BLACKWATER DRAW — After slogging though what appeared headed for a scoreless tie at halftime, the weather let up a little bit Thursday night at Greyhound Stadium.
Portales took advantage when a blocked punt gave Portales the ball at the Clovis 3-yard line with less than two minutes left in the half. Senior quarterback Michael Trujillo plunged in for the game’s first score on the next play and the Rams went on to a 22-0 win over the Clovis High junior varsity.
Trujillo threw a pair of TD passes to junior running back Jesus Davalos in the second half for the Rams (2-1), who outgained the Wildcats 273-85.
“The weather in the first half was unbelievable,” Rams coach Andy Correll said. “We just kept fighting. Clovis has a good group and they’re all young — that’s why they’re a powerhouse in (Class) 5A.
“It was just tough throwing and catching the football. But I see this as a blessing — we’re going to have weather like this down the line.”
Trujillo finished 13 for 22 passing for 135 yards, and also rushed for 43 yards. Davalos gained 75 yards on nine carries and caught seven passes for 66, including TD tosses of 11 yards in the third quarter and 18 in the fourth.
“Our whole offense was at a halt with that rain,” Trujillo said of a first half played in a steady shower. “I had a hard time gripping the ball, but I told Coach, ‘Keep on letting me throw and I’ll make something happen.’”
Trujillo finished the first half 3 for 9, but went 10 for 13 the rest of the way for 106 yards.
After stopping the Cats following the second-half kickoff, Portales covered 61 yards in six plays despite going back 10 yards with a holding penalty on the first snap. Trujillo was 4 for 4 for 64 yards on the drive.
Portales’ next possession ended in an interception by CHS sophomore Jordan Hill, but the Rams sacked Hill — a Portales transfer — and forced a fumble recovered by junior end Sid Duran.
The Rams capitalized on the turnover, driving 67 yards in seven plays, capped by the second Trujillo-to-Davalos TD pass with 5:22 left in the game.
Trujillo said the Rams had to go to more of a short passing game with the wet conditions, which brought Davalos into play.
“Without Jesus, we’d have a totally different offense,” Trujillo said. “But once they stop the run, we have so many receivers.”
The best drive for the Cats (1-1) was an 11-play march in the second quarter that ended in a punt from the Portales 43.
“What made the difference was two years’ experience,” said JV Cats coach Steve Speck, whose team hosts another varsity squad, Texico, next week at Leon Williams Stadium. “I don’t think they really beat us physically.
“I’m proud of our kids. They never give up and they work hard.”