Rattlers ready to tackle Estancia at home

By Thomas Garcia: Quay County Sun

By Thomas Garcia
Quay County Sun
Tucumcari plans to concentrate on better football handling and play execution against Estancia on Friday, said Rattler Coach Dub Smith.
“If we play our brand of football, we will win our first home game of the season Friday night,” Smith said.
Estancia’s Bears, on the other hand, plan to attack the Rattlers’ running game, said Estancia coach Richard Walker.
The Tucumcari 2A Rattlers (1-1) will play against the 2A Estancia Bears (1-1) at 7 p.m. at Rattler Stadium.
Both teams lost their season openers but each came away with a victory last week.
The Rattlers lost 40-7 on Sept. 1 to 3A Saint Michael’s of Santa Fe.
“We made some mistakes in handling the football in our first game with St. Mike’s,” Smith said. “In our game with Espanola (on Friday), we had a 100-percent turn around. We recovered a fumble in the last minutes of the game and moved 96-yards down the field and scored a touchdown. Being able to do that is hard for any high school, college or even NFL team.”
The Rattlers defeated the 4A Espanola Sundevils Friday in Espanola 18-15. The Rattler offense put together a 96-yard drive scoring a touchdown and taking the lead. The Rattlers defense followed up the long drive with an interception late in the fourth quarter that ended the Sundevils last offensive drive.
Estancia lost their first game of the season 60-3 on Sept. 1 to the 2A Capitan Tigers and won Friday against the 2A Laguna Acoma Hawks 27-0.
“This year we are a young team full of talent on both sides of the ball. But many of our players have not had a lot of experience or playing time,” said Walker. “Tucumcari is big and strong with a run-dominant game. We are going to play physical and try to take away what they do best and that’s running the ball.”
The Rattlers have played against a 3A (Saint Michael’s) and a 4A (Espanola) team while both teams that have played Estancia has been 2A teams. Taking on tougher schools can be an advantage and make a team better as the year progress, said Walker.
“The tougher the competition you have at the beginning of the season can make you a better team once you get into district play,” said Walker. “One reason Tucumcari does so well is they always play a tough schedule at the beginning of the year.”

Rattlers vs Espanola Sundevils
1st 2nd 3rd 4th
Tucumcari 0 6 6 6
Espanola 6 6 3 0

First quarter
Espanola 1-yard run Rodney Martinez
Second quarter
Tucumcari 14-yard run Lucas Benavidez
Second quarter
Espanola 40-yard pass Daniel Martinez to Mike Marquez
Third quarter
Tucumcari 4-yard run Ryan Fought
Third quarter
Espanola 32-yard field goal Rob Cutter
Fourth quarter
Tucumcari 3-yard run Andre DeBord

Friday night football
The Rattlers (1-1) play at 7 p.m. against Estancia at Tucumcari.
The House Cowboys (0-0-1) play at 4 p.m. against Faith Triumph at Portales.
The Logan Longhorns (1-2) play at 4 p.m. against the Tatum Coyotes at Tatum.

Friday night volleyball
The Lady Rattlers (0-3) play at 4 p.m. against the Floyd Broncos at Floyd.
The House Cowgirls (0-1) play at 6 p.m. against the Santa Rosa Lady Lions at House.

See Rattler Coach Dub Smith on www.enmvarsity.com