Shawn Carrasco hadn’t played quarterback since his freshman year. He got his feet wet Friday as Portales High scrimmaged Hobbs at the Rams’ practice facility.
The Rams and Eagles went at it for several 15-plays series, then played a live quarter to finish off the 2 1/2-hour workout. Carrasco, a wide receiver on last year’s Class 3A state championship team, threw touchdown passes of 19 yards to Zach Terry and 28 yards to sophomore Brandon Lovato — the latter coming with 18 seconds left — as Portales “won” the quarter 14-7.
The teams exchanged touchdowns on their first possessions of the period. Hobbs was driving for a second score, but junior safety Keisto Ontiveros striped an Eagles’ receiver near the Portales 5-yard line and returned it to the 19 to set the stage for the Rams’ final drive.
Carrasco, who also started at safety last season, gave himself a so-so grade on his performance at quarterback.
“On a scale of one to 10, I probably did a five,” he said. “I had a lot of mistakes, but we’re going to fix those on Monday.”
Rams coach Andy Correll said it was a good first step for Carrasco.
“He’s still got some things he’s got to fix, but I was pleased with his reading progress (of the defense),” Correll said. “His whole deal is his confidence in himself.
“He really threw the ball well. On that last touchdown, Brandon was the only one who could catch it.”
Carrasco said he’s come to grips with trying to fill the shoes of the graduated Michael Trujillo, who was dynamic during last season’s title run.
“I thought there was some pressure,” he said. “But now, I figure I just want to have some fun.”
After graduating 18 seniors, it’s a bit of a rebuilding year for the Rams. Portales returns just seven starters return — including three on offense — and only one at the same position on each side of the ball.
One of the returnees, senior Jesus Davalos, turned in several big plays against the Eagles on runs from scrimmage and on short passes from Carrasco.
“I really liked how our kids overcame some things and started doing what they’d been taught to do,” Correll said.
At times, the Eagles’ size gave the Rams problems, Portales appeared to come out of the scrimmage relatively healthy. They open the season against Las Vegas Robertson on Friday at Greyhound Stadium.
“I wrote on the board before the scrimmage, ‘Patience, execution and get out of this healthy,’” Correll said. “We knew they were going to try to run over us.”