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Wolverines topple Rams

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BLACKWATER DRAW — Texico certainly didn’t mind having a comfortable lead coming down the stretch on Friday night.

link Staff photo: Joshua Lucero

Wolverines sophomore Mason Golden, left, clears the way for running back Ramon Garcia for a touchdown during the first half of Friday’s game against Portales at Greyhound Stadium. Golden rushed for 219 yards and two scores while Garcia had three touchdowns, including a 64-yard kickoff return, as the Wolverines beat the Rams 49-32.

The Wolverines built a 33-12 advantage early in the final period before weathering a late storm from Portales to down the Rams 49-32 at Greyhound Stadium.

Sophomore running back Mason Golden rushed for 219 yards and two touchdowns and junior running back Ramon Garcia added three scores, including a 64-yard kickoff return, as the Wolverines improved to 2-1 for the season.

“Our philosophy is just three yards at a time,” Texico coach Ryan Autrey said. “Thankfully, it worked for us tonight. Our kids did a great job of controlling the ball.”

Senior quarterback Matt Martinez ran for 106 yards and a TD and passed for 240 yards and four tallies, including three in the final seven minutes, but it wasn’t enough to keep the Rams from falling to 0-3.

Texico’s defense was equal to the challenge until the contest turned into a pinball game in the final period, with each team scoring three times in a span of six minutes.

“They put you in a bind with their speed,” Autrey said of the Rams. “We did what we could.”

The remarkable thing about Golden’s performance was that he had only two runs of more than 13 yards — a 22-yarder early in the final period, and a 60-yard touchdown run which pretty much salted it away with five minutes left.

link Staff photo: Joshua Lucero

Rams senior quarterback Matt Martinez gets rid of a pass under pressure from Texico’s Tanner Dickerman during the second half of Friday’s game at Greyhound Stadium.

He had 13 carries of between four and nine yards.

“That has to do with my (offensive) line,” Golden said of picking up consistent chunks of yardage. “Our line did a great job for me.”

Portales coach Jaime Ramirez said that in his mind, the cool, damp weather wasn’t a factor.

“I just believe they ‘out-physicaled’ us,” he said. “They beat us up front.

“We made mistakes in all three phases of the game.”

Rams junior Bronte Staugaard, who rushed for nearly 1,500 yards last season, had only five carries in this one for 12 yards. He did break loose in the final quarter, though, finishing with six pass receptions for 131 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

“They loaded the box (interior on defense),” Ramirez said. “We had five guys to block their seven.”

Because of that, it was tough to try to run the ball, he said. Instead, Martinez worked a short passing game much of the night designed to get Rams skill players in open space.

With less depth than Portales, having a solid lead was beneficial, said Golden, who also plays linebacker for the Wolverines.

“Coming in here, we just expected we had to play all four quarters as hard as we could,” he said. “You’ve got to fight through (fatigue), but that’s what we condition for.”

The Rams, who were playing their home opener, began a stretch of five of six games at Greyhound Stadium. They host Eunice next week for homecoming.

“We definitely need to get something going,” Ramirez said.

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