Hope Christian routs Rattlers


October 20, 2021

Hope Christian stormed to a 42-0 halftime lead en route to a 48-14 victory over visiting Tucumcari in both teams’ district opener on Saturday afternoon.

The Rattlers (1-7) didn’t have an answer during the first half against Hope Christian passer James Jenkins, who scored three rushing touchdowns and passed for another. He also blocked a punt.

“We struggled defensively pretty bad in the first half,” Tucumcari coach Wayne Ferguson said in a phone interview. “They have a very dynamic quarterback who’s going to play football at Colorado State University. We had a hard time containing him.”

Offensively, Tucumcari struggled but didn’t lack its chances.

“We had lots of opportunities,” Ferguson said. “We could have had two or three more touchdowns, but we dropped tons of passes.”

Hope Christian improved to 5-3 overall.

Ferguson said his players also were stupefied playing at historic Milne Stadium in Albuquerque, which has a capacity of 6,500 spectators.

“We were kind of in awe. We were playing in a bigger stadium, and I think the kids felt out of sorts a little bit,” he said.

The Rattlers scored their only touchdowns in the second half via running backs Antonio Gonzales and eighth-grader Daymian Urioste.

“In the second half, we played better,” Ferguson said. “They took out their secondary on defense but left their (starting) front seven pretty much intact. We started having some success, made a few changes here and there, and put some other kids into the game. Our eighth-graders have a little more speed than many of the varsity players.

“We also played better defense in the second half. We gave up one long pass play where they scored. They went for two points to make it 50 points, but we stopped them, then score two straight touchdowns. We actually were moving the ball near the end of the game when time ran out.”

Tucumcari hosts Dexter (3-4) in a district game at 7 p.m. Friday. New Mexico Military Institute edged Dexter 17-15 in a district matchup Friday.


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