Rams aim to right ship


October 3, 2018

Kevin Wilson

Portales junior Phillip Blidi, left, tries to keep Fred Johnson from reaching the pad during Monday's Portales football practice. The Rams (2-4) host Santa Fe Capital Friday.

PORTALES — “What did you work on during the bye week?” certainly wasn’t a loaded question. But sometimes a simple question demands a loaded answer.

“We used that bye week to fix some of the problems we had in every area,” Portales coach Jaime Ramirez said after Monday’s Ram practice. “The main area we wanted to focus on was offense. We needed to take care of our O-line.

“Defensively, we had to shore up our pass defense this week. We also need to make sure we take care of the football on special teams. We fumbled a punt, and we want to take care of those things. We want to make sure we execute our PATs and our field goals.

“So,” Martinez finished with a laugh, “basically everything.”

Portales’ 2-3 record marks the first time since 2014 the Rams are under .500 this late in the season. The Rams entered their bye with two straight road losses, the most recent a razor-thin 21-20 setback at St. Pius and the less recent molasses-thick 28-0 loss at Goddard.

Is Santa Fe Capital what the doctor ordered? The Jaguars are off to a 1-4-1 start in their seventh season under Bill Moon, who went 1-19 in his first two seasons rebuilding the Capital program and hasn’t finished under .500 since.

Since a 14-14 tie against Deming Aug. 31 that was called due to inclement weather, the Jaguars have been outscored 157-34 by Lovington, St. Michael’s, Moriarty and Taos.

Capital could recover in a District 2/6-5A where the other three teams are a combined 7-12 and only Los Alamos (4-2) has a winning record. But they’ll need a win at Greyhound Stadium for a puncher’s chance at a .500 season.

Ramirez is hoping the Rams can prevent that, and start a little momentum of their own. But he says it won’t be easy, despite what the Jaguar schedule would indicate.

“I think they’re a really good, physical ballclub,” Ramirez said. “I want to be able to match the physicality with their run style of offense. We need to match the physicality on both sides of the ball.”

After Capital, Portales goes into its Oct. 12 homecoming against Dexter — followed by the District 3/4-4A season. But none of that matters Friday.

“We’re not looking at district,” Ramirez said. “We’re not looking at anybody but Capital.”

The Rams enter the game relatively healthy, but Ramirez said he was waiting on a prognosis for senior receiver/safety Jakob Killette.

Kevin Wilson

Rico Diaz goes up high to haul in a pass during Monday's practice. The Rams are coming off of a bye week.


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