By John Eisel: CNJ sports writer
MELROSE — The only thing that came close to stopping Melrose’s Carlos Ruiz on Friday night was leg cramps.
The junior speedster scored eight touchdowns as the Buffaloes crushed Mountainair 64-14 in a six-man contest.
The game was stopped on Ruiz’s eighth touchdown 5:26 into the third quarter due to the 45-point mercy rule. Ruiz’s leg was actually cramped up at the time.
The Buffaloes (2-0) have played less than five complete quarters in their two wins this season.
Ruiz rushed for 207 yards on 12 carries. He scored on runs of 49, 4, 13, 23, 65, 42 and 4 yards. His last three rushes of the game went for scores. He also returned a kickoff 65 yards for a score.
Time after time Ruiz juked, spun or danced by Mountainair defenders — when he wasn’t outrunning them.
“He’s a bullet,” Mountainair coach Robert Zamora.
Coy Speer scored the other touchdown for Melrose on a 2-yard rumble in the second quarter.
Defensively, the Buffaloes allowed a few short passes and missed some tackles. However, Melrose coach Dickie Roybal said his team more than made up for it by being physical.
“This definitely is the hardest hitting team I’ve ever had here,” Roybal said. “They will flat hit you.”
The Buffaloes’ Jason Runyan recovered two fumbles. Caleb Dodd intercepted a pass that seemed meant for him while James Walker ripped a pass away from a Mountainair receiver.
Roybal pointed out Jeremy Weiss in particular on defense.
“As far as defensive player of the game, he gets it this week,” Roybal said.
Mountainair quarterback Mathew Chavez had Buffaloes encircling him the entire game on pass plays, but always managed to get the ball off, usually on short passes to Joshua Archuleta or Daniel Chavez.
Near the end of the first half, the only question was whether the game would make it to the third quarter. But Mountainair drove down the clock, and Mathew Chavez hit Archuleta in the back of the end zone to cut Mountainair’s halftime deficit to 46-14.
Zamora said that was huge for his young team, which he said played 100 percent better than in a 33-14 loss to Floyd in their season-opener.