By Thomas Garcia: Quay County Sun
The Tucumcari Rattlers closed out the season 6-7 with a loss Saturday, 12-0 to the Lordsburg Mavericks.
“Our young men played their hearts out. We knew that Lordsburg was a great team going into Saturday’s game. I am real proud of how the team played and rose to the occasion this season.” said Coach Dub Smith.
“Someone commented to me, while we were at Lordsburg, about how the Rattlers, Lordsburg, and Santa Rosa all seem to make it to the final round year after year. I feel that was a great compliment for our kids, and coaches.”
Meanwhile, Smith said, “We are going to work hard in the off season to get ready for next year. I look forward to next year we have a lot of great players coming back. We also have one of the best coaching staffs in the state. They do a great job of helping to get these kids ready for a game and I truly appreciate that.”
Mavericks coach Louie Baisa said, “Tucumcari is a great team that is well coached.”
Turnovers were a crucial factor in the game. The Mavericks turned it over twice once with a intercepted pass and the other was a turnover on downs with a failed 4th down conversion. The Rattlers had three turnovers from interceptions one resulting in one of two Maverick touchdowns.
The (6-6) Rattlers played against the (10-0) Mavericks in state 2A semifinal action for the second year in a row.
The first half of the game was a defensive battle and took the game into half time scoreless. The defense of both teams stepped up in crucial 3rd and 4th down situations.
There were only two turnovers in the first half both coming in the second quarter. The Mavericks turned the ball over first with an intercepted pass on third down. The Rattlers turned the ball over on the following series on third down with an intercepted pass. With the interception the Mavericks threatened to score after a face mask penalty called on the Rattlers put the Mavericks on the 9 yard line with 1st and goal. The Rattlers defense held the Mavericks on the first three down and on a fourth down the Rattlers broke up a pass attempt taking over at their own 10 yard line. The Mavericks got the ball back with less than 26 seconds on the clock and closed out the half with a 48-yard pass completion.
The Mavericks received the ball first in the second half and with a first possession run for 42 run by Brendon Huerta the Mavericks were deep into Rattlers territory and on a 1st and goal the Mavericks scored but the extra point was no good and the Mavericks lead 6-0 early in the third. Late in the third, the Mavericks increased their lead to 12-0 with a 20-yard run back after an interception.
In the fourth quarter, senior Brian Lopez gained a crucial first down on a 4 and 5 giving the Rattlers momentum. On the fourth down, Smith threw an interception, turning over the ball with under six minutes. The Mavericks maintained possession of the ball for the remainder of the game.
The Tucumcari Rattlers 2006 Football season
Rushing yards: 3375
Passing yards: 653
Total yards: 4028
Yards per game: 309.8
Total points: 299
Points per game: 23.0
Rushing yards allowed: 1927
Passing yards allowed: 873
Total yards allowed: 2800
Yards per game allowed: 215.4
Total points allowed: 212
Points per game allowed: 16.3
• D.J. Martinez, junior running back: 88 carries for 468 yards, averaged 5.32 yards per carry, 5 touchdowns and 2 fumbles.
• Brian Lopez, senior fullback: 166 carries for 1126 yards, averaged 6.78 yards per carry, 16 touchdowns, 1 2point conversion and 3 fumbles.
• Andre Debord, junior running back: 92 carries for 446 yards, averaged 4.85 yards per carry and 5 touchdowns.
• Daniel Kampfer, senior running back: 126 carries for 722 yards, averaged 5.73 yards per carry, 3 touchdowns, 1 two point conversion and 3 fumbles.
Leading Defensive players
• Matt Smith, senior linebacker : 89 tackle assist, 25tackles, 1 forced fumble and 3 fumble recovery.
8 Wesley Martinez, junior defensive end: 72 tackle assist, 13 tackles, 3 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery and 1 interception.
• Andre Debord, junior defensive end: 73 tackle assist, 22 tackles, 3 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery and 1 interception
• Josh Villegas, senior defensive tackle: 56 tackle assist, 12 tackles, 2 forced fumbles and 1 fumble recovery.
• Drew White, senior defensive tackle: 40 tackle assist, 9 tackles, 3forced fumbles and 1 fumble recovery.
• Daniel Kampfer, junior defensive end: 6. tackle assist, 21 tackles and one fumble recovery.
Special teams leaders
• Brian Lopez, senior punter: 32 punts for 1215 yards averaged 38 yards per punt.
• Anas Badshah, senior kicker: 20 of 26 extra points for 20 points, 4 filed goals for 12 points from: 28 yards, 21 yards, 27 yards and 31 yards.