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AREA PREP FOOTBALL: Foxes face tall task against Wolverines

SPORTS WRITER

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Fort Sumner comes into tonight’s home game with Texico on a bit of a roll, having won three consecutive games after an 0-2 start.

The Wolverines, meantime, are 2-3 and were beaten soundly in their last two games, both at home, by Clayton and Farwell.

Seventh-year Foxes coach Matt Moyer knows, though, that his Class 2A squad will have to play well to keep it going.

“They’re a good team,” he said of the Class 3A Wolverines. “I hope we can give them a good game.”

This will be the third year in a row the teams have played. They have a history back in the day of meeting in the postseason, but hadn’t played for several years as the disparity in enrollments widened.

Texico won at Fort Sumner 21-18 in 2012, then beat the Foxes at home 47-25 last season.

Moyer, a Fort Sumner alum, is hoping the Foxes’ recent winning streak will be a boost to his players.

“Our kids are feeling a lot better about themselves,” he said. “You can see their kids are well-coached and play hard. I hope we can step up and play with them.”

Wolverines coach Ryan Autrey, a Texico alum, noted that both teams handled Tucumcari, the only common opponent, fairly easily — Fort Sumner beating the Rattlers 52-14 last week while Texico won earlier in the season 47-6.

“They run the ball well, they’re well-coached and they do a good job of putting their kids in positions to be successful,” Autrey said of the Foxes. “They’re a run-heavy team. We’re going to have to be able to shut down their run and get our running game going.”

Autrey said senior quarterback Justin Rucker, who left last week’s game early with a concussion, is probably going to be out at least a couple of weeks.

Sophomore Lance Myers filled in last week against the Steers.

“They’re physical and they probably have better speed than us,” Moyer said. “We’ve just got to match their physicality.”

FRIDAY AREA PREP CAPSULES

Melrose vs. Tse Yi Gai

• When: 4 p.m. today at Moriarty

• Records: Melrose 3-1, Tse Yi Gai 0-5

• Last meeting: The teams have not met

• Last week: The Buffaloes routed Mountainair 66-12 on the road, while the Dine Warriors were blanked by Foothill 21-0.

• Of note: This is the first of back-to-back, neutral-field games for the Buffs against first-year programs. Melrose faces Shiprock Northwest next week at Mountainair. … Tse Yi Gai, located in Cuba, has managed only 12 points so far this season. “They’re really struggling right now,” Melrose coach Dickie Roybal said, adding that he expects most of his subs and younger players to see significant time. … Roybal said the Buffs may not be challenged until the start of 8-man District 4 play at Gateway Christian on Oct. 17. “Our district is going to be pretty tough,” he said.

Lake Arthur at Clovis Christian

• When: 7 p.m. today at Jim Hill Field

• Records: Lake Arthur 4-1, Clovis Christian 2-2

• Last week: The Panthers beat Anthony, N.M.-based Calvary West Christian, while the Eagles absorbed a 78-24 loss at San Jon.

• Last year: The teams did not meet.

• Of note: The three-time defending 6-man state champion Panthers and Eagles faced each other in back-to-back 6-man state championship games, with CCS winning at Lake Arthur in 2010 and Lake Arthur returning the favor in Clovis the following year. … The Panthers are ranked second in 6-man this year behind Hondo, whom they lost to 50-0 on Sept. 19. They had beaten Hondo in each of the last two state finals. … CCS coach Josh Johnson said the Eagles have added a ninth player to their roster in transfer Jason Klein, a running back-defensive end. “We’re really excited about him,” Johnson said. “He brings some athleticism and speed.” … The Panthers are a bit on the young side this year, Johnson said, but should still be plenty formidable. “They’re pretty physical, and a really disciplined football team,” he said. “We’ve got our work cut out for us.”

Morton at Bovina

• When: 6:30 p.m. (CDT) today

• Records: Morton 1-4, Bovina 4-1

• Last week: The Indians lost at Olton 13-12, while the Mustangs posted a 33-13 victory at home over Hale Center.

• Last year: In what was then a District 3-1A Division II tilt, Bovina routed the Indians 41-0 at Morton.

• Of note: This is Bovina’s final game before the start of District 3-2A Division II play next week at Farwell. … Last week’s loss was the second 13-12 setback this season for the Indians, who also dropped their opener at Springlake-Earth by that count. “They’re better than their record,” Bovina coach Hector Guevara said. … A key for Bovina is containing junior QB Adam Soliz, who stands just 5-foot-4 and weighs in at 114 pounds, according to the Indians’ roster. “He’s a dual threat (run and pass),” Guevara said. “We’ve got to contain him.” … So far, so good for the Mustangs, who missed the postseason in 2013 for just the second time in eight seasons under Guevara. “The boys are playing extremely hard,” he said. “Our goal is a district championship.”

— Compiled by Dave Wagner