By Thomas Garcia
QCS Senior Writer
The Tucumcari Rattlers will start the 2015-2016 season hosting the defending 2A state champion Escalante Lobos Friday night at RattlerStadium.
The Lobos are as good if not better than they were last year when they won the state championship at 12-0, said Wayne Ferguson, Rattler’s head coach.
Ferguson said the team is going to have its work cut out for it, especially on defense trying to contain the Lobos’ quarterback. He said the Lobos will often use the read option. The Lobos may only pass a few times, but each time they pass the ball they are efficient, Fergusonadded.
The Rattler defense is coming into the game with a few injuries and for the time, it will have some younger players stepping in to fill the positions.
Ferguson said the team need to focus on coming out with intensity and carrying that energy through the entire game.
Game time: 7 p.m., Tucumcari.
The 8-man state runner-up Logan Longhorns will start their season on the road, taking on the Tatum Coyotes Friday night in Tatum.
Last year the Coyotes started off a little slow but really turned up the heat once district play began, said Kene Terry, Longhorn’s head coach.
Terry said Tatum made the 8-man state tournament and fell to the now-state champion Melrose Buffaloes in the quarterfinals. He said the Longhorns are expecting the Coyotes to be a tough team with a lot to prove early in the season.
Terry said the team is in good health and will use its practices this week to ensure the Longhorns are ready to play ball.
Game time: 7 p.m., Tatum
The San Jon/Grady Coyotes will host the Vaughn Eagles Friday night for their home opener.
Both teams competed in last year’s 6-man state tournament.
The Eagles had a first-round exit with a 56-6 loss to Lake Arthur, while the Coyotes fell 59-6 in the semifinals to Hondo Valley.
Game time: 4 p.m., San Jon.