Stormy night finally ends Jaguars’ often-delayed game; final score 14-14 against Deming
All that for nothin’.
On a night where Mother Nature was the belle of the ball, Friday’s prep football game between Capital and visiting Deming endured three lightning delays totalling more than two hours before finally being called off in the fourth quarter.
Final score: Capital 14, Deming 14.
A tie. In football.
There will be no make-up date and the final 8 minutes, 48 seconds will never be played. Coaches from both schools met with game officials and school administrators at 11:15 p.m. and decided that if the game could not be restarted by 11:30 p.m., they would agree to call it a tie. Just moments later a huge bolt of lightning stretched out overhead and prompted the head referee to wave his arms to end the game and send everyone home.
Capital (1-0-1) led 6-0 early in the first quarter when fullback Jacob Jiron capped the opening drive with a short touchdown run. Deming (1-0-1) responded immediately with a 54-yard drive capped by a touchdown pass from Aaron Garcia. He also converted a 2-point pass to give the Wildcats an 8-6 lead.
It remained that way until halftime when the first delay hit. Per New Mexico Activities Association rules, a game becomes official at halftime, meaning Deming would have been awarded the win had the conditions been deemed unplayable.
Capital regained the lead on the first drive of the second half when running back Luke Padilla scored on a 16-yard run to make it 14-8.
A second delay came moments later with three minutes left in the third quarter. Capital officials tried ending the game there but both teams finally agreed to wait it out. That delay lasted roughly 40 minutes.
Deming tied it on a short touchdown pass on the first play of the fourth quarter, but the Wildcats failed to convert a 2-point pass that would have given them the lead.
All the while, lightning lit up the sky to the west as the rain came down in a light drizzle at times and steady shower in others.
What started off as a night that drew a big crowd morphed into one where fans were told they could take shelter in the school’s gym. Roughly three-fourths of the crowd left during the first delay, and by time the final delay pushed the clock past 11 p.m., only a handful of fans remained in the facility.
About that time Capital head coach Bill Moon had seen enough. He and Santa Fe Public Schools athletic coordinator Larry Chavez agreed to call the game off, but Deming head coach Greg Simmons balked. When Chavez asked for his opinion during an impromptu meeting with all the particulars, Simmons paused for a few seconds before saying he wanted to keep playing.
“We came this far,” he said. “Let’s finish this thing.”
He said the difference between finishing the game in a tie or waiting until the weather cleared was a matter of perspective.
“It’s us getting home at 4 in the morning or 6 in the morning, that’s the only difference,” he said. “It means we’re home in time to the see the sun come up, but at least we’d finish the game.”
Capital lost two players to concussions. Padilla went out on a kickoff return following Deming’s fourth-quarter touchdown. He took a direct head-on shot to the face after crossing his own 30-yard line. Linebacker Julian Sanchez also suffered a head injury. He came to the sideline and vomited, so he was removed from the game and sent to the hospital.