By Thomas Garcia Quay County Sun
The sixth seeded Tucumcari Rattlers face the third-seeded Santa Rosa Lions Friday in the quarter-final round of the 2A playoffs.
“The Rattlers and Lions have been long time rivals,” said Rattlers coach Dub Smith. “Anything can happen when you have two rival teams facing off on the field. It is sure to be an interesting and exciting match-up.”
After a 49-6 win against the Loving Falcons to advance further in the playoffs, the Rattlers waisted no time in preparing for their next game. The players attended a team meeting the following Saturday to go over film with the coaches.
“We had a team meeting the Saturday after our win against Loving and had a great turnout by the team,” Smith said. “We watched film and went over the areas that we needed to work on to prepare for Santa Rosa this Friday.”
The last time these two teams meet was on Nov. 2, where the Lions came away with a 42-7 win.
In that game Lions offense dominated the line of scrimmage and running back senior Jesus Roybal had 12 carries for 245 yards with five touchdowns.
“We are going to work on correcting and eliminating mistakes that we made against the Lions the last time that we played,” Smith said. “We hope that a lot of people will come out and support the Rattlers and pack the stands at Santa Rosa.”
In their game against the Falcons the Rattlers defense limited the opposing offense to 6 points and only allowed them onto the Rattlers side of the field five times.
The Rattlers defensive pressure on the Falcons quarterback forced several incomplete passes and loss of yards in the back field by way of sack or tackle.
“We are advancing into the next round of the playoffs and I think that reflects the type of football program that we have in Tucumcari,” Smith said. “We are going to play four quarters of solid football against the Lions. The people that come out to Santa Rosa are sure to see two great football teams line up on Friday night.”
The Tucumcari Rattlers will play at 7 p.m., Friday against the Santa Rosa Lions at Santa Rosa.