Home Sports Local Sports Artesia, Roswell, wow! Lynn ejected

Artesia, Roswell, wow! Lynn ejected

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RHS’ Justin Carrasco runs the ball to the outside and turns it upfield before running over the defender Friday night at the Bulldog Bowl in Artesia. Artesia won, 36-35. (Shawn Naranjo Photo)

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If state playoff football is like the first week of district playoff games, it is going to be a rollercoaster of a ride for your favorite football team. Roswell (now 6-2 on the year, 0-1 in district) had every opportunity to put away the giants on their home turf — instead, a good game came into question by the officials as Artesia scored on their last possession to win 36-35 Friday night at the Bulldog Bowl.

Roswell’s Joel Sanchez fights off the tackle and extends the ball over the goal line to score Friday night in Artesia. (Shawn Naranjo Photo)

It was a game that had everything football purists love — it had interceptions, fumbles and recoveries, it had Artesia’s passing offense versus Roswell’s power running game and it was the No. 2 Roswell Coyotes against No. 3 Artesia Bulldogs.

Both teams seemed to be testing each other in the first half and it ended up 14-14 at the half.

The third quarter was a wild one and Artesia scored first when quarterback Trent Taylor threw a 70-yard touchdown pass to Braxton McDonald as he got behind a Roswell defender to give them a 21-14 lead with 7:41 in the third quarter.

Roswell came right back on the next possession and scored as running back Justin Carrasco scored on a 1-yard run to tie the game at 21-21 with 4:38 in the third. Artesia would end up controlling the clock with short passes as they scored on a quarterback sneak from the 1-yard line as Taylor leaned in with 30 seconds left in the quarter to make the score 28-21.

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On the kickoff the Coyotes ran their Starburst formation and Jasia Reese faked the handoff to one of his running backs and kept it — and took off right up the middle as he outran two defenders and faked out the kicker for an 80-yard touchdown run with 16 seconds to play in the third quarter to tie the game at 28-28 with 14 seconds to play.

In the fourth quarter Justin Carrasco had a game as he ran hard and determined. He took a toss sweep and ran 54 yards down to the 1-yard line where he scored on the next play. Carrasco finished with 273 yards on 41 carries to give the Coyotes a 35-28 lead with 10:41 to play in the game.

Roswell forced a fumble and had the ball with five minutes to go in the game but could not sustain a drive. Roswell had the ball again and fumbled on a screen pass at their 31-yard line. The game came down to a couple of plays when Taylor was faced with fourth down and nine yards to go at the Coyotes’ 32-yard line with 2:58 to go in the game.

Taylor hit a wide open Houghtailing for 20 yards to the Coyote 12-yard line. Artesia started to milk the clock and took their time. On the next play, Taylor hit a streaking J.R. Bustamante for a 12-yard touchdown.

“This is big for our guys,” Artesia coach Rex Henderson said. “They have hung in there. For them to get a win over the best team in the state is a big deal for them. It is a morale booster in a lot of ways, and then at the same time we have to go play the other best team in the state and we will probably see both teams again. We wanted to pass the ball on the extra point but our receivers were covered so he had to run the ball.”

Artesia brought out their kicker and lined up like they were going for the extra point. The holder was Clay Houghtailing, when the ball was snapped he picked it up and rolled to his right looking for a receiver — both of his receivers were covered. He tucked the ball down and ran it to the right corner of the end zone to score a two-point conversion to give Artesia the lead 36-35 with 1:12 to go in the game.

“I told the referee that the tight end jumped,” Coyote coach Jeff Lynn said. “We’re not to going to blame the officials. There were a lot of things that didn’t go our way tonight. We had a chance to put the game away tonight with five minutes left and we fumbled the ball. They (Artesia) get good field possession and they go down and score. We’re not going to blame the officials.”

Roswell had the ball and Carrasco ran it for 14 yards to their 47-yard line. The Bulldogs were called for a personal foul and moved the ball to the 27-yard line. The Coyotes threw an incomplete pass, then they picked up a penalty for a false start to move the ball back to the 33-yard line. Carrasco ran the ball to the 21-yard line and eventually ended up with the ball on Artesia’s 21-yard line.

Lynn called timeout and decided to go for it instead of kick a field goal.

Roswell ran a toss sweep but did not make it. Lynn was upset and was called for a unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and he really blew up and received another penalty and was ejected from the game with 31 seconds left.

“I didn’t act the way I should have,” Lynn said. “That wasn’t a good example I should be setting for the kids, our team and the community. I apologize to the team and the fans of Roswell. They are going to have to win a ball game without me.”

Because he was ejected he cannot coach against Alamogordo next week.

Roswell will travel to Alamogordo on Friday and Artesia will be in the Wool Bowl to take on the No.1-ranked Goddard Rockets.