Texico may never get a shot against neighbor Clovis when it comes to high school football, nor would a victory — if given the opportunity — seem very likely.
But how about neighboring Portales?
Well, that indeed is another story.
In a matchup of defending state champions, Class 2A Texico is hosting Class 3A Portales at 7 p.m. today.
It’s the first time the schools have met on the gridiron.
While both probably recognize the significance, each is playing it cool when it comes to this contest — at least when it comes to pregame publicity.
“Well, we play up every year against 4A teams like Goddard and Roswell, so we know what it’s like,” Portales coach Andy Correll said.
Correll does have concerns the game might mean less to his players than to Texico.
“You always do, when you’re playing a class down,” Correll said. “But they’re a good team and we definitely won’t take them lightly.”
Correll’s squad played another defending 2A state champ last weekend. But that one was from Texas and Portales (1-1) fell with a 55-14 thud to Muleshoe.
Texico (2-0), meanwhile, staved off Class 1A Springlake-Earth (Texas) 20-14.
For Portales, the run-oriented attack of Texico should provide concern. The Rams struggled with defending that aspect in their first two games. The Wolverines this season have moved Seth Bailey and his number 99 jersey to quarterback for his senior year.
“We’re really impressed with the Bailey kid and they’ve got a couple of other kids who run hard,” Correll said.
Texico has concerns of its own.
Although Portales suffered the lopsided defeat against Muleshoe last weekend, the Rams’ offense was much more multifaceted in its attack than in the first week. Quarterback Shawn Carrasco doled out completions to seven different receivers versus the Mules.
The Wolverines have little experience this year against the type of spread attack favored by Portales.
“Springlake-Earth threw it a little bit, but not near like Portales does,” said Texico first-year coach Ryan Autrey. “That’s going to be a big test for us and our secondary.”
As for the significance of getting a win against Portales, the Texico coach is putting a business-as-usual face upon the game.
“The way we look at it, it’s a great opportunity for us to play a high-quality team. It’s just a chance for us to get better,” Autrey said.
“Whatever happens, happens,” he said. “Hopefully, we’ll be a better team when we come out of it. I know they’re going to be excited to play, but I hope they’re excited every Friday night.”