DEXTER – The Tucumcari High School football team played the role of spoiler at Dexter’s homecoming Friday night by escaping with a 40-27 victory.
The game was back and forth and too close to call until midway through the fourth quarter when Rattler Eric Holt intercepted at the Demon 16 yard line. Holt ran it in for the touchdown several plays later to give Tucumcari a two-touchdown lead, putting the Demons in a hole they could not climb out of. Prior to the game, Rattler Coach Dub Smith said the Rattlers needed a win at Dexter to have momentum heading into district play next week against Clayton. The Rattlers earned the necessary momentum with help from a new starting fullback.
Former starting fullback Michael Baca, the go-to back in short-yardage situations, is out for the season due to appendicitis. Nathan McDonald started the game in Baca’s place and scored on three long touchdown runs.
McDonald scored on the Rattlers’ first possession but the Demons answered on their next drive to tie the game at 7-7. Tucumcari scored again and Dexter scored again. By the end of the first half Dexter held the slim lead 14-13.
On the Rattler’s first possession of the second half, McDonald carried up the middle for a 26-yard touchdown run. True to form, the Demons scored several minutes later.
Another McDonald touchdown and a Chris McCasland two-point conversion put the Rattlers up 27-20 late in the third quarter.
Dexter tied the game early in the fourth quarter. Tucumcari scored on the next series, then Holt intercepted a Dexter pass and Tucumcari was finally in control.
Coach Smith has said all season long that district play is the “second season” for Tucumcari. At 5-2 the Rattlers are looking good as they come back home to face Clayton Friday night at 7 p.m. Tucumcari got back to Coach Smith’s ball control basics against Dexter. The Rattlers had several long drives which ate up the clock and kept the ball out of the Demons’ hands. The Rattlers overcame the loss of Michael Baca. The Dexter game may prove to be the game where the 2004 Rattlers found what they were made of.
Tcum 7 6 14 13 = 40
Dxtr 7 7 6 7 = 27
Scoring by quarter
N. McDonald 9-yrd. run 7:33 (Badshah kick)
Dexter 7-yrd. run 4:26 (kick good)
E. Holt 1-yrd. run 8:00 (kick failed)
Dexter 1-yrd. run 0:31 (kick good)
N. McDonald 26-yrd. run 11:44 (kick failed)
Dexter 1-yrd run 7:04 (kick failed)
N. McDonald 12-yrd. run 2:46 (McCasland run)
Dexter 9-yrd. run 10:51 (kick good)
E. Holt 1-yrd. run 8:07 (Badshah kick)
E. Holt 1 yrd. run 3:52 (kick failed)
Tcum: E. Holt 28-112, N. McDonald 8-70, C. McCasland 10-56. Total: 244 yrd