By Thomas Garcia: Quay County Sun
The 2A Tucumcari Rattlers made easy work the 2A Loving Falcons Friday at Loving.
The 1-4 Falcons’ homecoming was spoiled with a 48-0 loss to the 4-1 Rattlers.
“I was worried that a second long road trip might affect the team, but our boys came to play,” said Rattlers Coach Dub Smith. “We now start the heart of our season with five home games, starting with Portales. The schedule will get harder from here on out but it will prepare us for district and the playoffs.”
The Rattlers played a run-dominant offense with all of their offensive touchdowns were a results of rushing.
The Rattlers had two turnovers in the first half, one from a failed fourth-down conversion and the other from a botched punt return.
Luck, however, was on the Rattlers’ side as the Falcons punted after the turnover on downs and fumbled after the punt recovery.
The Rattlers scored five times in the first half. Two of the scores came from sophomore Lucas Benavidez, and senior Andre DeBord and junior Adrian Prieto each had a touchdown run. Benavidez ran it in from 12 yards out with 7:18 in the first quarter, and a second time with a 49-yard run with 2:50 remaining in the first quarter. Rattlers senior Andrez Apodaca took an interception back 25 yards for another score.
“This win will help the team prepare for Portales next week,” said Benavidez. “We know they are going to be a tough team but playing them will help us to prepare for district.”
Two out of three extra point attempts from Rattlers senior Michael Fazekas gave the Rattlers at 20-0 lead closing out the first quarter.
The Rattlers blocked a second-quarter punt and picked it up on the Loving 25. Three plays later Benavidez ran 17 yards for his third score. And a two point conversion by Apodaca extended the Rattlers lead to 28-0 with 10:26 left in the half.
It looked as if the Falcons’ luck was about to turn around when a turnover on a punt by the Rattlers gave them back the ball.
Falcons quarterback Frank Alan Ornelas fumbled the ball on the second play of the drive. DeBord recovered the fumble and later ran it from 8 yards out for the Rattlers fourth touchdown. The Falcons went three and out and after a punt Prieto ran it in from 12 yards for the Rattlers’ fifth score of the first half.
Two Rattlers were injured in the first half, running back Ryan Fought and wide reciever Justin Alvarez.
“He will probably sit out next week against Portales,” Smith said of Fought. “Justin had a concussion and we will see how he progresses next week and determine if he will play.”
At the start of the second half the mercy rule was applied and the game clock continued to run and did not stop unless a time out was called.
On the Rattlers’ first second-half possession, a DeBord fumble was recovered in the end zone by senior Wesley Martinez to cap the scoring.
“We let our scout team play and get some varsity playing time (in the second half),” said Smith. “The other team’s players showed some frustration there at the end of the game and that is understandable. They came off a big win last week and tonight was their homecoming so I’m sure that factored in. I’m proud of our young men because they did not retaliate and continued to line up and paly football.”
• Benavidez 10 carries for 190 yards and three touchdowns
• Prieto 9 carries for 65 yards and one touchdown
• DeBord 12 carries for 68 yards and one touchdown
The Rattlers now start a five-game home stretch starting at 7 p.m. Friday against the Portales Rams at Tucumcari.