Carrying forward the momentum gained in the second half of the last game and walking away with minimal damage done are the main goals when Portales takes on perennial Class 4A power Goddard in a high school football game tonight in Roswell.
Portales (1-3) lost its third straight game last weekend when visiting Raton beat the Rams 40-33. But the home team salvaged a great deal of optimism for the future after storming back from a 26-0 deficit and even taking a lead at one point in the second half.
The loss to the Tigers was the first contest in which the Rams’ switched erstwhile quarterback Shawn Carrasco back to his former position of wide receiver - where he excelled in Portales’ state championship run a year ago.
In Carrasco’s place at signal caller, Rams’ coach Andy Correll called upon junior Jeffery Collins. The move paid off at both positions, evidently, as Collins piled up 373 yards passing - 101 of which went to Carrasco.
“We want to play like we did in the second half against Raton, but just start the game that way - that’s our goal,” Correll said. “I think moving Shawn back out to receiver really helped us. Jeffery came in and did a great job and we want to continue to get the ball to our playmakers.”
The game starts at 7 p.m. at The Wool Bowl in Roswell. Last weekend, Goddard (2-2) went on the road to beat Rio Rancho 35-28.
The Rockets are defending state champs in Class 4A and this will be third time in five games Portales has gone against a reigning champion. The Rams fell to the Class 2A defending champs from both New Mexico (Texico) and Texas (Muleshoe).
“They’re loaded again this year. They’re big up front and they’ve got a great tailback (Greg Ramirez) who runs as hard as anyone we’ve seen all year,” Correll said. “They’re just a solid football team. They’ll line up and run over you or they can spread it and throw it around.”
Goddard quarterback David Vega missed the victory over Rio Rancho but Ramirez ran wild to the tune of 251 yards on 33 carries.
“That’s certainly not what we’re used to giving up, but that’s what they do best.” said Rio Rancho coach David Howes of Goddard.
“We’re going to try to do some things to help negate their size and speed and hopefully it works. In a game like this, we’re going in with certain goals. We want to move the chains and keep their offense off the field as much as possible,” Correll said.
“Against a great team like that, you just want to come out of it without any injuries - that’s the biggest thing,” the Portales coach added. “But we’d like to finish on a good note, whether we win or not - we want to play well.”