Hobbs has the look of a soft football team because they throw the ball around the field. Prior to the game, the Hobbs players were talking trash during warmups and couldn’t wait to get after the Roswell Coyotes.
It didn’t take long for the Eagles to establish a dominating presence on both sides of the line of scrimmage. The Coyotes scored a touchdown on the last play of the game to make the score closer than the game actually was, as they lost 42-20 at the Wool Bowl on Friday night.
Hobbs (2-1) opened the scoring when their running back Isaiah Vaughn scampered 65 yards to give them a 7-0 lead with 3:17 in the first quarter. Roswell came back and scored when they were faced with a third and seventh at the Hobbs 19-yard line. Roswell quarterback Ethan Valenzuela took the snap and took a three-step drop and threw a bubble screen to Dominic Nava as he cut to the middle of the field to score as kicker Joel Sanchez added the PAT to tie the game at 7-7 with 44 seconds in the first period.
Roswell (1-1) had trouble stopping the run and the pass and most importantly, they couldn’t get off the field on third down. They also had costly penalties that kept Hobbs’ offense on their field. In the second quarter, Hobbs’ Semaj Cotton ran a post pattern and was hit in stride by senior quarterback Michael Greenough to make the score 14-7 with 6:28 in the second quarter. In less than three minutes, they scored again on another pass play to take a 21-7 lead into halftime.
“We saw on film that their safeties drop when we go empty,” Cotton said. “We called some plays that came open and we executed.”
In the third quarter, Hobbs did an onside kick and recovered, surprising the Coyotes. When they got the ball back, they could not keep Vaughn from doing damage on the ground and would end up scoring when quarterback Greenough ran a quarterback keeper 10-yards for the score.
“The Roswell game is always tough for us,” Hobbs coach Charles Gleghorn said. “I told our team that Roswell is going to win their district and for seeding purposes, we have to win. The Roswell game is big for us. Our kids came off a high after beating Artesia. I found a couple of things watching the film — when they are in trips they are going to play man. I thought it was really big that we haven’t been a good third-quarter team and to get the onside kick. We weren’t doing that, we were pooching it. Whenever their guy saw our kicker going to kick the ball, he turned to run. I felt it was a big deal and if they get the ball and score, who knows.”
Roswell found new life when they went for it on fourth down and with the ball at their 47-yard line. Valenzuela was under a heavy rush and flipped a screen pass out to Reese, who made a tackler miss and took off down the right sideline. Reese picked up a couple of blocks from his receivers and was still stopped 10-yards from the first down. Reese bowed his head and hit a couple of tacklers and bounced off of them as he changed direction and went to the center of the field. He made a Hobbs tackler miss, shifted gears and direction again and went back down the right sidelines untouched for a touchdown, bringing the quiet crowd to life. Sanchez added the PAT to make the score 28-14 with three minutes left in the third quarter.
With the stands hopping and excitement in the air, Hobbs took over the ball, but a penalty on RHS gave them life and a first down as they would end up. Greenough found Jackson Kinney for a 15-yard touchdown and killed any hopes Roswell had of winning the game, as they lead 35-14.
“We saw that if we went trips to the right,” Kinney said, “there would be one safety and we would call like a pipe or something — post pattern it would be open.”
“We didn’t play well at all,” Roswell coach Jeff Lynn said. “Give Hobbs credit, we didn’t play well offensively, defensively or Special Teams. There wasn’t a segment where we played well. We felt really good about ourselves after last week’s game. We just came out and laid an egg.”
On the defensive side of the ball, Cade Manzanares had eight tackles, one sack, two fumble recoveries, and two fumbles. Joel Sanchez quietly has a super campaigning as he had five tackles and one interception. Dominic Nava also had an interception and several big hits.
Offensively, Ethan Valenzuela was 14-26 for 160 yards with two TDs and two interceptions. He also carried the ball 11 times for 45 yards. Reese had 13 carries for 36 yards and two receptions for 56 yards with one touchdown. Nava had six receptions for 28 yards.
The road doesn’t get any easier for the Coyotes as they take to the road and play the No.1 ranked team in Los Lunas, who defeated Sandia 26-12, and are 3-0 on the season.