Rattlers use scrimmage against Taos to prepare for St. Michaels'
Rattler senior quarterback Andrez Apodaca stretches forward to make the first down.
Tucumcari Rattlers scrimmage against the Taos Tigers on Friday drew a crowd of about 60 fans.
The junior varsity teams saw action first, as the defense and offense from both jv teams cycled through 20 plays each.
Many on the young Rattlers played hard, making big plays and hard hits in an effort to draw cheers from the crowd and possibly catch the eyes of the varsity coaches.
When the varsity teams took to the field, each team's offense and defense cycled through about 35 plays.
Even though there was no score kept both teams seemed to be playing as if the district title were on the line.
The Rattlers had some turnovers early in the game, but their defense stepped up with crucial fourth down stops or with forced turnovers by the Tigers.
Rattler junior Adrian Prieto broke up a pass play on the 5-yard line, nearly intercepting the ball in midair.
"The quarterback telegraphed the play," said Prieto. "He hiked the ball and was looking right towards me and I just made a play on the ball."
On the offensive side of the ball, Rattlers quarterback Andrez Apodaca put together a series of good plays and often moved the ball himself in critical fourth-and-inches situations. Apodaca was very optimistic about his teammates' performance during the scrimmage and said he is looking forward to playing Saint Michael's on Saturday.
"We have been preparing for St. Michael's ever since we put the pads on," said Apodaca. "We have one more week to practice but I am confident that we are ready for them."
Rattlers coach Dub Smith was pleased with the scrimmage.
"The kids did and outstanding job today," said Smith. "We had a couple of drives where we turned over the ball, but we will work on that this week with the guys. We are always working to improve. You can never stop improving and we will use all these non-district match-ups to prepares us for the playoffs.
The Rattlers first official game of the year is at 1:30 p.m. Saturday against Saint Michael's of Santa Fe at Santa Fe.