Rattlers trounce Mora Rangers

William Thompson

An explosive first half by the Tucumcari High School football team was too much for the outmanned Mora Rangers Friday night at Rattler Stadium as Tucumcari won easily 42-6.

Head Coach Dub Smith was pleased with the Rattlers’ first-half play. “I think we have the makings of a really good football team,” said Smith. “We came out early with intensity, but we lost a little intensity in the second half. To be honest, Mora is not really at our level of play.”

The Rattlers put 42 points on the board in the first half, and did so in an exciting fashion. Eric Holt returned an early kickoff for a 55-yard touchdown and Chris McCasland returned a punt for a 50-yard touchdown. All of Tucumcari’s running backs had big gains in the first half. Fullback Michael Baca scored two touchdowns, one from about 40 yards out. Freshman back D. J. Martinez ran for a 27-yard touchdown late in the first half. Coach Smith did not hide his admiration for his running backs. “We have guys that can score anytime they touch the ball,” said Smith. “Our system produces good running backs.”

Backs coach Gary Hittson said the backs had some help.
“We’re seeing some good things out of our offensive line,” said Hittson. On the defensive side of the ball, Coach John Span said his deep backs were playing well. “Our guys were reacting well to the pass tonight,” said Span. “That’s why Eric Holt and Chris McCasland had interceptions.”
One of Holt’s interceptions went for a touchdown early in the game.

Coach Smith said his team’s defense will continue to improve. “I was pleased with our young defensive line,” said Smith. “We will continue to work on tackling each week for the rest of the season.” Mora’s only touchdown came in the second quarter on a pass from quarterback J.J. Trujillo to Adrian Martinez waiting in the end zone. Mora never threatened the rest of the game. In addition to long kickoff and punt returns, the Rattler special teams also blocked a punt when Bryan Lopez knocked the ball down deep in Mora territory. Anas Badsha established himself as the teams’ extra-point man by kicking 4 out of 6 extra points.
Coach Smith told his team that he was proud of them.
“You got a good win,” he said, “but next week’s game is going to be a little tougher.”
Tucumcari plays at Crownpoint next Friday night at 7 p.m.

Tcum 22 20 0 0 42
Mora 0 6 0 0 6
Tcum J. Reno 6-32 yds., E. Holt 4-28 yds., M. Baca 6-69 yds., D.J. Martinez 1-27 yds., C. McCasland 3-(-)19 yds. Total :166 yds.
Mora Total rushing yards: 56
Tcum C. McCasland 2-7-0 57 yds. M. Smith 1-2-0 11 yds. Total: 68 yds.
Mora Total passing yards: 59