Melrose junior Carlos Ruiz reaches for a pass during Saturday’s six-man playoff game against Tatum. Ruiz was unable to hold onto the pass. (Hobbs News Sun photo: Cody Gideon)
TATUM — Melrose outscored Tatum 46-6 in the second and third quarters en route to an 82-47 win Saturday in the first round of the six-man playoffs.
Buffalo junior Carlos Ruiz rushed for 139 yards and scored five touchdowns. He also passed for 65 yards. Coy Speer added a pair of rushing touchdowns for the Buffaloes (9-1) and James Walker ran for a score and threw for another.
“The way we moved the ball today was the difference in the game,” Melrose coach Dickie Roybal said.
The game was a rematch of last year’s state championship, which Tatum won. Earlier in the season, Melrose crushed Tatum 58-14, but Roybal said the Coyotes (4-5) played much better in the rematch.
Roybal said his team played with a lot more emotion following last week’s 28-20 loss to Floyd that cost the Buffaloes the District 3 title.
Roybal said last week’s loss may helped after the Buffaloes roared out to an 8-0 start.
“The kids know we’re beatable and we got to come out swinging,” Roybal said.
The Buffaloes (9-1) travel to Animas on Saturday for a state semifinal contest.