Melrose trio runs wild
MELROSE — Taking lessons from last week’s loss to top-ranked Tatum, Melrose coach Dickie Roybal scrapped his run-based offense in favor of a more wide-open attack this week in practice.
The Melrose Buffaloes proved to be quick learners, schooling Lake Arthur in the art of fastbreak football.
Spreading the formation from sideline to sideline, the Buffaloes rode the three-pronged attack of Brock Graham, Carlos Ruiz and Harvey Park to a 54-0 win Friday at Melrose High School.
Graham completed 9 of 10 passes for 128 yards and four touchdowns — three to Park, and Ruiz added a pair of scores on the ground as the Buffaloes zipped up and down the field against the rebuilding Panthers.
Melrose (3-1) scored on all seven of its possessions in a six-man game that was ended at halftime by the New Mexico Activity Association’s 45-point rule.
Ruiz owns fleet feet, Graham a strong arm and Park sticky hands and good speed, which made the Buffaloes nearly impossible to defend, according to Lake Arthur coach Jose Porras.
“We knew they were a good team,” said Porras, who led the Panthers to state runner-up finishes the last two seasons. “I’ve been around the game a long time, and the thing about six-man football is speed kills, and you saw that tonight.”
Roybal said he still favors a more conservative offensive approach, but feels with his playmakers the wide-open approach better suits his team.
“The kids like it and that’s important,” Roybal said. “It looked good in practice, but you never know until you see it in a game.”
Park, who caught five passes for 111 yards, is a big fan of the new look.
“I like it because I get a lot of balls,” said Park, who has 14 TD receptions on the season. “With a quarterback like Brock, all you have to do is get open. He’s got to be the best sophomore quarterback in the state.”
The Buffaloes defense was just as impressive, limiting Lake Arthur to 60 yards and two first downs.
Melrose broke the game open by scoring 32 points in the final eight minutes of the first half, including a 33-yard hook-and-ladder play featuring Graham, Park and senior backup Stefan Wagley, who scored the first touchdown of his career.