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

Regional football preview: Dora seeks first win on field

 

September 6, 2018

Four local squads look to notch victories in this week's regional preview, including Melrose, Dora, Elida and Farwell. Melrose first-year coach Caleb King earned his first win last week in a blowout of Ramah. Elida and Farwell, on the other hand, suffered tough losses last week, and will do their best to get back into the win column. Dora, meanwhile, won via forfeit, as last week proved to be a glorified bye week.

Tonight's games

District 3/8-Man: Ramah vs. Dora, 7 p.m. (at Estancia)

The thin-rostered Coyotes (2-0) got a little bit of extra rest last week, as their opponent, Foothill, had to forfeit. As for Ramah (0-2), another area team, Melrose, stuck it to them. The Mustangs lost to the Buffaloes, 54-0.

In fact, in two games, Ramah has been outscored, 106-0. Despite this, Dora coach Mason McBee says that the Mustangs have 20 players on their roster, and he sees some potential in them.

"Thing is, we played them two years ago and we kinda had our way with them," McBee said. "But, they got a new coach and have 20 kids on their roster. I know their quarterback is pretty decent and they have a big line with good athletes."

The young Coyotes have continued to show growth in this young season, as McBee says the difference between the first two-and-a-day practice and the present is like "night and day." Furthermore, he's been impressed with his team's ability to learn on the fly. Nonetheless, he says there's still plenty of room for more growth, especially when he studies other teams.

"I've been looking around the state, and we have a long ways to go to match up with Tatum and other teams," McBee explained. "Especially in terms of speed and athleticism. However, we're going in the right direction."

Friday's games

District 3/8-Man: Tatum (1-1) at Melrose (1-0), 7 p.m.

The Caleb King era went off without a hitch last week, as King's first victory as Buffaloes coach resulted in a 54-0 blowout over Ramah.

"It's the first game of the season, so to get the first win under our belt was exciting," King explained. "But, we can't get too excited, because we got Tatum this week and that's going to be a tough one."

Tatum (1-1) bounced back nicely last weekend, after a 41-6 season-opening loss at Gateway Christian. The Coyotes took down Mountainair, 57-16. According to King, the Coyotes present many challenges.

"They're a young team that's brought pretty much everybody back, and they've got good speed," King said. "The big thing for us is trying to make sure we keep them from getting outside, and we like to apply pressure. Offensively, with all of the injuries, it's trying to move guys around to new positions and adjust to that."

One injury, in particular, that stands out, is Tristan Sena. An All-State running back and linebacker a year ago, Sena suffered a partial tear of his meniscus last week.

"We're gonna see what we're gonna do," King explained. "We're just taking it week by week."

District 1/6-Man: Elida (1-1) at Vaughn (2-0), 4 p.m.

The Tigers' (1-1) second game as a re-formed program resulted in their first loss, last Saturday. Elida was routed by Animas, 54-20, in a neutral site game at Cloudcroft. According to Elida coach Jarred Hestand, his squad simply "did not play well."

"They are fast. They ran a spread offense that blew our minds," Hestand said of Animas. "A little bit of it was the kids knowing they were state champs last year - that kinda messed with them."

Vaughn (2-0), on the other hand, may not be the defending state champion, but the Eagles have sure played like it in 2018. The Eagles won their opener against Grady/San Jon, 61-21, before shutting out Roy/Mosquero, 56-0, last Saturday afternoon. By the way, both of those contests were on the road.

Hestand says that the Eagles have one or two kids that are pretty fast. However, this week of practice has been more about keeping it simple and taking care of Elida, rather than worrying about anybody else.

"We need to work on open field tackling," Hestand explained. "We gotta get our defensive players to tackle in the open field - that's so key in 6-Man. We're really going back to basics and working on fundamentals this week."

Texas 2A-2 Region I District 2: Farwell (0-1) at Crosbyton (0-1), 7:30 p.m. (CDT)

The Steers (0-1) had the opportunity to break in their young secondary on the fly last week - for better and for worse. Farwell tried to rally from double-digits in the fourth quarter of last Friday's opener against Friona, but it wasn't quite enough, in a 27-19 loss.

Coach Danny Brittain's team cut the deficit down to 27-19 late, and actually got the ball one more time - only to turn it over on downs.

Nonetheless, like his defense, Brittain is breaking-in quite a few new offensive players, as well. Overall, he was generally pleased with his offense last weekend.

"Our offense looked good," Brittain said. "We got a new quarterback, running back and blocking back. (And yet), we had a chance to get back in it at the end."

As for the aforementioned secondary, an early blown coverage led to a 50-yard completion.

In all, the Steers gave up two early touchdown passes in the fourth quarter, before nearly digging out of that hole.

And while his secondary may have gotten off to a pretty rough start, they certainly recovered thereafter.

"We have a lot of young kids playing positions that they didn't start at our level (before)," Brittain explained. "They go up against junior varsity kids in practice, and at our level, you don't really get a good look at the passing game during the week.

"But, our secondary got a lot better throughout the week, and throughout the game."

As for Crosbyton (0-1), the Chiefs lost 27-7 at Vega, a week ago. Brittain says Crosbyton loves to run the football, running about 12-15 plays in a row, before lulling you into their play-action passing game.

Brittain went on to say that the Chiefs use six-inch splits across their offense line, coming together tight to run right at you. Brittain, in fact, scouted Crosbyton in both of its preseason scrimmages and said that the Chiefs threw it a grand total of six times, combined. At any rate, Brittain feels strongly about his team's chances in this matchup.

"My personal thoughts, we should beat them," Brittain said. "We're more athletic than them, we have a better scheme, our kids play harder than theirs, and we're just a better team than them. But, we gotta go out there and actually do it."

 
 

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