Almost appearing too eager to exploit the middle of the opponent's defense, Hayden Farmer's lone interception not only didn't hurt Bayfield on their own scoreboard, but for all practical purposes served as the turning point in a historic 52-0 destruction of Bloomfield, N.M.
Four snaps after setting the visitors up at their own 49-yard line with 6:45 left in the first quarter, Adam Aguirre was summoned to punt after a Wyatt Killinen sack of Rogelio Gonzales hastened the Bobcats' second three-and-out in as many series.
And though his kick died in the proverbial "coffin corner," pinning the Wolverines at their 9, the beasts had already been awakened. One first down and four plays later, Farmer zipped a ball over the middle to wide-open senior Carl Heide, who sped untouched for a 76-yard touchdown with 2:11 left. Chris Mooney's point-after kick failed, but he'd have an amazing number of opportunities to redeem himself.
Six more in all, to be exact.
And it would have been seven had head coach Gary Heide not elected to try enacting the mercy-rule running clock-calling for a two-point conversion pass with Bayfield leading 38-0. That happened after Farmer connected with senior Dax Snooks over defensive back Matt Ramsey from 27 yards out for his fifth of a BHS-record six touchdown tosses.
Helping Bayfield to a 15th consecutive win inside Wolverine Country Stadium, Farmer also linked up with senior Dawson Heide from 28 yards (with 9:00 left in the second quarter), Snooks from eight (2:21 left in the second), senior Hunter Killough from 14 (0:15 left in the second) and junior David Hawkins from 11 (11:54 left in the fourth) in unofficially finishing 8-of-14 for 164 yards.
All told, the Wolverines scored on seven of ten offensive possessions, including a shutout-sealing, 34-yard run by backup running back Dylan Hilliker with 3:37 left in a running-clock fourth quarter. Junior Max McGhehey then intercepted Bobcat backup quarterback Vince Marquez on the game's final play.
It was Marquez's fourth pick in just two quarters of work. One ended up in the hands of junior Eli Monyek, also a member of the BHS Cheer Squad, while Hawkins returned another two yards-with 7:12 left in the third quarter - for Bayfield's other non-passing score.
Mooney's PAT upped Bayfield's lead to 32-0, and the Wolverines cut short the Bobcats' ensuing drive when Carl Heide intercepted a throw inside his team's own 5 and returned it out to the 14. That set up Farmer's second TD to Snooks, completing an 86-yard drive featuring a ten-yard Ryan Phelps run on a fake punt.
Hawkins had already wreaked his worst on Bloomfield's Gonzales, teaming with Killinen, seniors Cole Wood, Mike Kirk and Kirk Malone, junior Isaac Lorenzen and others to force opposing skipper Bob Allcorn to remove his battered junior at halftime. Bayfield's defense held Gonzales to 11 yards on 3-of-7 passing and a torturous minus-54 yards rushing on nine doomed, often unplanned carries.
All told, the Bobcats (0-2, 0-0 NMAA Dist. 1-5A) managed minus-40 yards of first-half offense and would finish with, unofficially, minus-2 against the No. 2 crew in the CHSAANow.com Class 2A poll.
Meanwhile, Hawkins gained 90 yards on 14 tries for Bayfield (2-0, 0-0 2A Intermountain), and Carl Heide 50 on five.
Somehow kept from scoring, junior Keyon Prior still registered 29 yards on eight carries, while Killough booked 27 on four and ended the game replacing Farmer under center.
Snooks snared a team-high three balls for 38 yards, while Carl Heide's 76 yards was BHS' high mark.
Sophomore tight end Noah Gurule's 3-for-33 receiving work was about the only positive for the Bobcats.
Up next for the Wolverines will be a trip Friday night to 5A Aztec, with kickoff set for 7 p.m. at Fred Cook Memorial Stadium. Struggling early this season so far, the Tigers will come in standing 0-2 overall after a 35-14 loss at 3A Durango last Friday. The ability to score points is still there, however, with AHS having piled up 54 in a season-opening, six-point loss at 5A Los Lunas, N.M.
CHSAANOW.COM CLASS 2A FOOTBALL RANKINGS (issued 9/5): 1.Englewood Kent Denver, 2.BAYFIELD, 3.La Junta, 4.Colorado Springs The Classical Academy, 5.Sterling, 6.Delta, 7.Arvada Faith Christian, 8.Kersey Platte Valley, 9.Alamosa, 10.Eaton.