobcats' worst fears were realized on the kickoff itself. It was the Tigers’ Jonathan Garcia with the catch—and the 83-yard run into the end zone. The extra point by Angel Limas was good, and it was 7-0 Tigers within seconds.

And thus began the defensive battle that lasted most of the game. Taos and Bloomfield both do an excellent job of protecting the field behind their lines, and each team was prepared for the other. The combination of cold, wind and powerhouse defense on both sides kept the ball on the ground for most of the game.

The score remained 7-0 Taos until the last 2 minutes and 32 seconds of the first half when Bloomfield quarterback Rogelio Gonzales found himself with enough time to connect to wide receiver Ethan Beevers who nabbed the touchdown before the Tigers could bring him down. The extra point tied it up at 7 points all.

The third quarter was again a defensive showcase. Taos forced fumbles on two consecutive Bloomfield possessions. Though Bloomfield recovered them both, they were forced to punt from deep in their own territory. The snap to the punter wasn’t seamless, and he fumbled under pressure from Aidan Leblanc. Noah Armijo claimed the live ball in the endzone, turning the error into a Tiger touchdown. The score was 14-7 with the point after.

The fourth quarter sustained the excitement. With 2:20 left on the clock, Bloomfield was on the Tiger 2-yard line with first-and-goal. Brilliant defense by Taos kept them out of the end zone. There was under a minute thirty left before Taos took the win and their first blue trophy in the school's football history.

Correction: An original version of this story gave an incorrect name for the Tiger that scored the touchdown and the Bloomfield quarterback.

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