TEXICO — Jose Posada and the Texico Wolverines did just enough to boost their Class 2A playoff stock Friday night.
Posada capped a 73-yard, 13-play drive with a 4-yard touchdown run with 3:17 left, then made a key defensive play to help the Wolverines close out Tucumcari 22-21 in a District 2-2A game which was as close as the score would indicate.
Texico (4-4, 1-1), coming off a 47-7 thumping at Santa Rosa last week, put together a 226-yard rushing game and managed to overcome three second-half turnovers against the Rattlers (5-4, 1-1).
“I knew it was going to be a fight,” Texico coach Ryan Autrey said. “We knew we were going to give up some yards. We just had to find a way to keep them out of the end zone.”
Sophomore running back Shay Harrison ran for 131 yards on 24 carries while Posada finished with 77 yards on 19 totes. Posada and Jesus Rivera had 2-yard scoring runs for Texico in the first half.
Meantime, Rattlers quarterback Dalton Wood completed 15-of-22 passes for 137 yards. He went 10-of-11 for 101 yards and two touchdowns in the first half — both to senior Jakus Martinez, who finished with eight catches for 94 yards.
The Rattlers took a 21-15 lead with nine minutes left, going 46 yards in four plays after a short Texico punt. Junior running back Angelo Montano took a pitch right on a pass-run option play, then cut across the field for a 36-yard gain to the Texico 6 to set up a TD run by Cameron Montano, his cousin, on the next play.
But 360-pound lineman David Pacheco’s PAT kick sailed wide left, leaving the door open for Texico.
Rattlers coach Daniel Hutchins said Pacheco, a 360-pound junior lineman, was filling in as a kicker.
“We should’ve gone for two,” said Hutchins, whose team did that successfully after a 10-play scoring drive following the opening kickoff. “(Pacheco) can kick, but our regular kicker was hurt a couple of weeks ago.”
Junior running back Donavon Johnson fumbled at the Texico 23 on the first play of the second half, but the Wolverines’ defense held. Later, Posada threw a pair of interceptions that the Rattlers were unable to convert into points.
The 5-foot-5, 140-pound Posada said the Wolverines made an adjustment after a three-and-out on their opening series.
“We just ran the ball more right at them,” he said. “They’ve got some speed on that team.”
Texico’s winning drive was kept alive by a fourth-down facemask penalty on a run by Posada that would have turned the ball over on downs at the Tucumcari 48.
“That was a big play,” Posada said. “You’ve got to take advantage of those mistakes, and we did.”
Posada’s ensuing kickoff pinned the Rattlers at their 16. On second-and-6 at the 32, Posada slipped in from his strong safety position to throw Cameron Montano for a 6-yard loss on a toss sweep.
“I just told (senior defensive end) Lucas (Walthers) that I was going (after the ballcarrier),” Posada said. “I just risked it right there, and it worked out.”
Senior Tyler King sacked Wood for a 7-yard loss, and Wood’s deep pass to Martinez on fourth down was a bit long.
“That pass was maybe six inches too far,” Hutchins mused. “It just went off his fingertips. For my money, I think (Martinez) is the best receiver in the state in 2A.”