BLACKWATER DRAW — Portales football coach Andy Correll expected Roswell Goddard to be a major test for his team, and he was right.
Class 4A’s top-ranked squad scored on nine of 10 full possessions Friday night at Greyhound Stadium and the Rockets steamrolled their way to a 64-19 victory over the Rams.
Portales is ranked No. 1 in Class 3A.
Portales (3-2) has handled three opponents easily so far, but in Muleshoe (a 63-35 loss) and Goddard faced foes that were fast with quick-strike ability. The Rockets (5-0) piled up 454 yards of offense.
On top of that, Correll said, his team made mistakes that it simply couldn’t afford, including three turnovers.
“You just can’t give them turnovers,” he said. “We knew we couldn’t give them anything.
“We moved the ball, and I thought our defense was scrappy. They’re powerful, but I really thought our guys hung in there. We just kept giving them a short field.”
Junior Jesus Davalos rushed for 196 yards on 18 carries and three touchdowns for the Rams, including a 61-yard blast up the middle on the team’s fourth play from scrimmage. Later, he capped a 96-yard, 12-play march with a 4-yard run.
“I called a stunt (on defense) and they hit it just perfect,” veteran Goddard coach Sam Jernigan said of Davalos’ opening run. “He’s a fast kid.”
But the Rams couldn’t contain Goddard’s potent attack. Junior quarterback David Vega ran for one touchdown and completed 9-of-15 passes for 155 yards and two more scores, while senior running back Chase Kyser ran for 117 yards and three TDs and caught two passes for 35 yards and another score.
Jernigan said the Rams forced the Rockets to play well.
“I think Portales has a pretty good football team,” he said. “They make you play hard.”
While he noted tough games are ahead, he said the Rockets’ experience is paying off.
“These kids have played together for a year now,” he said. “They’ve picked up where they left off.”
After Davalos’ electrifying early tally, Goddard scored three times in the final five minutes of the opening quarter, beginning with an 11-play drive capped by Vega’s 1-yard run on third-and-goal. The Rockets were in control after that.
Correll acknowledged it’s difficult to contain a potent running team that can also throw.
“Last week, Rio Rancho shut down the run, so they went to the pass (in a 52-36 Goddard win),” Correll said. “They’re very versatile.”
Despite the absence of starting center Pablo Urioste, Correll said the Rams were able to create some holes for Davalos.
“I thought our front line did a good job,” Correll said. “Jesus doesn’t go anywhere without that line.”
Correll said Urioste (high ankle sprain) should be back for the Rams’ next game, against St. Michael’s in two weeks.