Rattlers lose to Bears by a yard

By Thomas Garcia

The Rattlers fell short in overtime for their third loss of the season.
The Tucumcari Rattlers lost against the Bears Friday night in Estancia in
overtime 18-19.

Even with over 100 yards rushing and three touchdowns in the game, Brian
Lopez wanted one more yard. He was tackled on the one-yard line while
trying for a two-point conversion in overtime.

“I played decent tonight. I rushed for the touchdown in sudden death but
couldn’t get the winning point, and I take responsibility for that,” Lopez
said. “It was mistakes that got us tonight. We will have to work on those
mistakes in order to get ready for our game against Albuquerque Academy.”
On the opening kickoff, the Rattlers Daniel Kampfer ran it back 57 yards
which brought them deep into Bears territory. Runs by Kampfer, Lopez and
Wesley Martinez put the Rattlers on the 10-yard line. But a failed 4th
down conversion gave the Bears the ball on the 9-yard line. The Bears
first possession went 3-and-out with a fourth down punt.

After taking over on the 36-yard line, an 11-yard run by Andre DeBord got
the Rattlers back to the 15-yard line. Later on third and five on the
10-yard line, Kampfer broke a tackle and ran for the first down.
Quarterback Matt Smith kept the ball and followed Lopez to the 3-yard line
for third and goal with 3:20 remaining. Lopez got the hand-off and ran to
the left side for a 3-yard touchdown. A penalty cost the Rattlers the
extra point, but they led 6-0.

On the following kickoff return the Bears ran it back to midfield. A run
by Colton Cobb put the Bears on the 35-yard line for a first down. The
Bears ran a fourth-down conversion where Cobb scored a touchdown to tie
the score 6-6 near the end of the first quarter.

In the second quarter, a pitch from Smith to Lopez was fumbled and
recovered by the Bears. The Bears were pushed backwards by the Rattlers
defense on their possessions and forced to punt on 4th and 16. After the
punt the Rattlers returned the ball to their 44 yard line. On third down
Kampfer received a 27-yard pass from Smith to move the Rattlers to the
35-yard line.

Smith was back to pass, and found Prieto wide open to advance to the
5-yard line. Lopez ran it in for his second score of the night giving the
Rattlers the lead 12-6 after a failed conversion with 4:05 remaining in
the half.

With 33 seconds left on the clock the Bears were on the 13-yard line when
a blitz from the Rattlers brought them to third and 11. Bears quarterback
Brian Wilson’s next pass was intercepted by Prieto at the goal line and
run back to the 42-yard line. A penalty for an illegal block in the
backfield brought the ball back to the 32-yard line. The half ended with a
run by Lopez.

The Rattlers began their first series on the 35-yard line. Several plays
from Lopez, Kampfer and Prieto brought the Rattlers fourth and eight with
8:05 left in the quarter.

The Bears took over on the 20-yard line after a turnover on downs. A
25-yard run by Cobb was called back due to a penalty for unsportsman-like
conduct. Cobb would break free from five tackles on the next play for a
65-yard touchdown. The Rattlers blocked the extra point to preserve the

After the Rattlers punted the Bears couldn’t put plays together and a
short run on fourth down by Estefan Newsom up the middle came up short and
the Rattlers would have the ball.

With rushes from Lopez and Smith the Rattlers would close out the third
quarter with a first down on the 25-yard line.

Lopez carried the ball for another first down on the 14-yard line. In the
final quarter, Lopez had 99 yards of rushing after that play. A missed
field goal on fourth down kept the score tied 12-12.

The Bears quarterback Wilson completed his first pass of the game to David
Ortiz in the fourth quarter for a first down on the 44-yard line with 5
minutes left in the game. On third and three at midfield the Bears handed
off to Brock and hw was tackled in the backfield by Smith, Lopez and
Andrez Apodaca to force a fourth-down punt. The punt would be blocked by
Lopez but would be recovered by the Bears giving them a first down with
3:44 remaining in the game.

Lopez would make the tackle in the backfield on third and 11 with 29.6
seconds left and the score still tied 12-12. The Bears quarterback Wilson
kept the ball and ran getting knocked out of bounds giving the Rattlers
the ball back. Smith dropped back his pass is intercept by the Bears got
with 13.6 seconds sending the game into overtime.

Cobb scored in the extra session for the Bears. Lopez ran for a 10-yard
score on Tucumcari’s possession, but fell short on the two-point
conversion attempt.

“We had our chances to win tonight,” Rattler coach Dub Smith said. “The
bottom line is we have some younger players in key starting positions due
to injuries and players quitting. The younger players have really stepped
up and with some experience these younger players are going to get better.
The effort of our team tonight was outstanding and I’m proud of that.”
“We played our hardest tonight,” Kampfer said. “It just didn’t go our way.
Our next game against Albuquerque Academy is going to be a tough one and
we’re looking to come out of it with a victory.”

The Rattlers next game will be at 2 p.m. Sept. 16 against Albuquerque