Home Sports Local Sports 092719 Fantastic football Friday preview

092719 Fantastic football Friday preview

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Roswell’s Ethan Valenzuela hands the ball to Justin Carrasco during the Coyotes’ victory over the Belen Eagles last season in Belen. (Diana Carrasco File Photo)

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Roswell and Chaves County sports fans, we have a mix of games this week. Two area teams try to stay undefeated, Roswell and Goddard. Dexter, a former No. 1 team tries to bounce back from a loss. All of the playoff hopes for the area teams are still in play. The good news is that none of the teams are mathematically eliminated from playoff contention.

Roswell

The 2018 Roswell High School Homecoming Court are pictured, from left, Zeke Gonzales, Valerie Gutierrez, Roderick Sedillo, Seriyah Archuleta, Justin Carrasco, Danielle Estrada, Arianna Padilla, Junior Estrada, Maddie McDowell, Richard Arreola and Gisselle Avalos. Tonight is homecoming for the Coyotes at 7 p.m. against Belen at the Wool Bowl. (David Rocha File Photo)

Excitement abounds in week six of local football. Roswell will play their Homecoming game against the 1-4 Belen Eagles. The Eagles are under first-year coach, Ty House. House was hired late and takes over for successful coach Greg Hennington.

Belen has been blown out of their previous four games and has had trouble scoring points on offense and on defense, they have had trouble stopping teams. RDR Sports sees that this game will be along the lines of last week’s game against Miyamura. Normally in the past couple of years, this game has had serious meaning in the standings and for playoff seedings.

This Belen game has special meaning for Roswell. Roswell had lost to Belen, 29-7 in a home season game at Belen. It was during the semifinal game when Roswell lost on a fumble and a touchdown was taken away from them, which the players and coaches point to as the catalyst for their championship in 2018.

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The only trouble for the Coyotes in this game could be, they get caught looking ahead to next week’s more challenging matchup against Piedra Vista.

Look for Roswell to score early and often. Roswell has turned into the high school version of the Los Angeles Rams — with their pinball offense and explosive special teams. The one concern remains about their defense and the ability to stop the run up the middle.

Roswell coach Jeff Lynn has had to replace 10 starters off last year’s championship team. The Coyote’s defense will not be tested this week, but they will be in the next three out of four games.

Goddard

Goddard is well rested after having a bye last week. This is the marquee matchup of the week. Goddard returns to Los Lunas and plays the team that ended their championship run last season. Goddard is Goddard and it will be another physical game. Goddard wants to impose its offensive and defensive wills on Los Lunas. For Goddard, it starts with getting fierce line play.

On offense, they are coming off the ball and running the power football to the left, right and up the middle. It has taken some time for the pieces to mesh, but it has started to, and the offense has gelled together.

Goddard quarterback Robert Aragon has emerged as the man. His teammates have started to rally around him and believe. Aragon has shown his toughness mentally and physically to lead the Rockets. In the Portales game when it was fourth and 1-yard at the 47-yard line, Aragon called a quarterback sneak and instead of falling forward for a first down, he maintained his balance and went to Portales’ 1-yard line. In a couple of plays, Sammy “Bull” Zaragoza scored form the 1-yard line.

Goddard coach Chris White has used the Wildcat and inserted numerous players to run the ball. Bruising Hunter Beene has gotten carries along with Kaston Ramage and Rion Lee to name a few running backs. Look for receiver Nate Stone to have a big game and for the Rockets to throw to him deep as they suck Los Lunas’ defense up to stop the run and then go over the top for a quick easy score.

“Big Blue” has done the damage on offenses up the middle and from the sides. They have opened a tattoo parlor leaving the “GR” on opposing offenses. Teams have not had the ability to run the ball and no time to pass the ball. This defense has had all of their players make plays — they have unsung players like Ray Downs, Zaragoza, Timothy Burrell and Beene making hits.

In this game, it will be a preview to Artesia as Los Lunas is a direct replica of Artesia. In this game, Goddard is going to have to get off the field on third downs and cannot afford to miss tackles on their receivers when they catch the ball. Goddard cannot let the Tigers’ receivers get behind them when they throw the ball.

This is the first of two road games in successive weeks that have the capability of being a shoot out game. Next week, Goddard goes on the road to face Lovington — and they do nothing but throw the ball all around the yard.

It will be an interesting couple of weeks for the Rockets.

Dexter

Dexter has to come back strong after being dismantled by Eunice last week. This week, the Demons will be on the road and it’s what the doctor ordered. They will travel to Wingate according to Max Preps. That’s good because they defeated Wingate, 64-6 last season. This season, Wingate has not won a game. This game has the possibility to be a statistical stuffer for the Demons.

“I told our team they made too many mistakes and against a good team like Eunice, we have to work on protecting the ball better and giving them an extra chance. We were disappointed about losing but he has to learn from it and make ourselves better.”

Look for the Demons to run at will against Wingate. Dexter will work on the things that set them back last week. Look for the defense to stop the pass and run, and literally throttle Wingate. Dexter will no doubt take their anger out on Wingate after falling out of the No. 1 spot in the state to the No. 3 team. Wingate will run multiple offenses on the I spread. On defense, Wingate run a 53.

“It doesn’t matter right now,” Duran said. “We are concerned with the district, the pieces will find their place. One of the main focuses is not to have any injuries and to get to the bye week healthy.”

Hagerman

Boy, oh boy! What does Hagerman coach Guy Rivers have to do? Hagerman wins a big game and it mercy-rules Cloudcroft, 50-0. How do they reward him and his team? Hagerman gets to play the No. 1 team in 3A, Tularosa. It’s been since 2016 since these two teams have played, and that game was won by Hagerman, 30-26.

Hagerman is playoff-bound for the second year in a row, something the Bobcats have not done since the Casey Crandall years. Many of the fans are wishing for the success Crandall had and it looks like Rivers has the train on the right track. With three games left in their season, the worst thing Hagerman can do is go into a bye week with a .500 record, and the best thing is they can knock off the No. 1 team in the state.

One of the main goals is to come out of this game feeling good about themselves and to stay healthy. A bright spot for the Bobcats has been quarterback Jonah Bejarano who has guided his team with the precision of a veteran in his five starts. On defense, they’re lead by the hard-hitting safety Jose Rodriguez.

Gateway Christian

Gateway Christian got off the snide and won their first game of the season last week. They travel to Dora who is coming off of a 66-0 win over Pine Hill. With the Warriors sitting at 1-2 on the season, they still have a shot at the playoffs. This is a game that would go a long way in helping them to make the playoffs. Wigley has done one of his best teaching jobs with his team being so young. In a way, this season has reinvigorated him, as he’s become more of a teacher and his team has had to execute and learn and get better in practice.

“We’re coming off our first win of the season,” Wigley said. “The victory feels good to the guys. We are working on getting better one day at a time, while trying to improve and see how good we can be at the seasons end. I enjoy these young men and we have a great bunch of young men.”

Lake Arthur

Last week, Lake Arthur lost to a veteran team in Vaughn, 52-48. Coach Porras feels like his team didn’t capitalize on a couple of plays which, in the end, turned out to be the difference.

The Panthers had the ball last with the chance to win the game at Vaughn’s 30-yard line with no time outs, Lake Arthur just couldn’t put it together at the end as time ran out.

“It’s key for us to capitalize early,” Porras said, “because, in the end, it seems like every school was/is in the way. Our kids played hard, that’s for sure, but we’re just putting it together. We have the bulk of the season remaining, we are sitting at number five in the rankings, and at the rate these boys have been playing, I believe we will finish on a great note and they will be knocking on a playoff berth.”

Lake Arthur is sitting at No. 5 in the rankings for the playoffs with the majority of their season to play. Porras is hoping the kids will be in the end and knocking on the door for that playoff berth.

Sports editor J.T. Keith can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 304, or sports@rdrnews.com.

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