Roswell High junior Bobby Villanueva drags down Portales junior Brandon Adkins during Friday’s matchup at Greyhound Stadium.
BLACKWATER DRAW — The Portales Rams led the Roswell Coyotes for better than three quarters but couldn’t close the door in the fourth. The Coyotes crept away with a 21-14 win.
After holding a 7-6 lead until 9:47 of the fourth quarter, the Rams gave up a touchdown on a 4-yard run by Roswell senior running back Danny Castro following a long Coyote drive. The Rams came up just inches short in the measurement after a fourth-and-3 run near midfield by senior quarterback Chris Mosier on the next series.
Roswell applied a slow, clock-grinding drive after that and capped it off with a fourth-and-3 conversion by junior quarterback Andrew Aho to the Ram 6. Two plays later, Aho crashed through the right side to make it 21-7.
“I think we played three really pretty good quarters,” Portales defensive coordinator Mark McAfee said. “Roswell High is a good football team and for us to keep them to just six points in the first half — that’s good.”
After Roswell’s third touchdown with 2:28 to play, Portales responded quickly.
Mosier hooked up with junior Brandon Adkins at the Roswell 26 for a 25 yard gain. The very next play Mosier went back to Adkins, who had six catches for 128 yards. The catch-and-run netted another 25 yards to the Coyote 1. Mosier piled across center for the score on the next play with 43 seconds left.
The onside kick failed to travel 10 yards, though, and the Coyotes ran the clock out.
Portales got its first score with 5:44 left in the first quarter after Mosier slipped a tackle and drilled Adkins at the end zone for six.
Roswell took its turn in the first at the 2:41 mark on a strike from Aho to Danny Castro from 12 yards out. The Ram defense stuffed the conversion attempt to leave the score 7-6 until the fourth.
Ram head coach Andy Correll said he felt the two teams were closely matched and the fact that Roswell spread things out and threw the ball kept things from being too physical just before district.
“They’re young, like we are, and they’ve had a tough year, as we have,” Correll said. “We just can’t afford to let opportunities like that slip away.”
Correll said his defense had been working hard at creating turnovers and he was happy to see two interceptions by Adkins and two fumble recoveries. He wasn’t happy his team only capitalized on one of the four chances, though.
“The biggest thing is we still have some individual play (to improve),” Correll said. “I don’t know if it’s my fault or what, but we’re not clicking yet. We’ve got to get to clicking and playing as a team.”
The loss moves the Rams to 1-5 as their rough-and-tumble pre-district season comes to a close. They travel to New Mexico Military Institute Friday to open district play against the Colts.
Roswell 21, Portales 14
Roswell High 6 0 0 15 — 21
Portales 7 0 0 7 — 14
P — Brandon Adkins 28-yard pass from Chris Mosier (Genaro Olivas kick), 5:44
R — Danny Castro 12-yard pass from Andrew Aho (run failed), 2:41
R — D. Castro 4-yard run (Aho run), 9:47
R — Aho 6-yard run (Aho kick), 2:29
P — Mosier 1-yard run (Olivas kick), :43
First downs 19 15
Rushes-yards 44-234 37-174
Passing yards 132 145
Total yards 366 319
Comp-att-int 9-14-2 8-21-2
Punting n/a n/a
Fumbles-lost 3-2 1-0
Penalties-yards 7-60 3-30
Rushing — Roswell High, Aho 22-134, D. Castro 14-72, Fabian Romero 8-28. Portales, Mosier 19-89, Ricky Lovato 13-61, Brandon Adkins 5-24.
Passing — Roswell High, Aho 9-14-2-132. Portales, Mosier 8-21-2-145.
Receiving — Roswell High, D. Castro 3-46, Justin Collier 4-40, Fabian Acosta 1-38, Raul Castro 1-8. Portales, Adkins 6-128, Lovato 2-17.
Records — Roswell High 3-5, Portales 1-5.