A pair of football teams hungry for wins meet up tonight at Greyhound Stadium — and with vigorous appetites when they size up the opposition.
Portales (1-5) hosts Roswell High (1-6) in a 7 p.m. start in the last non-district game of the year for both squads.
The Rams enter the contest with a five-game losing streak, capped most recently with a 41-20 loss at St. Michael’s on Saturday. Moreover, Portales had two days of practice without head coach Andy Correll, who was sick, and several sessions without running back Jesus Davalos — who is still trying to heal an injured toe.
Still, the Rams are carrying forth with a positive attitude about the week in practice.
“The practices have been way more intense this week,” said offensive lineman Willie Porter. “We’re starting to pick it up more. I’ve been frustrated myself and I’m sure everybody else has, too. We try hard every day, but sometimes we don’t come with all we’ve got.
“The last game, we practiced pretty hard for two weeks. I think we should’ve had that game because we prepared. It was just lack of effort, but we picked the intensity up this week.”
Like Portales, Roswell is struggling. In fact, the Coyotes have been abysmal in stopping opponents’ offenses over the last five weeks. Since knocking off Kirtland Central 39-14 in the second week of the season, Roswell has given up an average of 57.8 points a contest.
Last week, the Coyotes lost 55-28 at home to Deming.
Roswell has shown the ability to score, however, having tallied 23 points a game over the last three, and might present problems for a Portales defense that has also struggled.
“I know they’ve got a good passing game (with quarterback James Singleton) and a pretty tough running back (Jerome Bailey),” Porter said.
The Rams are anxious to put an end to their monthlong slide heading into District 3-4A competition.
“We’ve been doing pretty good against their sets and recognizing everything,” said Rams senior linebacker Saul Ontiveros, who picked off a pass against St. Mike’s last week. “We’ve been getting after it and competing. It’d be nice to go into district with a win.”