Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Rams turn back St. Michael's

[email protected]

BLACKWATER DRAW — The Portales Rams’ running game turned Greyhound Stadium into a house of horrors on Halloween night for the St. Michael’s Horsemen.

link Staff photo: Joshua Lucero

Rams senior running back Miguel Garza lunges through St. Michael’s defenders for a touchdown in the first half of Friday’s District 4-4A title at Greyhound Stadium.

Senior quarterback Matt Martinez and junior running back Bronte Staugaard combined for 339 yards and three touchdowns on 51 carries to propel the Rams to a 33-20 victory, tying the Horsemen for second place in District 4-4A.

“This is a big win for us,” Staugaard said. “We worked hard and we all played hard together,” said Staugaard, who finished the game with 30 carries for 204 yards and two TDs. “This is an awesome win for us. We needed this, and hopefully we can host a playoff game now.”

The Rams (5-4, 2-1 district) came into the game thinking their short passing game would be effective against the Horsemen (7-2, 2-1), but the cold weather and windy conditions forced them into a running attack.

“We didn’t plan on it,” Rams coach Jaime Ramirez said. “We just took what they gave us, and once we got that late TD there was no reason to chance it by throwing it. It was also hard for Matt to grip the ball.”

The Rams were down early as St. Mike’s went 73 yards in seven plays and Issac Chavez hit Esteban Alcaraz for a 21-yard TD. Portales tied the game when Martinez hit Darion Ontiveros on a broken play for a 33-yard score, and took a 13-7 lead in the second stanza on a Miguel Garza 1-yard run.

The Rams got the ball to start the second half and ran it on all nine plays. Staugaard had a 37-yard run early in the drive, setting up his 1-yard TD run to put the Rams up 19-7.

Staugaard credited his offensive line for his production, and junior center Drew Jackson had no problem taking the compliment.

“We did a great job up front,” Jackson said. “I was proud of the guys on the line for giving it everything they had all game.”

After the Horsemen cut their deficit to 19-14, the Rams went on an eight-play drive ending on a Martinez 9-yard TD run. Portales forced a three-and-out following the kickoff, and put the game away when Staugaard busted up the middle for a 69-yard score.

“It was a good team effort by everyone who stepped on the field tonight,” Staugaard said between deep breaths.

The Horsemen came into the game averaging 26 points per contest.

“We didn’t want to give up the big play, and although we gave up one late in the game, we played outstanding defense after that first series really for the rest of the ballgame,” he said. “That was a big factor in the win.”

Nathanyal Lebya scored on a 97-yard run for St. Mike’s with just under four minutes to go.