Home Sports Local Sports Roswell wins rivalry game vs. Goddard 16-14

Roswell wins rivalry game vs. Goddard 16-14

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The Rockets and Coyotes meet at midfield for the coin toss prior to Friday’s rivalry game at the Wool Bowl. Roswell won the contest 16-14. (Steve Notz Photo)

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The Roswell Coyotes are district champions after winning another classic installment of their crosstown rivalry with the Goddard Rockets Friday night at the Wool Bowl.

Roswell’s 16-14 victory left them 5-5 overall this season and 3-0 in league play, having notched district wins over Alamogordo and Artesia prior to Friday’s game.

The Coyotes have come a long way as they’ve battled back from an 0-4 start to the season to win their competitive district.

“That’s outside football,” Roswell coach Jeff Lynn said. “You go from 0-4 and everybody’s down on us … our kids stayed positive, they kept believing. And then to finish — we’ve won five out of our last six ballgames.

“To rebound and go 3-0 in district and be district champions … I’m just super proud of this bunch. This is one of the proudest I’ve been of a team that I’ve had.”

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The Rockets finish their regular season 5-4, 1-2, and both teams now await the playoff seedings that were set to be announced Saturday night by the New Mexico Activities Association. Tournament seeding information was not available by press time.

Rockets coach Chris White said immediately after Friday’s game, “It was a thriller. I told my kids, bring that effort one more week, I guarantee you we’re going to beat some people. We’ll just have to see how they seed the playoffs and at this point, it could come out any number of ways.

“We’ve sure faced some adversity, but these kids really battle. As a coach that’s all you can ask for.”

Both teams left it all on the field Friday night. It was a hard-fought, close ballgame worthy of the teams’ storied rivalry. Perhaps more than anything, it was a defensive struggle that saw both offenses fight for every yard they got.

Goddard took an early lead on a touchdown late in the first quarter. With eight seconds on the clock, quarterback Noah Reese pitched the ball to tailback Colton Franzoy, who took it to the house from 35 yards out to make it 7-0, Goddard.

The Rockets, however, would not find the end zone again in the first half. Roswell, meanwhile, would add a touchdown in the second quarter to even things up. With just under five minutes remaining until the half, the Coyotes’ Sebastian Mendoza ran it into the end zone from the Goddard 15 yard-line to put Roswell on the board.

That knotted the game at 7-7, a score that would stand until halftime.

Neither team would score again until late in the third quarter, when Peyton Kennard nailed a field goal for the Coyotes to give Roswell a 10-7 lead.

In the final period, Roswell would score again — on a Jonah Gamboa run — followed by an unsuccessful extra-point attempt. That made it 16-7, Coyotes, with 6:15 left in the game.

Both teams have treated their fans to comeback wins in the Wool Bowl this season and everyone in the stadium had to be wondering if there was another come-from-behind scenario in the offing.

But for Rockets fans it was not to be. Goddard mounted a comeback attempt and Reese scored on a keeper with 2:26 remaining in the game, making it 16-14, Roswell.

The Rockets then tried an onside kick, but the Coyotes recovered it and were able to run out the clock.

Lynn spoke highly of his opponent’s effort after the game. “Those kids battle,” he said. “We’re all from Roswell. Those kids played their heart out tonight. … Roswell’s got a lot to be proud of.”

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