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Hilltoppers Gallop Past Bengals

on September 23, 2017 - 3:55pm

The Hilltoppers football team took to the gridiron on Friday night at home on Sullivan Field to play the Gallop Bengals.  The Toppers strong offence and defense proved to be more than the Bengals could handle and the Toppers were victorious 47-0. Photo by John McHale/

Ryan Mcniel had a big night by scoring three touchdowns and was involved in many of the defensive plays. Photo by John McHale/

Jack Stewart makes a leaping tackle on a Bengal runner. Photo by John McHale/

By RJ Montaño
Los Alamos Daily Post


The Los Alamos Hilltoppers (3-2) football team looked to run on the Gallup Bengals (1-3), and run they did in a 47-0 win at Sullivan Field. The ‘Toppers set the tone of the game early by marching down the field and scoring in five plays capped by a Ryan McNeil 2-yard touchdown rush.

After a stalled Gallup drive, the Bengals would catch a break when Jack Stewart watched the ball sail over his head and roll to the 6-yard line, although the break would be very short lived. On the very next play, Stewart would shed would-be tacklers for a 94-yard touchdown run to put Los Alamos up 14-0.

On the next series, Gallup miscued on the kickoff when the return man fumbled the ball out of bounds inside the 15 yard line and would only lose yards from there. The Bengals were forced to punt from inside their own 1 yard line, which was blocked and caught by Dylan Irish inside the end zone for the score to give the Toppers a 21-0 with more than 7 minutes to go in the first quarter.

“Like we keep saying, we want to start fast,” Head Coach Garrett Williams said. “We talked about that all week, coming out and pouring it on and keeping the pedal down.”

Garrett and the ‘Toppers would “keep the pedal down” scoring on offense, defense, and special teams all in the first half Friday night.

Frustrations boiled over for Gallup, who was down 21-0 in under 5 minutes of play, after a 5-hour bus ride. Bengal Zakarri Fields was called for a personal foul on the Los Alamos sideline and ejected from the game.

‘Topper Irish found running room up the middle and scampered into the end zone for a 44-yard score; Irish would finish the game with 74-yards rushing.

‘Topper Ryan McNeil would also find the end zone with a 34-yard rush to put Los Alamos up 35-0 and start the running clock. NMAA rules state when a team is up by at least 35 points, the clock will not stop unless a timeout is called, or for an injury. After a team is up by 50 points, the game is automatically called. Los Alamos narrowly reached that mark, but settled to run out the clock in the second half.  

The pedal remained down for Los Alamos as Stewart broke free for another score, this time of 36 yards to lead to a 41-0 score to end the first half. Stewart finished the night with 170 yards on 6 carries for the ‘Toppers.

Gallup moved the ball effectively to start the second half but were forced to punt the ball away again. After a ‘Topper fumble inside the red zone, the Bengals would set up the wildest play of the night. Bengal quarterback Dominick Stewart was rushed out of the pocket and heaved a hail mary down the field. ‘Topper Walker Eaton intercepted the ball and as he was being tackled; he shoveled the ball to Ryan McNeil who would scramble 19 yards for the return.

“We had a couple defensive scores which were huge. It was a fun game, the kids were jacked up to be back home after being on the road for a while,” Williams said after the game. “That was probably the best game we’ve had all year, from the start to the finish.”

Next up for Los Alamos is a homecoming game against the Santa Fe Demons. “It’s always big for the kids,” Williams said about the upcoming homecoming game. “I always get nervous because there’s so many distractions that come along with it. It’s one of those time you gotta make sure the kids are keeping their focus while having fun.”

A full slate of homecoming activities throughout the week culminates in the 2 p.m. parade and 7 p.m. kickoff versus the Demons Friday at Sullivan Field. 

Jack Stewart breaks through the crowd, with help from Reyes Mendez, on his way to one of is two TDs. Photo by John McHale/

Arturo Rodriguez and Dylan Irish both go up to intercept a pass but the ball managed to slip past. Photo by John McHale/

Lawrence Armenta and Cade Yost move in the tackle a Bengal runner. Photo by John McHale/