Mountainair’s Nathaniel Romero pulls down Melrose sophomore Zach Pack during the second quarter of Friday’s 8-man game in Melrose. Mountainair defeated Melrose 42-6. (Staff photo: Andy DeLisle)
By Greg Price: CNJ sports writer
MELROSE — Mountainair converted its first six fourth-down plays, including two for touchdowns, and beat Melrose 42-6 Friday in an 8-man game.
Victor Romero ran for three touchdowns for Mountainair (4-0) and passed for another.
Melrose scored on Adam Hairgrove’s 67-yard kickoff return in the fourth quarter.
Melrose head coach Dickie Roybal attributed the Buffaloes loss to a lack of communication and fundamentals.
“I’m just so frustrated,” Roybal said. “It’s the kind of mistakes we’re making that make it hard for us to win.”
Romero wasn’t Mountainair’s only offensive weapon. Quarterback Matthew Chavez rushed for a pair of second-half touchdowns.
“We try not to use only one guy on offense,” Mountainair head coach Robert Zamora said. “We try to make everyone a weapon.”
The Mustangs opened the scoring up when Chavez rifled a 14-yard pass on fourth-and-6 at 10:30 left in the second quarter.
Melrose was forced to punt on its next possession, putting Mountainair on its 48. Romero capped a six-play drive with a 24- yard touchdown run.
Chavez was able to exploit Melrose’s front line for tough, short yardage inside and breaking away on sweeps to both sides of the field.
He threw one touchdown and rushed for the Mustangs last two scores.