Tucumcari loses to Eunice

By Chris Schmaedeke, QCS managing editor

Turnovers doomed Tucumcari in its 48-27 loss against Eunice on Friday night. The visiting Rattlers (4-2) turned the ball over four times, which led to 14 points for the Cardinals. Tucumcari got within eight in the fourth quarter but was never able to get any closer.

“That run that led to the 41st point is what got us,” Tucumcari coach Daniel Hutchins said. “We had all the momentum trying to make a comeback and we lost it with just that one run.”

The third touchdown by Eunice’s (4-2) junior Ulises Lozano scored the 41st point that sealed the win for the Cardinals.

Tucumcari fell behind 14 before they could even blink as a fumble on the opening kickoff return and an interception thrown by quarterback Alex Hutchins led to two early touchdowns. The Rattlers were unable to overcome the slow start.

“Turnovers hurt us bad,” Coach Hutchins said.

Alex Hutchins tried to lead Tucumcari on a furious comeback by accounting for all four touchdowns, three through the air and one on the ground, but an interception in the end zone stalled a first-half drive and a fumble stalled a drive in the fourth quarter.

“Turnovers didn’t help us at all,” Alex Hutchins said. “We did almost come back in the end though.” Lozano, who coach Hutchins called possibly one of the fastest players in the state, scored two of his four touchdowns in the fourth quarter. The Cardinals were not exempt for the turnover problem as they fumbled the ball twice.

Lucas Benavidez, Jakus Martinez and George Montano all caught touchdown passes for the Rattlers but Tucumcari’s usual high-powered wildcat running attack never get on track.

Coach Hutchins said the team went to the air more because of a favorable match-up with Martinez.

“We tried to run out of a two-back set and it just wasn’t working,” Coach Hutchins said. “Our passing game was working but we just made little mistakes.”