The Tucumcari Rattlers move to 2-1 in District 2-2A standings Friday night with a 27-15 win over the (5-4) Clayton Yellowjackets.
Rattlers Mark Preciado forces Yellowjackets running back Nick Wiseman out of bonds short of the first down. The Rattlers beat Clayton 27-15 Friday night at Rattlers Stadium.
The (7-2) Rattlers capped the game with a 5-yard rushing touchdown by Jeffrey Cordova, part of a 424-yard night on the ground and a 21-9 second half effort. The Tucumcari defense, meanwhile, held the Yellowjackets offense to under 200 yards.
The Yellowjackets had struck first (7 yard pass from Koy Geary to Aaron Neal) and last in the first half (75 yard interception return Geary) for a 12-6 at half time.
Up 12-6 at halftime, the Yellowjackets were in business after recovering a Rattler fumble at the Tucumcari 30. But quarterback Koy Geary lost his own fumble at the 10. Four plays later, Zack Hurd scored on an 80-yard run to make it 13-12 Rattlers.
"That was the ball game for us," said Larry Robinson, Yellowjackets head coach. "We had the ball, and if we had scored, it would have been a much different ball game."
Rattlers head coach Wayne Ferguson said turnovers gave both teams trouble, and have been a thorn in the Rattlers' side all season.
"We need to take care of the ball," Ferguson said. "We are fortunate that our five fumbles did not come back on us."
Hurd scored again in the third quarter on a 42 yard rush (pat Hurd) giving the Rattlers the lead for good. The Yellowjackets added an 18-yard field goal by Dakota Montoya, but couldn't recapture the lead.
"We just need to continue working hard and play out the season," Robinson said.
Ferguson said the Rattlers will be even more hard pressed to limit turnovers next week against the unbeaten Santa Rosa Lions.
"We need to take care of the ball, plain and simple," Ferguson said.