LAGUNA – The Laguna-Acoma Hawks’ football team has been scuffling a bit as of late, no doubt about that.
Crippled by key injuries and not-so-fruitful second-half play, the Hawks (1-3 overall) haven’t tasted victory in a few weeks, their 53-0 win over Santa Fe Indian School a bit of a fading memory.
Tomorrow morning – yes, morning – at 11 a.m. the Hawks will face yet another perennial football powerhouse in Albuquerque Academy, which is off to a not-so-hot start of its own (1-2 overall).
But if anyone thinks the host Chargers will feel sorry for the Hawks, they had better think again.
“We’ve got to be ready to go,” L-A head coach Roger Cordova said. “They had last week off, so they’ve had two weeks to prepare for us. I’m sure they’ll be well-rested, and that should affect the game.”
That, and the fact that despite their record, the Chargers can boast of one of the most mystifying offensive sets in all of football – one in which misdirection by the quarterback, running back and lead blockers creates big time plays against unsuspecting defenses.
“It’s so tough to simulate that in practice, until you see the real deal,” Cordova said. “It’s going to be tough, because they also play good defense too. They use a five man line from what we’ve seen, and they’ve got some size too. Maybe comparable to Hope (Christian) in that they’re balanced, though they don’t throw as much as Hope I think.”
And since Hope managed to beat the Hawks earlier this season, that could mean – for the unfaithful, that is – that L-A will be in for another tough loss.
Cordova sees it otherwise.
“To counter that misdirection, our guys really need to keep their eyes on the ball,” he said. “As far as their guards pulling and making their blocks, we really have to just key on that, be real disciplined and not over pursue.”
To compound matters, however, is the fact that the Hawks will enter yet another contest undermanned. Fullback/defensive end Deion Natseway will be watching from the sidelines, while typical quarterback Isaac Gallegos might have to fill in at fullback for him.
“He’s a guy that can really play,” Cordova said of Gallegos, “and he said, ‘Yeah Coach, I’ll play wherever you need me.’ We’ll put things together, and the fact that we can squeeze in some kids that serve as backups is good for the team.”
But what would another loss do for the morale of the Hawks, who already have lost as many games this year as they did all of last year? Cordova’s “We Just Want To Play Well” mantra has kept spirits high in L-A Land, but he does admit that a win tomorrow could be monumental.
“We need something like that to try and jumpstart us really,” Cordova said. “We’re 1-3 right now and we’d like to have that signature win to give us a lift before the District games start.”
Visit the Cibola Beacon Sports Facebook page tomorrow morning for in-game reports from Albuquerque Academy and a short recap of the game soon to follow.
And, see Tuesday’s Beacon for a full recap.