Fans filing into the Wool Bowl for Goddard High School’s season opener against St. Pius X were greeted by the sight of a rainbow over the Rockets’ end of the stadium.
But in the sky above the opposite end of the field was another rainbow.
A rare occurrence — one stadium, two rainbows. Who would find the pot of gold?
There are no easy answers in football. Nor are there any easy wins, though the Rockets seemed to be cruising at times as they dismantled the Sartans, 48-13 Friday night.
It did not take long for the teams to get rid of their jitters and start scoring. St. Pius X (0-1) scored on their first possession as junior quarterback Derek Rivera converted on a third down and 2 from their 45-yard line and connected on a 65-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Isaiah Griffin as he got behind the Rockets defense to jump on top 7-0 with a 1:31 off the clock.
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Goddard (1-0) showed their mettle behind a physically punishing offensive line and determined running by Robert Aragon and Dalton Bowles, who each rushed for over a 100 yards and scored two TDs.
Goddard’s first touchdown came when they received the ball on their 28-yard line and quickly established the line of scrimmage by running their fullback up the middle — then Bowles and Aragon on toss sweeps to the left or right with their quarterback leading the way.
The Rockets’ head coach Chris White, facing a fourth and eight at the Sartans’ 18-yard line, went for it as Bowles faked a run and threw a pass to senior Connor Downs in the back of the end zone. Goddard kicker Jacob Wieser added the PAT to tie the game at 7-7, capping a 14-play, punishing drive and taking minutes off the clock.
“Dalton Bowles is a kid that has been in the program for four years,” White said. “He’s just a great leader, a real selfless kid and tireless worker. You know he’s battled through a lot of adversity and fought through injuries and what-not. I thought he did a really nice job.”
Goddard looked like a team on a mission to control the game, as they were physical all game long at the point of attack. They continued to wear down St. Pius X with the runs and they mixed in an occasional pass to keep the defense honest as they went to their “Student Body Left or Right” toss sweeps, tiring out the Sartans’ defense as Bowles scored on a quarterback keeper to put his team up 14-7 to end the first quarter.
“It was a tough game tonight,” Sartans head coach Dave Montoya said. “We need to get more first downs in the first half to get things going. They just got a little bit up ahead of us and we got tired and the turnovers cost us. We just got tired and they wore us down physically. That power toss is tough to stop and if you play Goddard you have to stop it or they will keep running it. We just got tired and they got rolling.”
Goddard went on a scoring spree, scoring two more touchdowns in the second quarter as they led 28-7 at the half. In the second half they scored two more touchdowns. Bowles and Aragon both had two interceptions as the team forced three turnovers and held on fourth down attempts.
Things just got interesting as Goddard’s next opponent, Carlsbad, won the Eddy County War on opening night and defeated Artesia 28-14.
Goddard will travel to Carlsbad next week and try to avenge a 19-18 loss in the opening game of last season.
In that game look for a physical football game — and coach White hopes his pass rush will be as effective in that game as it was in this one.
“Carlsbad (1-0) is gonna kinda be a polar opposite from St Pius X,” White said. “Just in the fact that Carlsbad is gonna have some great big offensive linemen. You know I’m sure their gonna be a run-heavy team, and they always throw the ball well. Coach Bradley over there is always creative with his offense. New defensive coordinator Coach Willingham, who came over from Artesia, you know they have some real quality coaches down there and we will have a tall task at hand.”
By Rueben Coronado
Special to the Daily Record