Home Sports Local Sports Goddard adjusts to defeat Artesia, 46-34

Goddard adjusts to defeat Artesia, 46-34

Goddard’s Sammy Zaragoza (9) runs through the Artesia defense. (Steve Notz Photo)

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It seems to be that Goddard football coach Chris White has Artesia coach Rex Henderson’s number. White has lead Goddard to three victories in the last four meetings between the two teams.

Goddard’s Robert Aragon runs the ball Friday night at Artesia. (Steve Notz Photo)

In a game that saw Goddard trail 14-0 with 5:33 in the first quarter, it looked like it was going to be a runaway game.

Goddard went back to their sniffer-and-wishbone offense and grounded down the Artesia Bulldogs for 573 yards and allowed only one touchdown in the second half. The whole game changed when White made halftime adjustments taking the air out of the football.

Instead of playing fast-break offense and trying to match score for score like his team did in the first half, Goddard ran its offense and ran five minutes off the clock scoring with 6:28 in the third quarter. It was Robert Aragon and Sammy Zaragoza on the drive that started at their own 28-yard line.

Goddard imposed its will on Artesia and allowed only one score in the second half to win the game, 46-34 Friday night at the Bulldog Bowl.

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The whole game changed after Goddard scored to start the second half. On the following kickoff, an Artesia player running the Starburst broke through and had only one man to beat for a touchdown — in a desperation move Goddard’s Rion Lee grabs the ball and knocks it out as the ball carrier was going by him. Goddard recovered the fumble on their 15-yard line and proceeded to go down and score, taking the sails out of the Bulldogs — which had to go down as the play of the game.

It looked like curtains for Goddard to open the game when Artesia quarterback Clay Houghtaling threw a 51-yard slant pass to Johntae Rodriguez to put the Bulldogs up 7-0 with 9:46 in the first quarter.

On the next drive that Artesia received the ball, Houghtaling faked a jet sweep and handed it off to Nathan Barrera for a 1-yard run with 5:33 to play in the first quarter, giving Artesia a 14-0 lead. Goddard finally answered back on an 8-yard sweep to the left side by Sammy Zaragoza, the PAT was no good, which would affect the rest of the game for Goddard. Zaragoza’s score made it 14-6 with 3:21 in the first quarter.

To begin the second quarter, Goddard ran a pitch play to the left side to Zaragoza who took it 55 yards to the house and quarterback Aragon ran it in for the two-point conversion to tie the game, 14-14 with 7:29 in the half. Goddard would not try another PAT for the rest of the game.

On the next set of downs, Artesia came right back and scored when Braxton McDonald scored on an 18-yard touchdown pass from Houghtaling with 4:35 to play in the half to take a 21-14 lead. Goddard was not to be outdone, with time running down in the half, Aragon ran the ball for 30 yards to Artesia’s 43-yard line. Zaragoza and Aragon both take turns gaining chunks of yards until Aragon scores from 4 yards out up the middle. He calls his own number again to convert the two-point conversion as Goddard took the lead for the first time in the game, 22-21 with 1:41 to play in the first half.

On the ensuing kickoff, Artesia runs the ball to Goddard’s 12-yard line. Artesia Houghtaling throws a 12-yard pass to Rodriguez over the middle to give Artesia a 28-22 lead with 24 seconds to play in the first half.

Instead of running the clock out, Goddard completed a 29-yard pass and was helped out by a penalty on Artesia. Aragon completed a pass to a Goddard receiver to the Artesia 25-yard line. Goddard was able to have Aragon score and convert the two-point conversion to retake the lead with 24 seconds left in the half. Goddard would lead 30-28 and not look back.

Now the countdown begins.

Goddard plays Roswell at 7 p.m. on Friday

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

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