By Thomas Garcia
QCS Senior Writer
The Tucumcari Rattlers need to use this bye-week to get healthy while preparing mentally for district play, said Head Coach Wayne Ferguson.
Ferguson said Friday night’s 43-6 homecoming loss to the Eunice Cardinals showed the coaches the team’s potential. He said if fans look at the score they are going to miss how well the team played at the beginning of the game.
“We are not making excuses and we are not giving up on these young men,” Ferguson said. “Along with several starters being out for injury, the team had a sophomore quarterback making his first varsity start.”
The 4-2 Cardinals struck first with a 7-yard touchdown rush by running back Chester Miller.
On the following possession, the 0-6 Rattlers scored with a 51-yard pass play from Casey Carter to Michael Shelton.
Turnovers once again were a problem for the Rattlers, including one at the Cardinals’ goal line ending a long offensive drive.
Ferguson said Carter threw three interceptions by trying to force plays.
He said Carter is young and was asked to step up from junior varsity after starting quarterback Zach Martinez suffered a concussion the prior week at Dexter.
Ferguson said there are a lot of younger players stepping up into starting positions due to injury. He said the team has had its struggles but the players continue to put in the effort to fill the vacancies.
“We have played against some top tier teams,” Ferguson said. “We are going to continue to prepare for district, which is a whole new season.”
The Rattlers will begin their district play on Oct. 14 against Clayton.
Eunice 43 Tucumcari 6
Eunice 14 15 14 0
Tucumcari 6 0 0 0
Eunice: 7-yard rush Chester Miller, (Daniel Rivera kick)
Tucumcari: 51-yard pass from Casey Carter to Michael Shelton, (kick failed)
Eunice: 16-yard rush Tari York, (Rivera kick)
Eunice: 19-yard pass from York to Miller, (Rivera kick)
Eunice: 9-yard rush York, (Evan McCalip pass)
Eunice: 11-yard pass from York to Miller, (Rivera kick)
Eunice: 62-yard pass from York to Miller, (Rivera kick)
In other action
The Logan Longhorns have a week to prepare for their second district game against the defending state champion Melrose Buffaloes.
Losing 14-12 Friday at Springer dropped the Longhorns to 2-4 for the season and 0-1 in district play.
The Longhorns will need to work on stopping the offense of the 5-1, 1-0 Buffaloes, said Kene Terry, Longhorns head coach.
Terry said the Buffaloes lost some starters but he expects them to be as stout as they have been in their previous meetings. He said the team is dedicated and continues to play with heart.
The Longhorns will play Melrose on Oct. 14 in Logan.
The 4-0, 1-0 San Jon Coyotes will be looking for their second district win Friday against the Lake Arthur Panthers.
The game is set for 7 p.m., Friday at Lake Arthur.
The Coyotes won Friday’s district contest against the Roy/Mosquero Longhorns 58-7 at San Jon.
This is the second 50-point mercy rule win by the Coyotes in two weeks.
Their first was a 56-6 win on Sept. 9 against Reserve at Carrizozo.
“The guys has good rhythm on offense and they found their aggression on defense,” said Bobby Gomez, Coyotes head coach.
Gomez said the two-week break from action prior to Friday’s win against Roy gave the Coyotes a chance to work on defense. He said the Coyotes won their first two games of the season against Vaughn and Hondo Valley but allowed 124 points.
“It’s hard to secure a win when you give up 60 points to the defense,” Gomez said.
Gomez said the 3-1, 1-0, Panthers will be one of the toughest contests for the Coyotes this season. He said their three wins of the season have been by way of the 50-point mercy rule.
“We will have our work cut out for us but we will be ready for the Panthers on Friday,” Gomez said.