Horizon senior quarterback Jacob Quijas passed for 145 yards, three touchdowns, and was 8 for 8 on 2-point conversions as the Scorpions (2-3) thrashed the Bel Air Highlanders (2-3) 64 to 28 in a non-district contest before a homecoming capacity crowd at Bob Savage Field, Highlander Stadium.
Horizon kept the ball on the ground on the game’s opening drive, consuming more than seven minutes of the first quarter and finding the end zone on a 10 yard run by senior RB Jesus Santana. Quijas would then run the ball to add a 2-point conversion (the first of 8 successful 2-point conversions) to make the score 8 to 0 with 5:36 remaining in the first quarter.
The Highlanders responded on their first possession of the contest with a 15 yard touchdown run by senior RB Nicholas Chavarria with 3:45 remaining in the first quarter. The Bel Air defense ended the next Scorpion drive, forcing a turnover on downs. The Highlanders turned the ball over early in the second quarter on an interception tossed by sophomore QB Noah Moreno, giving Horizon a short field. Minutes later, senior WR Aaron Barreno caught a 22 yard TD pass from Quijas at the 10:54 mark of the second quarter giving the Scorpions a 16-7 lead.
After forcing Bel Air to punt, senior RB Ernie Garcia found Scorpions paydirt with a 34 yard TD reception from Quijas with 7:33 remaining in the second quarter, making the score 24-7. The Horizon defense forced another Highlander punt and scored on the very next drive on a 23 yard toss from Quijas to senior WR Angel Gutierrez with 4:14 remaining in the first half, extending the Scorpion lead to 32-7.
Bel Air would quickly respond on their next drive with a 40 yard TD reception by senior WR Christian Baxter from Moreno with 2:18 remaining in the first half. On the ensuing kickoff, Garcia raced 75 yards to the Highlander 5 yard line. Garcia would find the end zone again seconds later on a 1 yard TD run with 1:03 remaining in the first half, giving the Scorpions a 40-14 lead.
Bel Air would get the ball to open the second half of the contest and was forced to punt. The Highlander defense would force Horizon to punt on their first drive of the second half. Bel Air would score on their second possession on a 1 yard run by Moreno, closing the gap to 40-21 with 6:04 remaining in the third quarter. The Highlander defense would once again stop the Horizon offense, forcing another Scorpion punt. The following Bel Air drive would end in the second Moreno interception of the contest, giving the Scorpions excellent field position. With 7 seconds remaining in the third quarter, Garcia would score on a 39 yard touchdown run and extending the Horizon lead to 48-21.
The Scorpions found the end zone twice in the fourth quarter on a 1 yard run by Santana and a 44 yard dash by Garcia. Bel Air would give the homecoming crowd something to cheer about with a final 10 yard TD run by Moreno.
Ernie Garcia led the Scorpions in total offense with 132 rushing yards, 47 reception yards, and 75 return yards. Horizon QB Jacob Quijas was 9 of 14 for 145 yards and three touchdowns. Quijas completed passes to five different receivers.
The Highlanders had their chances throughout the contest; however, seven Bel Air drives ended with four punts and three turnovers. Bel Air RB Nicholas Chavarria led the Highlander offense with 127 yards on the ground and one touchdown. WR Christian Baxter had 75 yards on three catches and one touchdown.
Final score: Horizon 64, Bel Air 28.
Ryan Adams Reporting