Roswell High has struggled in football over the last few years, but that doesn’t mean the Portales Rams are about to take them for granted.
The teams square off at 7 p.m. today in the Wool Bowl at Roswell.
Portales (4-2) brings the No. 1 ranking in Class 3A into the game. The Rams shut out St. Michael’s 35-0 last week at Greyhound Stadium, while the Coyotes (2-5) managed to snap a five-game losing streak with 22-20 win at Deming.
“They’ve got some good-looking kids, some pretty good athletes,” Rams coach Andy Correll said.
Senior wide receiver Andrew Aho and senior quarterback Andrew Jolliff are players the Rams need to keep an eye on, Correll said.
Last year at Blackwater Draw, the Coyotes scored two touchdowns in the final period to pull out a 15-7 win over Portales.
The game is the Rams’ final tuneup before the start of District 4-3A play. Portales hosts rival Lovington next week in a game with major district implications, but Correll is confident his team won’t get ahead of itself.
“I really think we take things day by day,” he said. “We can’t afford to look ahead.”
Senior lineman-placekicker Junior Olivas, who will fill in at center for injured starter Pablo Urioste (sprained ankle) for the third game in a row, admitted it’s a little tough not to look ahead.
“Overall, I think we’re pretty focused for (this game),” he said. “But Lovington is our district rival, and we look at them from the first game of the season.”
Olivas has served as sort of a “utility” linemen for the Rams, working at guard, tackle and center.
“I just pay attention to all the spots at once,” he said. “I’m mostly a guard, but I do a lot to prepare for them all.”
Correll said Urioste should be ready to go for the Lovington game.
Olivas said the extra work in the line doesn’t hinder him as a kicker. He said he works at that phase of the game before and after practice.
The Rams struggled a bit in the first half against St. Mike’s, the defending 3A champion, but broke the game open with three third-quarter touchdowns. They scored on their first four possessions of the second half.
“The first half we weren’t really as focused as we needed to be,” Olivas said. “(The coaches) didn’t really make any adjustments at halftime. They just told us what we needed to do better.”