Portales senior Zach Vigil brings down ENMMI Junior Mandela Thomas while junior Alejandro Chavez, left, tries to set up a block in the first half of Friday night game at Greyhound Stadium. (CNJ staff photo: Tony Bullocks)
By Mickey Winfield: Freedom Newspapers
BLACKWATER DRAW — The Portales Rams did what they had to do to keep their Distridct 4-3A title hopes alive by beating winless NMMI 42-0 on Friday at Greyhound Stadium.
The Ruidoso Warriors did what the Rams needed to as well, winning 17-0 over Lovington and giving Portales its first district title in four seasons.
The Rams rushed for 316 yards en route to his biggest scoring output of the year.
“I was really proud of our execution level,” Portales coach Andy Correll said. “Honestly, our kids were really down after the Lovington game, but I was really pleased with our kids’ effort tonight.”
The Portales defense also dominated, holding the Colts (0-9) to 61 yards and forcing four turnovers.
The Rams (4-5) scored four rushing touchdowns in the first half to take a commanding 28-0 lead. Portales senior defensive back Hunter Rackler added to the rout by returning an interception 70 yards for a score in the third quarter.
Portales junior quarterback Chris Mosier finished the game with 98 yards on 13 carries, including two touchdowns. He also completed 4 of 6 passes for 61 yards.
“I felt really comfortable, with the line blocking the way they were,” Mosier said. “(This win) was real important for us to get our confidence up after last week.”
Portales defensive coordinator and assistant coach Mark McAfee was happy to see the Rams post their second shutout of the year.
“I hope it’s a big time confidence builder for us,” McAfee said. “Every week we’ve got to have that kind of a defensive performance. I’m going to be honest with you, we didn’t have very good defensive practices this week at all. My goal tonight was just to come out here and play defense, and the boys did that. I think it took us a while to get over the Lovington loss, but I think this is big, I really do.”
Portales senior running back Cruz Ontiveros ran the ball 10 times for 86 yards and one touchdown. Junior Ricky Lovato had 81 yards on nine carries and a touchdown.
As District 4-3A champs, the Rams wil likely get a first-round bye and would host a state second-round game on Nov. 17 or 18 at Greyhound Stadium.
The Rams got more good news Friday when senior running back Eric Segovia was cleared to return to practice after recovering from a dislocated shoulder.