By Thomas Garcia: Quay County Sun
The Portales Rams recovered from an upstart Rattler team on the road, scoring 20 unanswered for its first win of the season, 20-14.
“We came out and just really controlled the ground game,” Portales coach Andy Correll said. “I really felt like we played the best that we’ve played all year.”
Despite coming in winless, Rattler coach Dub Smith knew the 3A Rams would be a challenge for 2A Tucumcari.
“We knew coming into this ball game that Portales was a much better team than their record reflected,” said Rattlers coach Dub Smith. “They are the best team we have played since our first game with Saint Mike’s.”
The host Rattlers (4-2) jumped ahead early. Senior running back Adrian Prieto scored first with a 10-yard touchdown run. Sophomore Lucas Benavidez added to the early lead, breaking three tackles en route to a 40-yard scoring scamper.
The rest was all Portales.
Rams quarterback Chris Mosier ran it in from a yard out on a quarterback keeper midway through the second quarter to put Portales (1-5) on the board.
Mosier connected with wide junior receiver Michael Trujillo for a 7-yard score with 2:54 left before the half.
The third quarter went back and forth, but Portales took the lead for good when Mosier threw a 25-yard strike to Trujillo. He followed up with a 2-point conversion toss to Brandon Adkins.
Trujillo left the game soon after with a possible concussion. He’s not the only one who’s banged up, Correll said.
“We are not going to take a thing away from Tucumcari — they are a good tough ball club,” Correll said. “We have next week off with an open date and the varsity will use that time to heal. We are a bit banged up, and the rest will do us good.”
Both teams went scoreless in the final quarter due to stingy defense and some costly penalties.
Prieto had an interception taken away by a pass interference penalty and the Ram offense hurt its cause with false start and face mask penalties.
“We’re going to use this loss as motivation,” said Rattlers senior Wesley Martinez after the game. “Next Friday we’ll go in as underdogs and won’t be overconfident. We will just have to bring our best game.”
Portales will resume play Oct. 19 with a 7 p.m. home game against Roswell. The Rattlers are back in action again Friday, hosting Dexter. Smith expects the Demons to be ranked first following their Friday win over Santa Rosa.