Home Sports Local Sports Goddard runs wild on the Wildcats, 55-0

Goddard runs wild on the Wildcats, 55-0

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Goddard’s running attack wore down the Deming defense all night Friday at the Wool Bowl. (Steve Notz Photo)

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The Goddard Rockets continued their ascent Friday night in Roswell, treating the big home crowd at the Wool Bowl to a 55-0 dismantling of the visiting Deming Wildcats.

The weather was ideal. In the bright sunlight that shone on the end zones in the game’s early going, the stadium’s new turf looked like an image from a football-themed postcard. But nobody was mailing it in — at least nobody dressed in blue.

The contest was stopped, by rule, with 9:18 left to play in the fourth quarter after one team (Goddard) built a lead of 50 or more points.

Rockets’ head coach Chris White liked the way his team played.

“I still think that we need to clean up some of the penalties,” White said. “But you know, you’ve got to be pleased with the effort from our kids.”

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The Goddard defense has yet to surrender a point this season. That’s been a big part of the Rockets’ early success: They’re 3-0 to start 2019.

Both teams came into Friday’s contest undefeated. Goddard kicked off the season by beating St. Pius X on the road, 21-0. Last week, the Rockets defeated 6A Carlsbad 21-6 in Roswell.

The Wildcats beat Gadsden in week one, 26-19, and followed that up with a 22-15 victory over Capital last week.

Friday’s game couldn’t have started much better for Goddard.

Deming received the opening kickoff, but the Rockets’ defense smothered the Wildcats from the get-go, holding them to only three downs and forcing them to punt from deep in their own territory. The punt was short, giving Goddard excellent field position — first and 10 on the Deming 36.

The Rockets’ offense quickly took advantage: on their first play from scrimmage, quarterback Robert Aragon kept the ball and scampered around left end, all the way to the end zone for the game’s first touchdown.

With 10:43 left in the opening quarter, it was Goddard-7, Deming-0, thanks to three-and-out defense and a TD-run on the Rockets’ first offensive play.

The Wildcats’ next possession went nowhere. The Rockets’ defense — picking up where they left off after last week’s strong performance against Carlsbad — again forced a punt.

But this time the Rockets were unable to capitalize, finding themselves forced into a fourth and 17 that they couldn’t convert.

After the change of possession, the Wildcats were again forced to punt — but a bobbled return, recovered by Deming, gave the visiting team new life and a chance to put points on the board with a fresh set of downs on the Goddard 24. The Rockets’ defense, however, saved the day.

Several plays into the Wildcats’ drive, Connor Villalpando stripped the ball from a Deming runner and ran the ball 95 yards for a touchdown, making it 14-0, Goddard, with 52 seconds left in the first.

That play seemed to take the wind out of the Wildcats’ sails.

Goddard added another touchdown on an Aragon toss to Rion Lee with 4:45 remaining in the second quarter, making it 21-0, Goddard.

The Rockets would strike again as Elijah Romero hauled in a touchdown pass with two seconds left in the half, making it 28-0.

There were still two quarters of football to play, but the game seemed effectively over given Deming’s inability to get anything going against the Goddard defense.

Less than a minute into the second half, Goddard added to their lead when Sammy Zaragoza broke a long run for a touchdown, making it 35-0 with 11:04 left in the third.

With 7:31 to go in the third, Aragon would outrun a pack of Wildcat pursuers into the end zone, making it Goddard-42, Deming-0. James Torrez added a touchdown with 10:51 to go in the game, making it 49-0 and bringing Goddard to within a point of an automatic stoppage. Torrez would close out the contest with a pick-six at the 9:18 mark.

“We had our back against the wall there at one point and found a way,” White added. “Sometimes that’s what good teams do. Just respond to adversity. I thought overall, a good team effort.”

Goddard will take to the road for their next contest, traveling to Portales on Sept. 13 to face a team the Rockets defeated last year at the Wool Bowl.

The Wildcats, meanwhile, will host Artesia on Sept. 13.