Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record
Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record
Several area teams are undefeated as we head to Week No. 3 in the high school football season.
Goddard is undefeated and will be at home to face Deming tonight. Roswell will travel to Hobbs to take on winless Hobbs and first-year coach Ken Stevens. We have the Battle of the Bridge with two undefeated teams in reigning state champion, Dexter, as they take on upstart Hagerman. New Mexico Military Institute is undefeated and has a home game against Texico.
These two teams have played each other three times in the last two seasons. Goddard defeated Deming on the road last year in the third week of the season, winning 28-16. In that game, Jonah “the Little General” Chavez made a one-handed 28-yard catch in the first quarter for a touchdown as Goddard won in a physical game.
In the opening round of the playoffs, Deming came to the Wool Bowl and it was too much as Dalton Bowles and Robert Aragon cruised to a 34-0 win. Deming coach Greg Simmons is in his third year.
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When RDR Sports talked to him last season, he said that he wanted to model his program after Goddard and be a physical football team. Simmons said that he wants to play power football and run right at Goddard.
On offense, Deming will run out of the spread offense, but the ball is coming straight back up the middle between the guard and center gap. On defense, they will run a 4-2-5 look. In Goddard’s playoff win last season, Deming was overwhelmed at the point of attack and never was really in the game as they were shut out, 34-0.
Goddard has been undefeated this season and opened eyes last week manhandling a bigger Carlsbad team. Goddard pitched a shut out — if it were not for a late pick-six score by Carlsbad with three minutes left in the game, it would have been complete domination as they won, 21-6.
Goddard is pulling out new tricks with old plays. Last week they dusted off the Wildcats and used several players to run the ball. Goddard uses big Hunter Beene as well as Sammy Zaragoza to take a direct snap and power the offense with a more physical presence. Goddard quarterback Robert Aragon is guiding the team up and down the field early in the season. He will have to continue to stay in control of the offense this week, as well.
Last week Goddard dominated a Carlsbad team that outweighed them by 30 pounds per man on both sides of the ball. It seems like early in the season, the only thing that can stop the Rockets is the Rockets. They have thrown interceptions and been called for penalties, that have either stopped drives or made it more difficult for them, often taking them out of scoring position. The one thing that Goddard coach Chris White has done is believed in his team by consistently going for it on fourth down.
The key for the Rockets is dominating both lines of scrimmage. Their defensive line is able to continue to get push up the middle and with their ends crashing down, they are able to stuff and stop the run this season. On defense, they have not given up a big play as their defense has yet to surrender a touchdown in both games this season.
With this Roswell football team, if a person that didn’t know anything about football was granted the right to call plays and all they could do is draw a play and player from a hat, that might be the best way to go. Roswell has so many weapons and they’re so explosive on the offensive, they have not had to punt this season in two games. It seems like whoever touches the ball has the capability to go all the way for six points.
Against Lovington, another point-a-minute offense, Roswell put up a basketball score on them in every phase of the game. One of the concerns for seventh-year RHS coach Jeff Lynn is that he has had to stay patient in rebuilding a defense that lost 10 starters off last year’s state championship team.
The defense has been a bend but don’t break mentality as Lynn is trying to get players used to rotating in and out and playing big-time football. Some of the fans are starting to panic, but for Lynn, it is not about right now or this game, but about the season and games when it counts.
“It’s no time for us to push the panic button,” Lynn said. “We are trying some things and getting kids used to playing and we’re working with different combinations and seeing what works and what doesn’t. It’s not about now, but later in the season when districts and playoffs start. We’ll be OK.”
Last week, Roswell had trouble stopping all-state quarterback Casey Perez, who is going to make a lot of teams look foolish and miss this season. Perez might be the best quarterback in 4A this season and is a legit Division II prospect. It might have been a different game last week if they could have stopped Roswell at all.
Roswell has scored every way imaginable, on defense they have scored with a pick-six and fumble recoveries for a TD. They have run the Starburst back multiple times with multiple players for touchdowns and they have just run dives up the middle with Joel Renteria who has close to 300 yards rushing after two games.
Hobbs’ first-year coach, Ken Stevens is not used to this. He was hired late after a late-May resignation from football coach, Charles Gleghorn. In last season’s game, Hobbs came into the Wool Bowl and put it on the Coyotes, 42-20, after Roswell had stripped Lovington of their identity in last year’s game. The loss was a wake-up call for Roswell as they would come back the next week and knock off the No. 1 team in 5A — Los Lunas, 42-20.
“Roswell is a good football team,” Stevens said. “They have some very good players that are very explosive, they are very well-coached and do a good job of executing upfront.”
Stevens hasn’t forgotten how to coach, he led Eunice to back-to-back state titles, and has gone undefeated in the last two years. In his conversation with RDR Sports, Stevens compared the Roswell offense to his former Eunice’s team two years ago when they could score from a myriad of ways.
“It was certainly nice to have that option,” Stevens said. “We had the athletes to be able to dial up any number of plays and know they’re going to work. I know that feeling and I think, Jeff feels like that right now with the offense he has.”
Hobbs will run a spread offense and 43 on defense. He feels like the struggles they are having is because they are a 6A team with 15 seniors on the roster and they’re young. Out of the 15 seniors, he plays only seven or eight. On defense, Hobbs will start two seniors, a sophomore, with the rest being juniors.
Senior running back Isaiah Vaughn has yet to play because of an injury. He may return, but will likely be a game-time decision. Look for them to start Jarren Lewis, who hurt Roswell last year with his passing and running.
Look for Hobbs to throw the ball to slot receiver Damien Navarro often — he is a multi-positional player. He is the team’s kicker, punter. Stevens’ bragged about wideout Soverign Anthony, who stands 6-foot-3 and weighs 210 pounds. This is Anthony’s first year of football and last game he had 13 catches for 200 yards and two TDs against Artesia.
Dexter faces rival Hagerman in the Battle of the Bridge. In last year’s game, Dexter embarrassed first-year coach Guy Rivers, who has his team improving and growing. If they are to defeat Dexter, Hagerman has to do to Dexter what Dexter wants to do: control the clock and the field position.
Hagerman has to play physical football and stop Dexter’s Marvin Johnson Jr., who is operating the wishbone like he has been running it for years. Dexter’s offensive line has been physically dominating up front.
Hagerman cannot give up easy scores and must get off the field on third downs. If they cannot do that, it will be a long game.
The 2-0 New Mexico Military Institute Colt football team will put their early-season perfect record on the line, taking on the Texico Wolverines (1-1) in NMMI’s home opener on Friday, Sept. 6 at 7 p.m. at Colt Field on the Institute campus.
NMMI’s wins came against Fort Sumner in Week 1, outlasting the Foxes on the road, 23-19, then shutting out the Tigers in Capitan, 28-0 in Week 2.
Texico also won their initial game on the road, downing Jal, 37-16, but lost by six at home against Dexter last week, 21-15.
The Colts used their big backfield and the big offensive line to grind out that first win, earning almost all of their yardage on the ground, perhaps in part because of the wet weather conditions in Fort Sumner.
But against Capitan, the Colts took a much more balanced approach. Senior fullback-turned-halfback rumbled for 122 yards on 11 carries and junior quarterback Daniel Xibille threw for 129 yards and three touchdowns, including two to junior wide-out Joshua Lopez.
“We are pleased with how we started off the season,” said head Colt coach Randy Montoya. “The kids are excited about their first home game. We’ve got a tough opponent coming in Texico. The Wolverines have been shuffling their kids around and they’ve got some pretty good athletes, especially in the backfield positions.”
“We’re gonna have to be ready to go,” continued Montoya. “It’s gonna be a tough test – but we’ve had a good week in practice this week, for the most part, we just need to focus on what we can control and go out there and give it our best.”
Montoya then expanded on some of the keys to Friday’s tangle with Texico.
“The weather was a significant factor in our first game of the season against Fort Sumner,” said the coach. “We tried to throw the ball, but the rain just made conditions a bit too slippery. Last week, though, we were fortunate enough to be able to spread the ball around. We’ve got some very good skilled kids on the outside, and we’re able to mix things up with the running and passing attacks. That’s important for us to be a good, balanced team.”
Montoya also wanted to stress the importance of his team’s play on defense.
“Our defense has been playing hard, they really are the backbone of this team. The fact they are able to fly around the field as they do is another important factor. We’re going to have to continue to do that against Texico, and stay disciplined, since Texico has a couple of good skill backs that can hurt us if we let them. We need to stay focused, line up correctly and just play hard.”
His final game key was control, both of the ball and mentally.
“I think turnovers are going to be another huge element,” said Montoya. “We’ve got to be able to control the ball. Sometimes, especially at home, we get a little too excited. We can’t out-play ourselves.”
“Again, we’re just excited to play our first home game and we’ll see what we can do,” reiterated Montoya. “Hopefully the fans will come out to support us and we’ll do our best to give them a good showing.”
Gateway Christian has not played for a week. Coach Shaun Wigley has used the practice time to help his team get better. In the home opener for the Warriors, look for a spirited effort.
No matter the outcome, look for the grounded Wigley to use the game as a teaching moment for football and life.
Veteran Lake Arthur coach Jose Porras is looking for his team to get hot and stay hot. The Panthers won their first game of the season last week and look to continue their winning streak.
Sports editor J.T. Keith can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 304, or email@example.com.