By Thomas Garcia
QCS Senior Writer
The Tucumcari Rattlers know they will have to control the ball and find ways to sustain offensive drives against the undefeated Santa Rosa Lions this Friday at Rattler Stadium.
“The Lions are a very powerful team and we are going to have to find a way not to go three and out and giving them the football back,” Rattlers coach Wayne Ferguson said.
Ferguson said the Rattlers (1-8 overall, 0-3 in District 2-2A) are still physically banged up as they head into the final game of the regular season. He said some players have been nursing injuries since the start of the season.
“We don’t and won’t use our injuries and youth as an excuse,” Ferguson said. “Nothing is going to keep us from suiting up and stepping out onto that field ready to battle. No excuses. We will be ready to go the same each week in and week out.”
The Rattlers young roster and injuries have troubled the squad during the past two district games. The Rattlers lost 47-15 on Oct. 25 to Estancia 54-0 to Clayton on Friday.
Ferguson said the team continues to put their hardest effort into preparing for their next opponent.
Santa Rosa (9-0, 3-0) is the top-ranked team in Class 2A.
Game time: 7 p.m. Friday at Rattler Stadium
The Logan Longhorns biggest concern is not bringing home a fourth District 1 championship but the loss of their starting quarterback Wyatt Strand as they enter the quarterfinals of the 8-man state tournament.
Strand injured his pelvis during Friday’s 59-42 loss to the Foothill Falcons and is expected to be out indefinitely.
The fourth-seed Longhorns (6-3) will host the fifth-seed Tatum Coyotes (5-4) for the first round, a team they beat 48-7 at the start of the 2013 season.
Game time: 7 p.m. Friday at Logan.
The fifth-seed San Jon Coyotes have advanced to the semifinals of the 6-man state football playoffs after defeating the fourth-seed Vaughn Eagles 44-27 Saturday at Vaughn.
The quarterfinal win will pit the fourth-seed Coyotes (6-4) against the one-seed Lake Arthur Panthers (8-0), a team they lost to by a score of 62-6 on Oct. 18.
San Jon Bobby Gomez said the key to the Coyotes winning will be to contain Panthers running back Miguel Rubio.
Gomez said the Panthers have a good, strong quarterback and know that if they leave him and their receivers unchecked, it could come back to haunt them.
Game time: 6 p.m. Saturday at Lake Arthur