The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Rams rally past Dons in second half

Portales improves to 3-0 with 56-28 win


September 9, 2017

Tony Bullocks

Portales senior Braden Bridges puts a stiff-arm on a West Las Vegas defender in the second quarter while turning the corner but is called for illegal hands to the face during Friday night's game at Greyhound Stadium.

PORTALES — In a game mired in penalties, the Portales High football team managed to score 35 second-half points on its way to a 56-28 homecoming victory over West Las Vegas on Friday at Greyhound Stadium.

The Rams held the Dons to just seven second-half points, along with just 76 total yards of offense and two interceptions.

“Honestly, we still had a lot of penalties. I still don’t understand (that),” a frustrated Rams coach Jaime Ramirez said. “We played better on defense, we played better on offense and we had some good special teams to help (us out in the second half).”

A high-powered first half featured over 400 combined yards of offense, with both quarterbacks — Portales’ Tyrese Dawson and West Las Vegas’ John Balizan — being responsible for all six of their teams’ touchdowns, including four touchdown runs.

With the game tied 21-21 to start the second half, the Rams needed to dig down deep defensively, after allowing over 200 yards passing and 14 first downs on 44 offensive plays in the first half.

A 27-yard score by Dawson — his third on the ground, gave Portales a 28-21 lead with 6:10 to go in the third. The Rams defense then stepped up on the first play of the Dons’ next possession, as an errant Balizan pass was picked off by Marc Lovato and housed 35 yards for the score, quickly extending the Ram lead to 35-21.

“He was eating us up,” Ramirez said of Balizan’s first-half performance, smiling. “We weren’t getting our drops from our outside linebackers the way we needed to. Once we started doing the things that we’ve been teaching them all week, we were in those passing lanes.”

The Dons’ (1-2) offense remained out of rhythm for the remainder of the game, as a pair of punts soon gave the Rams another chance to extend their lead, early in the fourth quarter.

Facing a first-and-10 from their own 19, the Rams officially produced the dagger score to effectively put the game on ice. Dawson connected with a wide-open Lovato down the seam for an 81-yard score to give Portales a 21-point advantage.

“He threw the ball extremely well today. He ran the ball great again like he always does,” Ramirez said of Dawson’s night. “He’s just an outstanding football player, what can I say?”

Dawson, in fact, finished with 271 passing yards and three scores, while adding another 142 yards and three scores on the ground.

For Portales (3-0), the win extends its all-time series advantage over West Las Vegas to 20-1, as the Dons have yet to actually beat Portales on the field, with their only win coming after a Rams forfeit in 2003.

The game, as previously mentioned, was mired in penalties. West Las Vegas committed 11 for 110 yards, which seems tame, compared to Portales. The Rams finished the night with 15 penalties for 170 yards, including a pair of late hit calls.

“Oh really, 170? Wow. What time is it, (midnight)?” Ramirez said of the lengthy game with a laugh. “That’s a long ballgame. Well, (we need to) just play a little bit cleaner, and then make sure we coach up our kids. I don’t know, honestly, I’m at my wit’s end — some of those things I didn’t see.”


Reader Comments


Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2017