By Ryan Lengerich
Texico head coach Mike Prokop called a timeout with 7:04 remaining in the third quarter to settle his team down.
A strange move, considering his team held a 34-0 lead at the time.
“I wanted to calm our kids down and tell them to play our game, don’t play someone else’s,” Prokop said.
The timeout worked and two plays later his defense recovered its third fumble of the night.
The top ranked Class 1A Wolverines (6-0) spoiled Tucumcari’s homecoming as they rolled the Rattlers (4-2) Friday night 40-0 at Rattler Stadium. Texico delivered a beating in every category, racking up 326-total-yards with 306-yards coming on the ground. The home team managed just 40-yards total offense.
The Wolverines put together a flawless first half against the injured Rattlers, scoring touchdowns on their first four offensive possessions. Junior Nick Wiegel and senior Rob McClelland, both prominent starters, were sidelined with knee injuries for the Rattlers.
Texico junior running back Johnny Serrano opened the flood gates early in the first quarter with a 22-yard scamper for the nights first touchdown. Serrano would score four touchdowns in the game on 12 rushes for 122 yards.
“I expect to score,” Serrano said. “It feels real good beating the 2A state champions.”
Following a quick three-and-out on the next possession the Rattlers were forced to punt. The Wolverines offense continued to pound the Rattlers with a ground attack leading to a Serrano 4-yard touchdown dive.
Senior Mark Peabody broke a 46-yard touchdown run for the final first quarter score. In the second quarter the Wolverine special teams added to the onslaught when senior Corey Bell blocked a Rattler punt to the 8-yard line leading to another Serrano score.
“He made some great cuts and the schemes that (Tucumcari) was running — we took advantage of them,” Prokop said about his running back.
The Wolverines were forced to punt for the first time with a just more than five minutes remaining in the first half. Texico senior Jesse Serano’s punt was downed on the 4-yard line.
On the ensuing play, Rattler junior Michael Baca caught a pass on the goaline and fumbled into the endzone where Bell jumped on it for Texico’s final first half touchdown.
“We have to take care of the footall, there is no excuse for turning the football over,” said Tucumcari head coach Dub Smith. “We are not going to tolerate fumbles.”
The Wolverines took a 34-0 lead into the locker room.
“What I told the kids at halftime is that you have to know how to finish a game,” Prokop said. “We didn’t want to give them any breathing room whatsoever.”
Texico added a late fourth quarter touchdown on a 36-yard Serrano run.
The Rattlers lost four fumbles and junior quarterback Chris McCasland tossed two interceptions. Texico fumbled three times losing one.
Tucumcari will travel to Laguna Acoma Oct. 10.
“What we have to do is start playing in the first half, we didn’t do that the last two ballgames,” Smith said. “The kids lined up in the second half and played good football.”