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Fantastic football Saturday preview

Roswell’s Freddie Anaya (6) runs the ball at Artesia on March 19. The Coyotes will travel to Clovis to play in a bowl game on Saturday at 2 p.m. (Daily Record File Photo)

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Football fans, it seems like we just got started and before we know it, football season is going to be over with. As a fan of our local athletes, I want more hard-hitting action. The Goddard-Roswell game left me wanting more action, plus playoff football.

Well, let’s be thankful we are getting to see our local teams in action one more time. These aren’t District 4-5A matchups, but 5A-6A matchups.

Clovis was ranked the No. 2 team in 6A earlier in the season before COVID-19 got things so twisted up. Roswell was scheduled to play Clovis on the road. Now that will happen. Clovis is loaded with four players signed to play Division I football. Their quarterback graduated early and is at college trying to get a jump on the competition next season.

On offense, running back Jeston Webskowski has signed with the University of New Mexico. Joining him is their linebacker and tight end/defensive end Jaden Phillips and wide receiver Ernesto Acuna, who will play at UNM as well.

The Wildcats’ quarterback Chad Harris graduated early and is now at Colorado State. To fill the void at quarterback, they started a senior and now are using a junior in Milo Acosta. Look for them to run the spread offense along with the Wing-T. They will also line up in the Wildcat as well. Like all Clovis teams, they want to be physical up front on both sides of the ball.

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On defense, look for Clovis to run a mixed defense depending on the offensive scheme they are facing. They will line up in a 4-2-5 at times.

“There is no telling what defensive we will be in,” Clovis coach Cal Fullerton said. “With the multiple looks Roswell gives us, we’ll probably be in multiple fronts.”

Clovis is 2-2 on the season, and opened the season by beating Hobbs in the first week. They lost to Cleveland, 42-14, in the second week of the season. They played Rio Rancho and were up 14-7 before the wheels came off and they lost, 27-14.

“We would love to play Roswell and Goddard every year,” Fullerton said. “To be honest with you, that’s why we have been over to Texas the last few years. It is tough for us to find games since Carlsbad quit playing us. We would love to play one or two of them a season.”

This is the first meeting between Jeff Lynn and Fullerton. Fullerton said that Lynn has turned Roswell back into  a power and has a great staff with him to help him. “Right now, it looks like both of those schools (Roswell and Goddard) are coming on. I used to follow them growing up.

“I would expect nothing less than both teams’ kids playing hard,” Fullerton said. “I just hope we have a shot at the end. I expect it to be a pretty dang good game.”

Roswell will play at Clovis at 2 p.m. Saturday.


Goddard’s Sammy Zaragoza (9) runs through the Artesia defense on March 13 in Artesia. The Rockets will host Rio Rancho in a bowl game Saturday at 2 p.m. in the Wool Bowl. (Daily Record File Photo)

Goddard looks to bounce back after a tough loss to Roswell. They will have to line up against another physical opponent in Rio Rancho, who has a new coach, Gerry Pannoni.

Pannoni comes to Rio Rancho after an undefeated season in Northern Virginia. He led his team South County High School to an undefeated season in 2019 with a 15-0 record. For that, he was named National Coach of the Year after winning in Class 6A.

Pannoni replaced former coach David Howes who went on to become the linebackers coach with the University of New Mexico.

Rio Rancho offensively will run the spread and the run-pass option (RPO). Occasionally they will get into some tight formations.

“We don’t run the offense as we have seen down there,” Rio Rancho coach Gerry Pannoni said. “We want to go fast. It’s not what I see from down in your world. When I was in Virginia, I faced a team that ran the double-wing offense. We want the kids to be as physical as possible. We are practicing to make this an ugly game as possible.”

On defense, Rio Rancho will stay in a three-three stack and bring pressure from everywhere and bring pressure often. Pannoni said he would often like to get nine players in the box if possible.

One of the keys to the game will be special teams. So far this year, Rio Rancho has blocked three punts and used it as a weapon to score and get their offense going.

“I feel like if you treat special teams as an extra play,” Pannoni said, “you’re hurting yourself. Field position for points and the opportunity to create better field position for our offense or defense, we do what we can to make special teams special.”

Goddard will host Rio Rancho at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Wool Bowl.

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