The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Rams expect spread again from Hope

Former district rival coming to Greyhound Stadium for opener.


August 24, 2018

PORTALES — Portales and Hope Christian may not be district rivals anymore, but Rams football coach Jaime Ramirez expects nothing but the Huskies’ best tonight (7 p.m., Greyhound Stadium).

So what is it about Hope that makes them such a tough out against Portales?

“They have good athletes and I think their coaches do a good job with their kids,” Ramirez explained. “I think they just get up for our game.”

Last year in Albuquerque, the Rams won just 16-0. Hope lost seven games last year, and of all of its losses, that was the fewest points given up.

Like last year, expect Hope to be a passing team, operating primarily out of the spread.

“I think their formations will dictate what they do,” Ramirez said. “If we see them in an 'I' formation, they might be more tending to run the ball.

“Definitely when they’re in their doubles and trips and no back, they’re looking to throw the ball. It also depends on who’s back there at quarterback. They have two quarterbacks — the same two from last year. One throws the ball a little bit better, and the other one runs it a little bit better.”

The aforementioned quarterbacks are seniors Nick Henry and Vince Quezada. Henry was 55-of-85 (64.7 percent), with 1,043 yards, nine touchdowns and six interceptions in nine games. Quezada, meanwhile, was 100-of-186 (53.8 percent) in 10 games.

Quezada threw for 1,217 yards, seven touchdowns and four interceptions last season. He also had 458 yards on 110 carries (4.2 yards per carry) and 10 scores on the ground. Henry, on the other hand, had all of three rushing attempts last year, resulting in 3 yards and a score. Both quarterbacks are listed at an identical 5-feet-10, 155 pounds.

As for Portales’ quarterback situation, senior Julian Urioste will get the start over sophomore Baylor Diaz. For the time being, Diaz will split carries with Romeo Gbassagee and Jordan Garcia at running back. When asked if both quarterbacks could make an appearance tonight, Ramirez laughed and said, “anything’s possible.”

According to Ramirez, Hope plays a man defense and puts seven defenders in the box. Ramirez says the Huskies like to take their outside linebackers and put them on the line of scrimmage, trying to stop anything on the perimeter. Ramirez added that his team will have to take advantage of anything Hope gives up.

As for what Ramirez would like to see his team accomplish tonight, he says that establishing the run and being efficient in the passing game is a must. He also added that he just wants to see his team get better each quarter. All in all, coaches and players alike are eager to get back out on the gridiron.

“I think all of us coaches and players are at the same point right now,” Ramirez said. “We all just want to get to that first game and get it played. We’ve been practicing for the last three weeks, and it would be nice to go ahead and play somebody different. We’re hoping to have a great game.”


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