The Tucumcari Rattlers beat New Mexico Military Institute 29-14 Friday to pick up their first win of the season.
Fourth-quarter defensive efforts by the (1-1) Rattlers aided in their victory over the (0-2) Colts in Roswell.
“We had some trouble with the run tonight,” Rattlers football head coach Daniel Hutchins said. “We tightened up the outside to control the inside run taking away their run game.”
Colts senior running back Landon Haggard rushed for two touchdowns during the game on third-down plays.
The Rattlers defensive line began to fill the gaps that Haggard was exploiting and were able to shut down the Colts offense twice on crucial fourth-and-1 situations inside the 20-yard line.
“The big thing was our line was looking down at the ground as they were pass rushing,” Hutchins said. “I told them if they kept looking down while playing defense there would be a lot of running tomorrow.”
Haggard scored on a 5-yard run in the third quarter to pull NMMI within 22-14.
The Colts were poised to tie the score after senior linebacker Rodrigo Camino intercepted a pass by Rattlers senior quarterback Alex Hutchins.
But the Rattlers forced the Colts to turn the ball over on downs, and on the next play, Hutchins connected with sophomore Jakus Martinez for a 70-yard touchdown pass.
The Rattlers scored three times in the first half on long runs by senior Ollie Moore and junior Lucas Benavidez and a Hutchins pass to freshman Angelo Montano.
The Rattlers will play next at 7 p.m. Friday against the West Las Vegas Dons in Tucumcari.