The Tucumcari defense was unable to slow down the Dexter running attack during the Rattlers’ 48-17 loss in the first round of the Class 2A playoffs Friday night.
The 10th-seeded Rattlers (5-6, 0-3) fell behind early and were never really in the game. Tucumcari fumbled the opening kickoff and the No. 7 seed Demons (4-7, 3-0) capitalized right away. Francisco Martinez scored the first of his five touchdowns and Dexter never looked back. Tucumcari never got any closer then 14-3 in the first quarter.
The Ratttlers offense, which has scored a total of 27 points the last three games, struggled once again. The usually high-powered wildcat offense never seemed to get on track and the offense was never able to sustain scoring drives until they had fallen too far behind.
The turnover bug bit the Rattlers once again. They coughed up the ball four times with two interceptions and two fumbles. The Rattlers have struggled with turnovers in their last four games.
Lucas Benavidez scored two rushing touchdowns in the second half as coach Daniel Hutchins tried to mix up the offense. He put Dalton Wood in at quarterback most of the second half with Benavidez and Travis Garcia flanking him in the backfield.
Tucumcari finished the season on a four-game losing streak after the Rattlers started the season 5-2. The Rattlers have a lot of players returning next year with only four seniors graduating.
Dexter, who lost their first seven games, will be riding a four-game winning streak as they have a match-up with No. 2 seed Santa Rosa in the next round.