Home Sports Local Sports For Roswell, the streak ends where it started, in Artesia

For Roswell, the streak ends where it started, in Artesia

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Roswell's Joel Renteria scores his second touchdown of the night against Artesia in the Bulldog Bowl Friday night. (David Rocha Photo)

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For Roswell football fans, this season had so much promise. There was talk about a three-peat, and then there was the streak. A 19-game winning streak, longest in Coyote football history. Many fans thought this Roswell team might be invincible. And why not, after two state titles anything seemed possible.

Everything was going well for Roswell until they stepped off the bus and walked into the Bulldog Bowl. Nothing seemed right for Roswell, everything was just a little off — slightly. Small things can cause a major problem, and that’s what happened when Roswell deferred the kickoff until the second half.

Big mistake. This wasn’t the Artesia football team that was losers of their last three games and winless in the district last year. No, the Bulldogs were so hot they scored touchdowns on their first seven possessions of the game as they defeated Roswell 43-28 in the Bulldog Bowl Friday night.

“We weren’t as good as we thought we were,” Roswell coach Jeff Lynn said. “We didn’t match their intensity, we didn’t match their fire. We weren’t as hungry. We didn’t have a good trip down, we didn’t warm up well.”

Things went sideways for the Coyotes right from the start. They deferred the kickoff to the second half. On the first play from the line of scrimmage, Artesia running back Jake Barrera took a handoff from quarterback Cord Cox and jetted 58 yards for a touchdown. Braxton McDonald added the PAT to give the Bulldogs a 7-0 lead with 11:11 on the clock.

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Not to be outdone, Roswell came back and converted two fourth downs on their initial drive, as Roswell quarterback Zeke Gonzales hit a streaking Alonzo Acosta running a go route down the right side, where he out-jumped an Artesia defender to score a 29-yard touchdown. Roswell went for the 2-point conversion and was denied. Artesia led 7-6 with 7:05 to play in the first quarter.

When Artesia received the ball back they drove the length of the field and Cord hit receiver Braxton McDonald on a 10-yard shallow drag route for a TD. He added the PAT and Artesia led 14-6 with 4:25 left in the first quarter.

On Roswell’s next drive, it was marred by penalties and the scrambling by the elusive senior quarterback Gonzales. During the drive, RHS went for it on fourth down twice and converted. The touchdown they scored was on a fourth and 24 from the Bulldogs’ 31-yard line. Once again, Gonzales found Acosta, for a 31-yard touchdown as he outran the entire Artesia defensive backfield to score. On the 2-point conversion, running back Joel Renteria converted on a toss sweep to the left to tie the game 14-14 with 3 seconds in the first quarter.

The game would see Artesia take a commanding 35-14 lead with 1 minute to go until halftime. Roswell had the ball on their 15-yard line and instead of running out the clock, Gonzales scrambled and found Acosta again for 45 yards as he got behind a defensive back and caught the ball at the 1-yard line with six seconds left in the first half.

Roswell called timeout, and on the next play, Gonzales hit Jaden Valenzuela on a 1-yard drag route in the middle of the end zone. The 2-point conversion was no good, but it closed the lead to 35-20 and gave the Coyotes hope and momentum going into the second half.

After halftime, Roswell took the kickoff down the field and scored on a Talon Sanders 21-yard run, as Acosta caught a 2-point conversion to make the score 35-28. That would be the last time Roswell would score and the closest they would get as Artesia would score again to win the game 43-28.

“In a normal year this would probably be a really good thing for us,” Lynn said, “it would bring us down a notch and refocus us. We would move on and get better, but in a shortened season, it’s tough. We read too many of our press clippings, we have to get better and play better.”

Roswell had trouble stopping Artesia’s offense. It looked to be one of those nights. On the positive side of the ledger, Roswell found a deep receiving threat in Alonzo Acosta — he had 11 catches for 246 yards and two TDs. Renteria was a matchup problem for Artesia, even when they doubled him. Finally, they would double him and put a man over the top of him to try and stop him.

Joel Renteria had 57 yards on 22 carries and Zeke Gonzales was 18-29 for 297 yards with two TDs and one interception.

“Goddard is awfully good,” Lynn said. “We watched them last week against Artesia. They are a really good football team. Our backs are against the wall, and we are going to see how these kids respond. Hopefully, we respond well.”

Roswell has crosstown rival Goddard Friday at the Wool Bowl.

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