Rattlers face tough test at Texico

William Thompson

The Tucumcari High School football team comes off a loss to NMMI and now must face defending Class A state champion Texico Friday night. The Wolverines are 4-0, and they have already beaten Clayton 47-7 this season.

Rattler assistant coach John Span said the Rattlers will have their work cut out for them. “It just keeps getting tougher each week as we get closer to district play,” said Span. “Texico is playing power football this year. They are running the wishbone option with double tight ends. They have really good running backs.”

Texico’s assistant coach Chris Hanks said his team is confident. “We play hard-nosed football,” said Hanks. “Our kids look forward to playing Tucumcari because it’s always a good physical match-up.” Hanks respects Tucumcari’s strengths. “They (the Rattlers) are pretty big and they’ve got great speed at the skill positions,” he said. “but we’ve got a good, solid backfield also.”

Coach Span noted that the Rattlers will have all their starting linemen in action for Friday’s game. “If our two big linemen who were out against NMMI were playing, we could have slowed down the NMMI running game,” he said. “Defensively we are not going to change anything. Offensively, we put 36 points on the board against NMMI, a very solid football team”
Span said that the Rattler special teams will have a slightly different look against Texico. “We are going to put our best kids out on the field for our special teams,” he said.
Although Tucumcari is primarily a running team, the passing game came to life during the NMMI game and could prove to be an important weapon as the season grinds on. “Our receivers need to block better,” said Span, “and we’ve dropped a lot of passes. That’s just lack of concentration.”
Tucumcari is 4-1 on the season.