As it so often does these days in Class 3A football, a season comes down to one game.
Win tonight and the Portales Rams can forget about a 1-8 season and likely move into the state playoffs.
Standing in the way as that last hurdle is Ruidoso (3-6) which ranked eight in Class 3A.
The District 4-3A contest kicks off is 7 p.m. at Greyhound Stadium.
Both teams have lost one district contest, to Lovington and by similar margins. Two weeks ago Portales fell to the Wildcats 61-22 and last week the Warriors fell 55-14.
Both teams have beat West Las Vegas and Ruidoso’s other wins have come against Hatch Valley and 2A Lordsburg. The comparison of opponents tells the story that the two teams could be closely matched.
“We control our own destiny,” Portales coach Mark McAfee said. “If we can go out and execute the way we executed this week in practice, good things can happen.”
McAfee said Ruidoso is a tough football team with ample talent supplied by senior quarterback Jesse Scarafiotti, who will be joined in the backfield by freshman running back Matthew Carr.
McAfee says Ruidoso ran a stand-up, New York Jets style defense with stunts against Lovington but he’s not sure whether he should expect that or a more basic set so his team worked on both.
“They’re salty. We’re going to have to step it up out there,” McAfee said.
Playoff fate for either team will technically be determined by seeding but McAfee thinks by virtue of the Warriors’ ranking Portales would likely be in with a win.