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

Hope Christian topples Rams in overtime

Game delayed 80 minutes due to pregame lightning strike nearby.

 

August 25, 2018

PORTALES — The Rams dropped their first football season-opener in four years on Friday night, as a Hope Christian stop in overtime preserved a 10-3 victory. Portales quarterback Julian Urioste tried to take off for the end zone on fourth and goal from the 10-yard line, but came up a couple of yards short.

“We didn’t execute on offense,” Rams coach Jaime Ramirez said. “We gave up some big plays we shouldn’t have on defense, a couple of times. I thought our defense played good, for the most part, but we kinda gave up some big plays that hurt us there towards the end.”

Trailing 10-3 in the first overtime period, Portales (0-1) faced a third and goal from the 6-yard line. Urioste’s option pitch to Baylor Diaz resulted in a loss of four yards, thanks to a swarm of Huskies (1-0) defenders.

From there, the Rams’ fourth and goal attempt from the 10 saw Urioste roll right, and with nobody open, he was forced to take off. Urioste’s scamper up the right side looked good, until he was met by a host of Hope defenders, who wrestled him down at the 2-yard line.

The game going extra time seemed fitting, given the players and fans waiting nearly an hour and a half to start the game due to a nearby lightning strike.

The Rams, despite controlling the clock throughout the night, trailed 3-0, well into the fourth quarter. Portales put together a 19-play drive, starting in the third quarter and lasting into the mid-fourth quarter, for a grand total of 6:05 in length.

A third and goal from the 4 forced Urioste to throw into coverage, resulting in a pass breakup. Kicker Lesther Andrade easily knocked home a 21-yarder to tie the game at 3-3. Hope responded with a five-plus minute drive of its own, and faced a fourth down from the Portales 7-yard line, with just over a minute to play.

Hope then tried a 21-yard field goal of its own, but it was partially blocked at the line of scrimmage, and landed shy of the goal posts. Ultimately, however, the Rams’ former District 4-4A rival got the best of them, in Portales’ first overtime matchup since 2002.

“This is becoming quite the routine for us when we play Portales,” Hope coach Gary Beck explained. “We played last year and it was a 9-0 game with about 30 seconds left in the game. This is what we set our standard to is Portales. They always bring out the best in the teams we provide, because we always know they’re going to be that good. It’s just great to come away with a win on the road. That’s just awesome.”

The Rams will try to regroup next week, when it hosts St. Mike’s next Friday night. The Horsemen beat the Rams, 21-20, in Santa Fe last season. Ironically, that game came down to a Portales quarterback scramble to the end zone, netting a similar result to Friday night against Hope.

 
 

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