Rams advance to second round in 3A playoffs
Published: Saturday, November 17th, 2007
SOCORRO — Michael Trujillo scored two touchdowns, and the Portales Rams defeated Socorro 26-12 Saturday in the first round of the Class 3A football playoffs. Coming in seeded 10th, the Rams never trailed, and took the lead for good on a 4-yard run by Ricky Lovato in the second quarter. The Portales defense did its job, holding the host seventh-seeded Warriors to 159 yards, and a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns sealed the outcome. “The defense played outstanding,” Portales coach Andy Correll said. “The offense played pretty well. We had some breakdowns, but we still played pretty good. “We gave up (a touchdown in the first), but they just flat shut them down after that.” The win earns Portales (4-7) a rematch with Raton with the state quarterfinals. The second-seeded Tigers (8-2) beat Portales 28-13 in September. Portales defensive coordinator Mark McAfee said the focus was to keep the Socorro backs running laterally. “They’re looking for cutback lanes, so what we worked on was staying flat on the line of scrimmage,” McAfee said. “If we gave them a seam, they’d hit that seam and just take off.” Trujillo started things in the first for Portales with a 45-yard reception from Chris Mosier, and capped the Ram scoring with a 16-yard run late in the fourth to put Portales up 26-6. Junior Olivas added a touchdown for the Rams, taking advantage of a botched snap on a Warrior punt and returning the fumble 30 yards for the score. Socorro (7-4) scored with 12 seconds left in the contest. The Tigers have won three of the last four from Portales, including the teams’ last playoff matchup two years ago, a 15-7 triumph at Tiger Stadium. “They’re pretty good,” Correll said. “We jumped on them early, but they scrapped and got back into it. “I do believe we’re a little bit different team now. We’re quite a bit better than we were.” McAfee said the Tigers are more of a threat to pass the ball, giving the Rams a contrast from the run-first Warriors.
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