Maybe it was because Lovington took longer at halftime than they were supposed to. Maybe it was that Lovington had the audacity to dedicate anything to anyone when Goddard is making a house call, let alone dedicate the field to Brian Urlacher on game night.
Whatever Goddard head football coach Chris White said to his team at halftime, the Goddard Rockets left no doubt about who’s the boss. On this night after halftime, it was Goddard’s Rion Lee who did nothing but stiff-arm would-be tacklers and run over them as he scored four touchdowns in the second half.
Lee made an announcement of who he was as he went off with touchdowns at 48, 57, 1, 77 and 200 yards. Sammy Zaragoza scored two touchdowns as Goddard came out in a new offensive formation opening holes for the running backs.
Goddard took a close 14-7 halftime lead and turned it into a dominant performance shutting out Lovington to win 49-7 as they had a running clock in the middle of the third quarter on Friday night at Brian Urlacher Field.
“Goddard is the most physically dominant football team we have played this year in all areas of the game,” said Anthony Gonzales, Lovington’s head coach.
Goddard’s defense left “GR” marks on the Wildcats’ receivers and running backs. On the first play of the game, Goddard injured a Lovington wide receiver and took him out. It seemed to take the steam out of the Wildcats.
Big Blue’s defense was hitting so hard that it made 4A Player of the Year Candidate, Lovington’s quarterback, Casey Perez hold onto the ball longer and look to run out of bounds instead of taking hits. Goddard gave up a touchdown in the latter stages of the second quarter with 1:10 before halftime to make the score 14-7.
Goddard comes into the game with a 4-1 record and a No. 3 ranking in 5A. They seemed like they were angry and had something to prove after losing to Los Lunas on the road. Lovington was looking to bounce back after they lost on the last play of the game to Artesia.
Goddard’s first score came when their quarterback, Robert Aragon, scored on a quarterback sneak and scampered 57 yards to give them a 7-0 lead with 5:27 to play. On that drive, Goddard overcame self-inflicted penalties and converted on third and 19 at their 32-yard line when Aragon hit Hunter Beene for a 20-yard completion and a first down.
Goddard manhandled the Wildcats physically on both sides of the line of scrimmage. The score could have been worse but Goddard had three scores called back. To make matters worse, Goddard’s Hunter Beene was injured when he ran the ball and was seen on crutches after the game.
Goddard’s Sammy Zaragoza scored a touchdown chewing up 8:35 on the clock as they scored with 3:54 left in the second quarter and the Rockets took a 14-0 lead on a 17 play drive.
Goddard allowed Lovington to come back right before halftime when Casey Perez threw on a 31-yard pass to keep the drive alive as Goddard was in to prevent defense. Goddard was called for a holding penalty on fourth and 16 at the 39-yard line, giving Lovington a first down.
On the next play, Casey Perez hit Chris Perez on a 33-yard touchdown to make the score 14-7 with 1:18 before halftime. Those were the highlights for Lovington other than the dedication of the field to Brian Urlacher.
Up next, Goddard is home against Santa Teresa at the Wool Bowl on Friday at 7 p.m.
Sports editor J.T. Keith can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 304, or firstname.lastname@example.org.