By Thomas Garcia
QCS Senior Writer
The pre-season is over. Tucumcari begins its quest for the football playoffs on Friday night.
The 0-6 (0-0) Rattlers, coming off a bye week, are winless this season but a new season begins when 0-6 Clayton comes to town to open District 3-3A play at Rattler Stadium.
“The bye week has given the Rattlers time to prepare mentally and physically for the district,” said Tucumcari coach Wayne Ferguson.
Clayton is 0-1 in District 3-3A play after losing 49-0 to Raton last week.
Ferguson said Clayton is a physical team at the line and has skilled players on both offense and defense.
“The games we have played this season showed us what we needed to work on,” Ferguson said. “It’s time to put it all together.”
In other action
The 3-3 (1-0) Logan Longhorns have a chance to shake up the District 4 standings Friday night against the defending state champion Melrose Buffaloes.
The 8-Man football game is at 7 p.m., in Logan.
“As it stands, Melrose and Logan are the only two unbeaten teams in District 4,” Logan coach Kene Terry said.
Logan’s 14-12 loss on Sept. 30 to Springer was overturned after the Red Devils were forced to forfeit the victory due to having an ineligible player on the field during the game.
“I told the guys this is our chance,” Terry said. “We have been given the opportunity to set the pace for the second half of the season.”
Terry said the 6-1 (2-0) Buffaloes have talented athletes who are disciplined and well coached. He said Melrose runs a fast-paced offense and throughout this season has won by out executing other teams.
“They know their assignments and execute their plays with precision,”
Terry said. “Our defense is going to need to concentrate on wrapping up and containing Melrose to keep them from breaking out with a big play.”
Terry said the Longhorns offense will need to overcome its struggles in the red zone if it plans on contending with Melrose. He said there were three or four times during the Sept. 30 loss to Springer that the Longhorns were inside the 10-yard line and could not score.
“Against a team like Melrose we cannot afford to leave points off the board,” Terry said. “We are going to have to execute our plays and find a way to score.”
The San Jon Coyotes have the week off to prepare for their third District 1 6-man competition against the 2-2 (1-0) Floyd Broncos.
The 5-0 (2-0) Coyotes are coming off Friday’s 61-48 win at Lake Arthur.
“Defense — that is what we are going to stress during this bye week,” said San Jon coach Bobby Gomez.
Gomez said Floyd has a pair of stout running backs that like to run down the middle. He said the Coyotes are going to need to work on closing the gaps on the Broncos’ running backs. The defense also needs to work on its tackling to contain Floyd’s runners, Gomez said.
“We are doing well on offense,” Gomez said. “Our main focus will be on limiting Floyd’s scoring opportunities.”