Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record
Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record
It’s very simple for second-year, no-nonsense Goddard head football coach Chris White. It is all about this game. Never mind that it is homecoming, but a win against Deming would give Goddard its first winning record since the first week of the season when the Rockets defeated Capital, 19-6. The Rockets would lose three games in a row, fight injuries and play a tough non-conference schedule that featured Piedra Vista, Carlsbad and Clovis.
Goddard has bounced back with two wins in a row over Santa Fe, 41-0, and Alamogordo 35-10, to even their record at 3-3. Yes, this is a big game against the dangerous Deming Wildcats in what should be a cakewalk, since Goddard defeated them last season, 61-6. The Wildcats did not win a game last season, and replaced former coach Fernando Holguin Jr. with first-year coach Greg Simmons. Simmons has his team at 3-3, coming into the Wool Bowl Friday night.
“We’re going to have to match Goddard’s physical play and be consistent,” Simmons said. “I’m not surprised by us winning this year, because I know the work our kids put in, and I expect to get better every week.”
The reason for the resurgence is that Simmons has his young team believing and expecting to win games this season.
“I think the change from last year is the culture change,” Simmons said. “The expectations that the players and coaches have for themselves.”
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On offense, look for the Wildcats to run out of a spread look with multiple sets, and a lot of motion. The Rockets will have to contain Deming’s quarterback, Daniel Garcia, and running back Trini Garcia.
On defense, they will run a 4-2-5, with Rylan Larko as the enforcer at safety. Making it hard for teams to run against their defense are linebackers Abel Chavez and Jonathan Ledezma.
“We expect to compete at a higher level this year,” Simmons said.
The Rockets are feeling good about themselves, but as mentioned earlier, they must take care of business tonight. If they can win tonight, it would give them a three-game winning streak to match their three-game losing streak, and a 4-3 record heading into a bye week before they start district play.
“I think they are a super scrappy team,” White said. “Their coach is super organized. His team plays hard.”
White feels for his team to win, they must stop the Wildcats’ running game. Deming will run a lot of cross action and trickery when they run the ball. White expects a competitive game. On defense, he knows they will be hard to run on and on film, he sees a Deming team that flies to the ball, with a lot of team speed and they tackle well in space.
White contributes their football success to their wrestling success.
“Deming is known for having a real strong wrestling program,” White said. “That’s what Deming has been known for over the years, and that usually correlate well. If you have success in one, you usually have success in the other.”
The good news is that Goddard is starting to get healthy on both sides of the ball. After the bye week, the Rockets begin district play as they will travel to Lovington on Oct. 20.
Roswell at Santa Fe
Nothing surprised Roswell’s coach Jeff Lynn more than his team’s landslide defeat over Farmington, 44-16, with a junior varsity quarterback. Lynn’s teams are too mentally tough to go out and lay an egg the next two weeks in easy games against Santa Fe, and then at Alamogordo.
“I was shocked about the game against Farmington,” Lynn said. “I thought we would be in for a dogfight. We were rolling with a sophomore quarterback, but the way we were playing defensively, it really set the tone. Our offense got after it and set the tone, we controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball.”
Both Santa Fe and Alamogordo are winless on the season, and have first-year coaches. But let’s deal with this buffet of a game for the run-heavy Coyotes. This game will be nothing more than a lot of Gabriel Najar, Brandon Perez and the next running back up.
The Demons’ first-year coach, Andrew Martinez, is rebuilding on the fly, while trying to change the culture at Santa Fe.
“I think if we don’t come out to play, it’s going to get ugly fast,” Martinez said. “They’re big, fast and strong. Roswell wants to run the ball at you 85 percent of the time and test your will.”
Roswell’s starting quarterback, senior Michael Ponce, is set to return to the starting lineup. Santa Fe has scrapped its offense it started the season with, the Wing T. In the last three games, it has gone to a spread offense to take advantage of its athleticism.
“I have seen Najar (Gabriel) for them,” Martinez said, “he is an absolute load. And as good of a runner that he is, he is a devastating blocker. I haven’t seen a lot of safeties that want to tackle him in the open field. No. 21 (Daniel Sosa) can fly on film.”
The Coyotes will have to stop slotback Isaiah Fordham, who is dangerous whether he is receiving the ball or running it.
“I think how you avoid a letdown is how you go about your business,” Lynn said. “We just try to be consistent. We’ve had four big games the last four weeks and we don’t treat them any differently. We just stay consistent with our preparation, and message to our players. We just keep try to get better, we are not a rah-rah team, we just get after people.”
Last week was the first week in a long time that the Coyotes have had their entire defense on the field together. The key to Roswell’s defense this season has been their front seven. Their linebackers can run, and the D-line can run and they are quick.
“We have to go one week at a time and play our best football,” Lynn said.
Alamogordo at Artesia
After a three-week journey, the Artesia High School Bulldogs return to the friendly confines of the Bulldog Bowl tonight.
The 4-2 Bulldogs take on the winless Alamogordo Tigers. The Tigers lost to Goddard, 35-10, and the Bulldogs won in the closing stages last week at Los Lunas.
Bulldog head coach Rex Henderson said, “it was a good win over a quality 5-A program.”
“Scoring a winning touchdown with 30 seconds on the clock is a big step,” Henderson added, regarding the victory.
The Tigers are coached by AJ Cisco. His dad Jack coached at Roswell High School under Jim Bradley and led the Coyotes to a state title in 2000. The younger Cisco also played at Roswell High School. He also assisted his dad at Hatch Valley High School.
AJ Cisco replaced Dale Hooper earlier this year.
Henderson said Alamogordo is a young team.
“Last year, Alamogordo was senior heavy,” Henderson said. “(Alamogordo) is learning a new system and you can see these growing pains as they are putting it on.”
What will be the keys to victory for Artesia?
“Consistency of execution in all three phases (of the game),” according to Henderson.
He added Artesia will need to be sound in their offensive and defensive alignments.
Gateway Christian at Mesilla Valley Christian
Gateway Christian High School head coach Shaun Wigley offered a post script on last week’s 56-6 victory over Mescalero Apache High School.
“It was good to get a win under our belt,” he said. “It was good to see improvement from the week before, we didn’t execute well in Dora the week before.”
This week, the Warriors face a major test and a road trip to Las Cruces to face Mesilla Valley Christian. The Son Blazers are 4-1 overall and 1-0 in 8-Man District 3. Meanwhile, the Warriors are 2-1 overall and 1-0 in 8-Man District 3.
Wigley said the Warriors will need to stop quarterback Josh Castillo. Wigley called him, “one of the toughest quarterbacks in the state.”
The junior signal caller is 6-5 and weighs 220 pounds. He’s also passed for 932 yards and 16 touchdowns. He’s also had two picks this year.
“It’s rare at our level to see that kind of passing game consistently,” Wigley said.
Besides the quarterback, Wigley was asked to address other offensive concerns with the Son Blazers.
“They have good receivers and they run good crisp routes,” he said.
The Warriors have some offensive weapons of their own. Junior Dominic Gomez scored three touchdowns during the win over the Chiefs. Wigley liked his performance.
“Building on that emotion and playing with excitement, that kind of attitude is infectious, Wigley said of Gomez. “We just have to build on what we did last week. We’ve got to be an emotional team.”
Besides Gomez, Wigley praised the play of Jacob Truetken in last week’s win.
“He had a good game and played hard,” Wigley said.
He also praised the play of Wyatt Arlet, “he had a good game.”
Arlet broke a scoreless deadlock in the second period as he picked off a Chief pass and ran 21 yards for the opening touchdown.
Wigley added that execution will be the key for Gateway this week.
Lake Arthur at Grady/San Jon
Lake Arthur is off to a slow start, 1-2. No worries if you have a Panther Hall of Fame coach calling the plays in Jose Porras. Nevertheless, they have their work cut out for them as they go on the road to play Grady/San Jon. The Bronchos have a winning record, 3-1, in this district game tilt.
The Panthers are coming off a bye week so they should be healthy, rested and ready to hit. Lake Arthur is anxious to get a win under its belt. Porras feels like his team has had a good week of practice, and worked hard.
“I feel confident about the game this week,” Porras said. “The players have put in a lot of hard work and prepared themselves for this matchup.”
Lake Arthur is starting a freshman quarterback in Adrian Gullien. Porras likes the fact that he can see improvement in his freshman quarterback each week.
“There’s a starting point and end point,” Porras said. “This guy is beyond the starting point and improving each week. I’m excited going into this game, we haven’t even tapped into his full potential. That’s the beauty of being a coach.”
The Panthers are a young team on both sides of the ball. On the defensive side of the ball, look for continued leadership from seniors Carlos Montoya and Luis Tarango. Montoya has rushed the quarterback with fearlessness, and put pressure on the quarterback. Tarang, has been the ball-hawking defensive back the Panthers have needed with five interceptions and one takeaway. Porras has mentioned Kyle Palmer and Valdemar Diaz for adding pressure in allowing the defense to continue and bring the force, helping keep his teams in games.
“The keys to this game and our season are execution and communication,” Porras said.