By Thomas Garcia: Quay County Sun
The Tucumcari Rattlers clipped the Loving Falcons wings for their homecoming celebration.
The Rattlers shut out the visiting Falcons 39-0 on Friday night in Tucumcari for the first win of the season.
Coach Dub Smith said, “ It was a good game. We stepped it up and dominated the ball. We are looking like the Rattlers I know we can be.”
The Rattlers had lost their first four games.
Smith said, “We played some tough teams. We have had some injuries and our younger players have stepped up to fill the open spots. Those games helped us to get better and ready for district play.”
Smith also said,”We missed a few extra points, but we will look at the film on Monday and see how to fix that.”
Kicker Anas Badshah lost the opportunity to score three extra points when the blockers failed to keep the Falcons from blocking the kicks — pretty much the only mistake the Rattlers made all night.
Rattlers Senior Josh Villagas said, “It feels good to win in front of a hometown crowd.”
The crowd’s homecoming spirit remained strong for the Rattlers even in the rain.
Coach Smith had said on Friday night that, “There will be a lot of fireworks,” and for each of the Rattlers touchdowns there was a loud blast from the fireworks that the crowd and entire town could hear.
The Rattlers displayed a defensive prowess on the field allowing the Falcons to gain only three first-downs. Many Falcon plays stopped at the line of scrimmage, or somewhere behind that point.
In the opening minutes of the third quarter, junior Wesley Martinez tackled Falcons’ running back D.J. Rios for a loss of 9. Rattlers lineman, Joseph Kitana, tackled Rios for a second time in the series bringing up 3 and 24.
Kitana said, “I was pumped about tackling their running back for the loss. We went all out tonight. We left it all out on the field.”
The Rattlers dominated offensively throughout the game. They gained 22 first downs and scored six touchdowns.
The Falcons’ defense seemed unable to stop the Rattlers advance down the field. Early in the third quarter Rattlers quarterback Matt Smith completed a 23-yard pass to Matt Garcia into Falcon territory setting up a 31-yard touchdown run by Brian Lopez on the next play.
Senior Garcia said, “It felt great to catch the pass. The ball only comes your way so many times in a game and I just went for it.”
Assistant Coach John Span said, “This was a game the kids needed. We played two good halves of football. Now we need to do the same thing next week against Portales.
The Rattlers next game is Friday at Portales.