NAPA — The Armijo High football team is known for its running game, but the Indians did their best work through the air, Friday night.
Maurice Johnson threw a 45-yard pass to Corey Stewart and the two hooked up for a 4-yard touchdown three plays later, but that was all the magic for the Indians as Armijo fell 44-6 to Vintage at Memorial Stadium.
In was the 31st straight Monticello Empire League loss for the Indians (1-7, 0-3 MEL).
Rather than single out his team’s lone score, Armijo coach Karl Finley praised the play of the entire squad.
“These kids play hard,” Finley said. “They work hard, they practice every day. They play with injuries. That’s what it’s all about.”
Friday night’s outcome was all about the Crushers, who rushed for 370 yards, 139 by Joe Cavagnaro.
Armijo stopped Vintage (4-4, 2-1 MEL) on its first possession, forcing the home team to settle for 32-yard field goal by Jesus Rios-Vargas, who also kicked five conversions.
There was no stopping the Crushers after that, however. They scored again on special teams as Austin Trosin blocked a Wyatt Greives punt and Troy Spinelli recovered the ball in the end zone for a touchdown.
Victor Montanez put Vintage up 17-0 with an 8-yard run with 1 minute, 10 seconds left in the first quarter. A Scott Molles 3-yard touchdown run upped the lead to 24-0.
Then it was Armijo’s time to shine on offense, however briefly.
Johnson, filling in for the injured D’Mario Johnson, hit Stewart in the stride over the middle for a 45-yard gain with Vintage’s Jeremy Costa making the touchdown-saving tackle at the Crushers’ 6-yard line.
Two runs later, the Indians made their first third-down conversion when Johnson rolled to his right and threw into the end zone to Stewart, who made a nifty catch after the ball was tipped by the Crushers’ Michael Jankiewicz.
After an offsides penalty on Vintage before the conversion attempt, Armijo elected to go for two, but Jeffrie Brown was stopped short, keeping it 24-6 with 39.7 seconds to go in the half.
The third quarter, and the rest of the game’s scoring, belonged to Vintage.
The Crushers took the second-half kickoff and went 68 yards in four plays with Montanez sweeping the final 17 yards for the touchdown.
Cavagnaro did the rest of the damage, rumbling 41 yards up the middle for his first touchdown and then going 3-yards off the left side for the second to make it 44-7 with 2:02 left in the period.
Brown, who entered the action with three 100-yard games on the season, was held to 28 yards with Trevor Finley leading the Indians, who ran for 51 yards as a team, with 35 yards.
Johnson finished the night 3 of 12 for 52 yards and didn’t complete a pass after his touchdown throw.
The Indians travel again to Memorial Stadium next week where they play Napa.
Reach Paul Farmer at 425-4646, ext. 264, or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pfarmerdr.