Roswell football fans already know how the movie starts and most importantly, how the game ends. It seems like just to make the game interesting, Roswell will let the other team have the ball first and score. Just to make things interesting. That happened again for the third game in a row as the Coyotes were a good sport and let Hobbs enjoy a homecoming touchdown. Roswell was insulted that Hobbs would schedule them for a homecoming game.
Hobbs probably felt like why not after beating Roswell the last couple of times they have played. Roswell staked to an early touchdown as Eagles’ quarterback Jarren Lewis threw a 40-yard pass to Sovereign Anthony at the Coyotes’ 25-yard line. After a sack by Roswell’s Freddie Anaya on the next play, Hobbs went for a first down, with fourth and 30 with the ball on Roswell’s 33-yard line. Lewis threw a post pattern to wide receiver Damien Navarro for a 33-yard touchdown with the PAT being good to give Hobbs a 7-0 lead with 6:30 in the first quarter.
All that did was wake up Roswell’s offense. Roswell was seemingly stalled as they faced a fourth and 15 at Hobbs’ 25-yard line. After taking a timeout, RHS coach Jeff Lynn called a wheel route, featuring running back Joel Renteria, who ran an out and up out of the backfield getting behind a Hobbs defender to score a 25-yard TD pass from Dominic Nava with 3:23 in the first quarter. That score was all Roswell needed to run away with the game in a 36-29 win on the road at Watson Stadium on Friday night.
“We played as bad as we can play and still win,” Coyotes’ coach Jeff Lynn said. “We turned the ball over three times, once in the first half and twice in the second half. To start the game, we let them out with a fourth and 30 for a touchdown. We’re backed up and it’s fourth and 15-yards and our kid tries to run for the first down. Our kids (played) with good effort and they were physical and did all of the things we asked them to do. We just didn’t play very smart football tonight.”
In a game that was strange for the Coyotes, it seemed like they could do no wrong in the first half, but in the second half, Hobbs made adjustments and it was hard for Roswell to score. In fact, they only scored eight points in the second half. Roswell’s defense had a good game — they rose up and made some key stops when they had to in order to preserve the win. Jasia Reese intercepted a pass at the Hobbs’ 28-yard line, which led to a score. Nava threw a strike to Joel Sanchez to set up a 1-yard touchdown run by Roderick Sedillo with 43 seconds to play in the first quarter and give RHS a 14-7 lead.
To start the second quarter, workhorse running back Joel Renteria ran for over 50 yards on the drive and set up a Nava to Sanchez 6-yard touchdown on a 6-yard slant as he added the PAT to give Roswell a 21-7 lead with 9:54 to play in the half. When the Coyotes received the ball on their next possession, once again Renteria ran it in from 4-yards out to give them a 28-7 lead with 4:55 to play in the half. Hobbs refused to quit as quarterback Jarren Lewis threw a 55-yard touchdown pass to running back Isaiah Vaughn to make the score 28-14 with 3:11 to play in the half. It seemed like the half would end with the Coyotes running out the clock, but before halftime, they fumble the ball with 1:53 on their own 45-yard line. The defense rose up and turned away Hobbs.
In the second half, the Coyotes’ offense looked ordinary as they could only manage eight points. On their first possession on a speed option, they fumbled the ball on their 49-yard line. With the ball on their 3-yard line, Hobbs ended up scoring a safety when their cornerback Roe Forrest tackled a Roswell running back in the end zone for a safety to make the score 28-16, giving them all the momentum, with 7:46 left in the third quarter.
Roswell punted the ball to Roe as he returned the ball to Roswell’s 36-yard line. With a time-consuming drive, Hobbs’ Lewis threw a quick out to Demitrius Frausto inside the goal line to score. Hobbs decided to go for the two-point conversion instead of kicking a field goal and Roswell’s defense denied them to keep the score 28-22 with 3:46 in the third quarter.
As the fourth quarter began, Roswell ran running back Angel Cabellero for a 3-yard touchdown, his second of the game, to give the Coyotes a 34-22 lead. Coach Lynn went for a two-point conversion to make it a two-score game and called a roll-out pass in which Nava threw it inside the goal line to an out-cutting Reese for the conversion to make it 36-22 with 10:54 left to play in the game.
“I’m proud of our kids,” Hobbs coach Ken Stevens said. “Our kids battled, and we made so many mistakes. Not to take anything away from Roswell, they are a great team that’s well-coached. We had some communication problems with our headsets. Roswell is a good team. I told our kids, ‘we’re playing the defending 5A state champions. They are a good football team and the number of A’s behind their name doesn’t matter. Roswell is good. They have been wrecking everybody and we played them within a touchdown.”
Roswell still has not punted on the season, but they were stopped and went back to punt — the punter fumbled with the ball and instead of kicking it when he had the chance, he tried to run for the first down and was stopped, giving Hobbs the ball on the Coyotes’ 39-yard line. Hobbs wasted no time in converting Roswell’s errors into points as Lewis hit Vaughn for a 4-yard touchdown with 3:05 to go in the game. Hobbs tried for the two-point conversion, which was denied. Hobbs tried for an onsides kick, but Reese recovered it for the Coyotes.
Hobbs in the last quarter took their time getting plays off on offense. Hobbs’ coach Stevens said it was because of a lack of communications and their headsets were messed up.
“The mark of a good football team is when you can overcome some mistakes,” Lynn said. “We definitely did that. It’s refreshing to see our defense play the way they did tonight. We can correct our mistakes. Our offense put them in bad situations all night, and our defense responded. We’re getting better and we’re making progress and it’s the first time we’ve come to Hobbs and won. We’re doing a lot of good things.”
Roswell will finally be off the road next week and back to the Wool Bowl for a big game — a rematch between the state championship game when Los Lunas comes to town.
Roswell hosts Los Lunas 7 p.m. at the Wool Bowl next Friday.
Sports editor J.T. Keith can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 304, or email@example.com.