The Portales Rams hit the road riding a two-game winning streak and coach Jamie Ramirez knows his team is feeling confident and ready.
“We’re relaxed as a team, and we had a good week of practice,” Ramirez said of his team, which plays at Pojoaque tonight.
Last season, the Rams defeated the Elks 26-14 at Greyhound Stadium.
One of the reasons for the Rams’ current winning streak is switching up their practice routine. At the team’s request, Ramirez changed their practice time at the end of the week to mornings.
“We switched things up a bit. On Monday and Tuesday we practice after school, and Wednesday and Thursday we do it at 6:30 in the morning. The kids picked it and it’s been working out good.”
Defensively, the Rams (2-3) have forced at least two turnovers in each of their last two games.
“We want to stop any team we play from moving the ball, and the mark of any good defense is if they can create turnovers and we want to continue that trend tonight,” Ramirez said.
With Pojoaque’s defense penchant for playing man coverage defense on the outside, Ramirez is hoping for another big game from quarterback Matt Martinez, who threw for 158 yards and a TD and ran for another 84 yards in last week’s 42-21 win over Dexter.
If the Rams can get some yards in the passing game early, it should open up the running game, and running back Bronte Staugaard who ran for 122 yards on 26 carries and a touchdown in last year’s win, could be in for another big day against Pojoaque.
“The key to what we do on offense starts with our line.” Ramirez said. “They’ve been improving throughout the season and now they’re really clicking.”
The offensive line features tackles Jeremie Karngbaye and Adam Hernandez, guards Jose Rodriguez and Trenton Small, and center Drew Jackson.
Pojoaque (3-2) has traded wins and losses throughout the season, but they’re coming off a 20-point victory and Ramirez isn’t going to underestimate the Elks because of their record.
“They’re a good team. They have a good coach, so we’re going to have to show up and play,” Ramirez said. “We can’t just walk in there.”
Portales (2-3) at Pojoaque Valley (3-2)
When: 7 p.m. today
Radio: 105.9 F.M.
Coaches: Portales: Jamie Ramirez Pojoaque Valley: John Ainsworth
Last meeting: Portales 26-14, 2013Last week: Portales defeated Dexter 42-21. Pojoaque defeated Socorro 40-20.