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Coyotes back on friendly turf tonight

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Roswell’s Michael Ponce carries the ball against Gadsden in their opening game of the season for a 41-6 win. (David Rocha Photo)

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Farmington at Roswell

In another game against another big opponent, look for Roswell to try to dominate the ball on the ground. The Coyotes hope to bounce back at home after last week’s road loss to Belen, 29-7.

They will face the Farmington Scorpions at the Wool Bowl Friday night. The Coyotes have won their two home games this season, while dropping both of their road games.

Roswell faces another team that runs the spread offense. The Scorpions look to get the ball in as many of their playmakers’ hands as possible.

The Scorpions will use a two-platoon quarterback system with senior Isaiah Jaramillo getting the bulk of the reps. To spell Jaramillo, look for them to bring in senior Dakota Halliburton for a different look. Both quarterbacks will spread the ball around, but the main target is 6-foot-5 wide receiver Jacob Brown. Brown has 25 catches on the season, for 617 receiving yards and a team-high eight TDs.

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Look for Farmington to throw the ball and try and score quickly. In last season’s game, the Coyotes controlled the ball on the ground and were more physical the Scorpions. When it was a key down, Roswell would dial up a run and get enough yards on the ground for a first down. The Coyotes won by a score of 38-28.

“For us to win the game Friday night, we must stop the run,” said Scorpions head coach Jeffrey Dalton. “We have to limit our mistakes on offense.”

Jaramillo threw for 407 yards and four TDs in a 34-7 win against Durango Sept. 15.

“This will be the longest trip we’ve faced this season,” Dalton said. “Every game against a potential 5-A playoff opponent is huge down the road. It could mean a lot as far as the playoff picture goes. Most importantly, it’s an opportunity to get better against a good program.”

On the defense, look for the Scorpion safeties Juan Medrano and Kale Lucas to make plays and play close to the line of scrimmage.

“Both young men are students of the game,” Dalton said. “We count on linebacker Austin Cahoon to make plays for us as well. We embrace the challenge that comes our way as a great opportunity to find out who we are.”

Roswell must continue to do what they do and be physical on both sides of the ball to win the line of scrimmage and continue to control the ball and not get into a shootout with Farmington.

“They have a lot of skilled kids who are fast,” said Roswell coach Jeff Lynn. “They are a contender in District 4-5A; they have a lot of good kids. Their O and D-lines are solid.”

The only loss for the Scorpions was an overtime loss to Belen. The thing that concerns Lynn is the athleticism of Farmington, and they are well-coached.

“We have our hands full,” Lynn said. “It’s going to be a challenge tonight against them.”

Alamogordo at Goddard

Goddard’s Hunter Beene makes a catch against Santa Fe in the Rockets 28-0 win last week. (Steve Notz Photo)

Goddard can reverse the three-game losing streak they had earlier in the season and start their own winning streak. After playing powerful teams such as Piedra Vista, Carlsbad and Clovis, the Rockets have a chance to get back to .500 on the season and keep their playoff hopes alive.

Goddard goes on the road to take on a rebuilding Alamogordo. The Tigers have scored just 39 points on the season. Alamogordo’s first-year coach AJ Cisco is looking to build a program for the long haul. Effort and continuous improvement is how he is measuring success this season.

“We are changing the program from top to bottom,” Cisco said. “We are installing a new offense and defense along with changing the mentality of our kids in our program.”

The Tigers are young on both sides of the ball. They will play 36 sophomores. On the offensive side of the ball they will run multiple formations from Flex, too an I, and sometimes up to 20 different formations, all out of a no-huddle. Alamogordo is strictly a running team averaging 14 points a game.

“We only worry about ourselves,” Cisco said. “We’re not worried about being 0-4. We are focused on getting better individually and continuing to set the foundation for this program for the next 20 years.”

On defense, they will play a lot of guys, and run multiple defenses. This is the first time they have started 0-4 since 2008, this is coming off a 7-5 record last season when they won District 3-5A.

Goddard is coming off a 28-0 win against Santa Fe at home last week. The Rockets have had to play a sophomore and freshmen at quarterback since the loss of junior Dalton Bowles. Bowles has been out since the Carlsbad game. Head coach Chris White stresses that his team is continuing to fight, and he expects them to be there at the end. Bowles will be back at some point this season.

Look for sophomore quarterback Robert Aragon to start the game and then split time with freshman Marcos Hernandez, both of whom played last week. The injury bug has bitten Goddard hard this season, and now they are starting to get healthy.

“To me, I’m expecting a dog fight of a game tomorrow,” White said. “We’ll get our quarterback back, right now it’s next man up kind of thing. The strength of our team is in our linemen on both sides of the ball right now. We are going to be basic and execute the offense, if we don’t do that, we are going to be in trouble. We have to play good defense.”

The defense has improved and continued to get better as the season has gone along. The key for them has been playing fundamental football.

“We went 1-3 last year to start the season,” White said. “We then reeled off five in a row and beat the No.1 team in the state in Artesia. I think a lot of people are selling us short same as they did last year. We set our expectations high every year. We just have to keep on grinding and working, that’s what football and life is. My kids aren’t down. I’m not down, this doesn’t define us who we are as people or the character of my boys.”

Estancia at Dexter

This week should be easier for Dexter’s football team in that they will not have any induction ceremonies, no homecoming, they can just concentrate on football. The games don’t get any easier as they face a dangerous Estancia team. Estancia is 2-3 on the season but have given the Demons fits in the past, winning the game, 34-6, at home last year.

One thing Dexter has to do is avoid penalties, and turnovers. If they are to win this game, they must continue to run the ball and throw it enough to stop Estancia from stacking the box with eight men.

No one knows if running back Gustavo Macias will play. Macias was injured in the first quarter of last week’s game against Portales when his cleat got stuck in the grass at the end of the first quarter.

Estancia is still trying to fill voids left by graduation. On offense, they will run a Wing T, with their key running back being Drayton Oberg. Oberg has rushed for 709 yards and three TDs. The other wing running back is Josh Thomas, who has 426 yards and four TDs on the season. Fullback Cruz Moreno has 402 yards and five TDs. This team relies on their offensive line to open gaping holes up front. If the Demons are to win, they have to win in the trenches.

On defense, they will run a base 5-2 defense, and bolster all-state linebackers in Moreno and Thomas.

“We will have to play well against the pass,” Estancia coach Stewart Burnett said. “We cannot make assignment errors on defense.”

This will be Estancia’s third road game in a row.

“This is a big game this time of the year,” said Demon coach Kevin Graham. “They all are. We must take care of the football, run and tackle, on defense. Special teams must improve in every phase. We just try to get better every week.”

Hagerman at Tularosa

Even though Hagerman has been winless this season, there has not been a team that has played with as much emotion and heart. With only 26 players on the team and injuries mounting, expect them to play Tularosa tough. They will be shorthanded without their starting quarterback Jakob Bejarano, who’s out.

“This is a lesson they will take with them beyond athletics,” said Hagerman head coach Adrian Olivas. “These lessons they will take with them in real-life once they graduate and move on.”

Tularosa is a big physical team that relies on their running game.

For Hagerman to have any chance in winning this game, they must keep their defense from being on the field too long and giving up the big play quickly.

“We are not taking any of our opponents lightly,” Tularosa coach Richard Grace said. “We remember what Hagerman did to us last year, and we’re working hard to ensure that doesn’t happen again. We had a three-hour practice in the rain yesterday. You don’t do that if you’re overlooking a team.”

Mescalero Apache at Gateway Christian

Gateway is 1-1 on the season and looks to bounce back after losing to Dora/Elida.

Lake Arthur is idle.

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