By Chris Schmaedeke: Freedom New Mexico
Tucumcari dominated on both sides of the ball in its 39-7 win against Loving at Falcon Stadium on Friday night.
The Rattlers’ offense, defense and special teams all made big plays in the victory. Two of the biggest contributors were sophomore George Montano and junior Jakus Martinez.
Montano had four touchdowns while playing running back as well as quarterback at times.
“Our leaders really stepped up tonight,” Rattlers coach Daniel Hutchins said. “We were missing five starters tonight and our leaders really picked things up.”
Montano really stepped it up as he had touchdown runs of a 30, 32 and 47 yards.
“We had some good blocking from our line tonight,” Montano said.
Loving (1-4) also seemed to have no answer for Martinez. He had a touchdown catch, a 93-yard punt return for a touchdown and an interception in the first half that stalled a Falcons’ drive. He also picked off a pass with under a minute to go in the game.
“Our defense really stepped it up tonight,” Martinez said.
Tucumcari (4-1) ran different formations at Loving throughout the game. Quarterback Alex Hutchins lined up a receiver numerous times with Montano back in the shotgun. He also played quarterback on numerous plays and threw the touchdown pass to Martinez.
“Its something we do from time to time,” coach Hutchins said. “We ran a bit of the wildcat like the Dolphins or Arkansas or like Florida with Tim Tebow.”
The wildcat formations get all of the Rattlers quickest players on the field. It creates matchup problems all over across the board.
“Running the wildcat is fun,” Montano said. “Gives me a chance to run with the ball and make plays.”
The Rattlers were without their usual kicker, A.J. McElroy but David Pacheco was able to fill in without a problem. After missing his first extra point he converted the next three.
Loving’s Zane Walker returned the opening kick for 80 yards for the Falcons only score.
“We said don’t kick it to that one guy and we went out and kicked it to him,” Hutchins said.