Turnovers hurt Rams in Roswell

Portales junior Jacob Brady brings down Roswell High quarterback Colton Cisco iin the first half of Friday’s game at the Wool Bowl in Roswell. (CNJ staff photo: Tony Bullocks)

ROSWELL — The Portales coaching staff viewed Friday night’s game at Roswell High as an opportunity for the Ram defense to make a statement.

Instead, the Portales offense made a statement — but not a good one.

Portales junior quarterback Chris Mosier threw four interceptions, with one returned for a touchdown, and the host Coyotes shutout the Rams 25-0 at the Wool Bowl in the final pre-district game for both teams.

First-year Portales head coach Andy Correll was dismayed by the Rams’ effort.

“Our offense gave us awful field position all night,” Correll said. “They executed at about a ninth-grade level. We can’t put zero points on the board and expect our defense to bail us out every time.”

Senior quarterback Colton Cisco paced the Coyotes’ offense, completing 9-of-14 passes for 155 yards and a touchdown. He also scored on a 16-yard run.

“Our coaches did a great job game planning,” Roswell head coach Barey Chambers said. “I’m tickled pink about our kids’ effort.”

Midway through the first quarter, Roswell cornerback Andrew Aho intercepted a Mosier pass at the 30 and returned it to the Portales 2. But the Ram defense stiffened as Michael Trujillo and Erett Grubbs sacked Cisco on third down for an 8-yard loss and the Coyotes settled for a 32-yard field goal from James Aho.

That goal-line stand caught the attention of the Rams coaching staff.

“I’m telling you, (our defense) has done that all year,” Correll said. “Not many teams have run the football on us with much success, and our defense did a great job of pinning their ears back and moving them backwords.”

After another Aho field goal, Cisco found fellow senior Stephen Brandt along the left sideline for a 19-yard TD pass, giving Roswell a 13-0 halftime lead.

The Coyotes (5-3) put the game out of reach late in the third quarter as Cisco found a hole up the middle, and scored from 16 yards out to put the score at 19-0.

Senior James Barela’s 30-yard interception return made it 25-0.

Correll gave credit to the Coyotes but was obviously frustrated at Portales’ execution.

“Roswell’s a good football team, and coach Chambers and his staff have them rolling pretty good right now,” Correll said. “They have some good athletes on their side of the ball. We had a pretty good plan, we just didn’t execute. I’m frustrated to no end right now.”

Portales defensive coordinator and assistant coach Mark McAfee agreed, but saw some reason for hope in the Portales pass defense.
“We couldn’t stop the pass,” McAfee said. “But, we played good, I think. Our pass defense is coming along pretty good.”

The Rams posted 106 rushing yards, compared to just 69 yards on the ground for Roswell High. But the Coyotes out-gained Portales in total yards 224 to 156.

Portales (2-4) opens District 4-3A play Friday night at Greyhound Stadium against Ruidoso.