It appears safe to say that Jesus Davalos has made a successful transition from 8-man football to the Class 3A level.
The 5-foot-8, 183-pound junior transferred from Floyd to Portales last Christmas and has been a boon to the Rams’ potent spread offense. Through five games, he leads the team in rushing (659 yards) and in receiving (23 catches for 334 yards).
Portales (3-2) had a bye this week. The Rams host defending Class 3A champion St. Michael’s (2-3) at 7 p.m. Friday at Greyhound Stadium.
Davalos has given the Rams a dangerous running threat to go with a potent passing game led by senior quarterback Michael Trujillo. Despite his receiving numbers, Davalos said he’s usually the last option in the passing game.
“I came at a great time,” he said. “We’ve got five very good linemen right now.”
He said he wanted to challenge himself at a higher level, and admits some surprise about how well things have gone. Portales is averaging 38 points a game.
“Of course, everyone works hard,” he said. “To have the success I’ve had, a lot of it is due to my teammates. But I’ve been able to pick up the system and run with it.”
Rams coach Andy Correll said Davalos provides a big-time weapon.
“We’ve got other guys who can play back there as well, but he gives us something special,” Correll said. “And our front (offensive line) has done a tremendous job of getting him in the open.”
Trujillo has also had a big impact on the offense. He has rushed for nearly 200 yards and thrown for more than 1,200 yards and 17 touchdowns.
Portales, ranked No. 1 in Class 3A, has absorbed losses to Goddard, ranked No. 1 in Class 4A, and Muleshoe, No. 9 in Texas Class 2A.
“There’s nothing we can do (about that) except learn from it,” Davalos said. “We can’t (put) our heads down.”
His older brothers, Luis and Fide, were all-around standouts in their high school days at Floyd. Fide Davalos went on to a solid career at Eastern New Mexico University. Correll said he wasn’t exactly sure how Davalos would fit in, but knew the pedigree was strong.
“I knew if (Jesus) was anything like Fide, he was going to be good,” Correll said. “This offense is very different from what we ran the last two years, but it fits Mike and Jesus real well.”