West Las Vegas rode a strong running game to a 41-26 win over Tucumcari on Friday night at Rattler Stadium.
Senior running back Derek Gold rushed for 109 yards and four touchdowns as the Dons (2-1) finished with 419 yards.
“A lot of credit goes to our line,” said Dons coach Ronald Maldonado. “Our backs only get as far as our line gets them.”
Junior quarterback Alex Hutchins threw for 104 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Rattlers (1-2).
“You just can’t stop in a game like this,” Hutchins said. “Your teammates and fans are counting on you to keep going. You got to do the right thing, that is our motto.”
The Dons led 21-6 at halftime.
The Rattlers offense found holes in the Dons defense in the second half and Hutchins exploited them for three of his touchdown passes.
“Our guys were just not making their tackles,” Maldonado said.
Hutchins looked to freshman wide receiver Angelo Montano as the Dons focused on covering sophomore Jakus Martinez.
Montano had four catches for 98 yards and three touchdowns.
“They went out of there way to cover Jakus,” Rattlers coach Daniel Hutchins said. “That gave Montano a chance to go unnoticed and score three touchdowns.”
The Dons’ ability to convert third-and long-situations and therefore run time of the clock ended the Rattlers chance of a comeback.
The Rattlers were also able to slow the Dons running game in the last two quarters.
“In the second half we made it harder for them to move the ball,” Coach Hutchins said. “We made a great adjustment and got our head in the right place."
The Rattlers’ final score came on a 21-yard touchdown pass to junior Jakus Martinez with a minute left on the clock.
The Rattlers next game will be at 7 p.m. Friday at Capitan.