Santa Fe at Goddard
The best thing Goddard’s football has going for them is who they play tonight. In last week’s 41-0 loss to Clovis, Rockets head coach Chris White looked to get his team back on track. The tonic for Goddard is they face the winless Santa Fe Demons at the Wool Bowl.
First-year coach Andrew Martinez walks into a rebuilding situation and will play a lot of young players. Santa Fe has scored 35 points this season and the key players for the Rockets to stop will be quarterback Zach Russell and wide receiver Jonah Baca. They will run out of a spread offense.
“We have a new staff,” Martinez said. “Our goal is to improve every game and build confidence in the players.”
On defense, the Demons will run a 4-2-5, with key players being linebacker lzaiah Herrera, and cornerback Isaiah Fordham. Coach Martinez noted he’s looking for constant improvement in his team. He feels like the wins and losses will take care of themselves if they continue to work hard.
“Goddard is a well-coached football team,” Martinez said. “They play physical football with talented athletes. To win we have to play at a more consistent level than we have been to stay in the game.”
In last year’s game Goddard won, 53-0. The Rockets are banged up and playing sophomores. A victory would give Goddard some confidence and put them at 2-3, as they will face Alamogordo next week.
Roswell at Belen
In this game, there are not going to be a lot of surprises. This will be an MMA fight masquerading as a football game. Both teams like to line up and run the ball down the other’s throat. This will be a will over skill game.
Belen comes into the game undefeated and looks to win and bolster their rankings come playoff time. Belen is not surprised to be undefeated, their stiffest test came against Farmington, winning in overtime.
“We have to look at this game as a district/playoff game,” Belen coach Greg Henington said.” This game can propel us forward or drop us back significantly in the rankings, which will have a direct effect on seeding at the end of the year.”
Roswell senior quarterback Michael Ponce has adapted to coach Jeff Lynn’s next man up mentality. Ponce has demonstrated the ability to make the right decision on his reads. With their ground game, defenses cannot focus on Gabriel Najar or Brandon Perez. At any time, any of their backs can go the distance.
“Their offense does pose a threat for us,” Belen coach Greg Henington said, “even without their starting quarterback. We hope he is doing OK, physically and mentally. As a coach, we don’t wish injury on any young man. They are still able to run the ball methodically according to their schemes.”
On defense, Lynn has his team playing free and fast. When Los Lunas was driving to take the lead late in last week’s game, the defense came up with a big interception with two minutes to play in the game.
“Ponce stepped in and managed the game for us,” Roswell coach Jeff Lynn said. “On the interception, we just have to go up and make a play. Hopefully, Ponce will continue to build on what he did last week. I was happy with how he played, and I think he will play better this week.”
Belen is smarting from last year’s 26-7 loss. Last year’s game was close for three quarters, until the Coyotes hit some seam routes late in the game. Roswell went to the no-huddle and ran the ball to end the game.
When Belen has the ball look for them to run a wishbone offense with multiple formations. On offense, their key players are quarterback Zach Halterman, running backs Diego Castillas, Timothy Bunker, slotback Dominic Garcia, and wide receiver Carlos Espinoza, with an experienced O-line.
On defense, Belen will run a base 3-4 look with Rowdy Robinson playing a five technique; nose guard Jarren Markland, linebackers Diego Castillas, Phillip Barajas, and Dalton Tibbs in the defensive backfield.
“I think Najar (Gabriel) as we like to say is the tip of the spear,” Lynn said. “If we can get him going, everyone else kind of falls in line. I don’t think teams can just focus in on Najar (Gabriel); we have some other guys who can hurt you.”
Portales at Dexter
Look for the Dexter and Portales football game tonight to be a nail-biter. In last year’s game, Dexter’s Macias returned a kickoff 95-yards to put the Demons up 16-12. The Demons intercepted a pass for a touchdown late in the fourth quarter to give Dexter a 24-13 win at Portales.
The Demons will have to control Rams’ quarterback Tyrese Dawson, who has passed for 593 yards, and rushed for 643 yards and 13 TDs. On offense, they will run the spread. On defense, Portales will play a 3-5-3. The defending 4A state champ Rams will look forward to making last week’s loss a memory.
“We will be playing our first home game in three weeks,” Dexter coach Kevin Graham said. “On offense, we will try to take what the defense gives us, and they don’t give up much.”
Dexter has one of the best one-two running back duos in Nick Cobos and Gustavo Macias. Both backs have over 400 yards rushing on the season. Both team enter the game at 3-1.
Gateway Christian at Dora/Elida
In last year’s game Gateway Christian won a hard fought 30-26 win against Dora/Elida.
“It was a close game last year,” Dora/Elida coach Mason McBee said. “I thought we should have won that game. We had turnovers that hurt us, and some missed tackles that lead to some early scores for them.”
The Warriors go on the road for their second game of the season. In their opener, the Warriors defeated Logan 50-0.
Roy/Mosquero at Lake Arthur
Lake Arthur is off to a slow start, losing last week to Animas 62-6. Panthers coach Jose Porras will have his team ready to take on Roy/Mosquero at home, as they try to move to 2-2 on the season.
NMMI at Hot Springs
Coach Montoya’s quotes about keys to the game:
“The good thing about Hot Springs is that we’ve played them several times over the past three or four years and have a pretty good idea about what to expect. They run the triple-option on offense. On defense they run a 3-5-3, very similar to what we were running at the beginning of the year.”
Roswell’s junior varsity at Hagerman
HAGERMAN – The Hagerman Bobcat football team fell to 0-5 following a tough, physical loss to the Roswell JV squad 28-14 on Thursday evening. The Bobcats, who suited out only 16 players, could not come back from a 20-0 deficit in dropping another game. The Bobcats are off to their worst start since starting 0-6 in the 2011 season. Hagerman’s opponents are a combined 18-2 on the year.
The Coyotes, who stayed undefeated, used a bruising running game to gain the victory. With a strong push from the front five, they ran up 350 yards on the ground – 175 from Angel Caballero who carried the ball 26 times.
The Coyotes wasted little time in going up 6-0 early in the game. Following a Bobcat fumble on the second play of the game, the ‘Yotes used 7 straight running plays to drive 49 yards for the score – a 5 yard run by Caballero.
The Coyotes executed a perfect onside kick and then went 47 yards on 9 plays to make it 12-0. The Yotes’ Joseph Sosa scored from 7 yards out on fourth down on a counter-trap play to culminate the drive.
The Bobcats lost their starting quarterback, Jakob Bejarano, on the ensuing drive and senior Osbaldo Becerra took the reins and did a remarkable job of leading the offense.
“We had another injury tonight as our starting quarterback went out,” explained coach Adrian Olivas. “Any time that happens, any team will struggle, but Osbaldo Najera came in and we some good things happen offensively I thought. We have a bunch of young guys in (new) positions and, in a place like Hagerman with so few players, they get thrown into the fire pretty quick. That’s what happened tonight.”
He continued, “they fought to the end and I am proud of them for doing that.”
The Bobcats managed to make it to Coyote territory, but could not convert on a 4th and two situation. The Coyotes took over and promptly went 60 yards on 14 plays to make it 20-0 early in the second quarter. The Bobcats’ senior linebacker, Velentin Sierra, would make play after play, but the tiring Bobcat D could not keep Coyote quarterback Dominic Nava from scoring from 3 yards out.
Olivas was impressed with the play of Sierra throughout the game as he was in on most every play while playing every down of the game. “He got after it. He is one of our senior leaders and he is busting his butt and he is not giving up. I really appreciate that and wish we had him for another couple of years.”
The two squads defenses would take over for the rest of the half as both teams could not score with the two drives each would have. The Bobcats’ Victor Quintor would get a fumble at their own 15 to thwart one drive, while the Bobcat offense could not score despite having the ball 11 times on their final drive of the half.
At the half, the Bobcats would have only 55 total yards to the Coyotes’ 271.
Coach Olivas was very pleased with how his team responded in the second half with such a deficit. “These kids won’t give up. It is not in their nature. Once our starting quarterback went down, you could kind of see that everyone was in shock those next couple of drives and we got behind.”
“The senior leaders stepped up and said this isn’t going to happen. It doesn’t matter who we are playing or what the score is, we are going to fight and I couldn’t be more proud of that.”
The second half was a tight, physical affair with the exhausted Bobcats playing some inspired ball.
On the Coyotes’ initial play of the half, Sierra and Derek Franklin would get a huge hit to set the tone for the remainder of the game and, two plays later, Robert Munoz would recover a fumble to put the Bobcats in business at the Coyote 41.
The Bobcats would need only one play to score as Chris Copeland would rumble the 41 yards to pay dirt and the Bobcat faithful had reason to cheer as the score was a manageable 20-6.
The Coyotes would use a deflating 65 yard drive to answer the Bobcat score as they would use 13 running plays and shake off two holding calls to make it 28-6. Nava would again follow his center, Isaac Hurst, to score from 2 yards out for his second TD of the evening.
The Bobcats would use 19 plays on the ensuing position to drive 65 yards and chew up the rest of the quarter, but would stall at the one yard line when the referees ruled no score on a close play.
The Bobcats would tack on a late score as Najera would toss two passes to Chris Reyes to set up his own run of 6 yards to make the final 28-14.
The Bobcats travel to Tularosa next Friday for their next game. The Wildcats are undefeated heading into tonight’s game against Ruidoso.