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

Goddard proves too much for Portales


September 15, 2019

PORTALES — If there were any questions to be answered about the Goddard Rockets, the second-ranked team in Class 5A answered them Friday night at Greyhound Stadium.

Well, maybe one question remained after the 44-12 victory over Class 4A’s top-ranked Portales Rams — why, exactly, are they No. 2?

That’s a question that will play out later in the season, when the Rockets take on No. 4 Los Lunas later this month, No. 4 Artesia in late October and No. 1 Roswell Nov. 1 to close out the regular season.

Friday night, they were more than good enough with two touchdowns each from Robert Aragon, Sammy Zaragoza and Hunter Boone. Boone’s scores came in a late 16-0 swing that put the game on ice, starting with a 32-yard interception return. The Rockets grabbed a safety on the next drive by blocking the Ram punt out of the end zone, and Boone scored on a 32-yard rush on the first play following the Ram kick.

“They ran the ball super, they played great defense,” Portales coach Jaime Ramirez said. “We had some things that didn’t go our way, but I thought we played a really good first half. Second half, they just wore us down.”

If there was any victory to be had for Portales, it was the knowledge it was the first offense to score on the Rockets this season. Portales got touchdowns on a 75-yard bubble screen to Kellan Hightower and a perfectly-placed ball from Baylor Diaz to Jalen Allen for a 25-yard score.

“I feel like they’ve got some of the bigger skill guys we’re going to see, as long as athletic range and skill,” said Chris White, who’s been at Goddard 19 seasons and took over as head coach in the 2016 season. “They have one of the hardest-running running backs I’ve seen on film. (Wromiah) Gbassagee, man, he’s effort on top of effort.”

White said he was happy with his team competing for all four quarters, despite some penalties he felt were avoidable. The Rams were happy with how they played, but got frequent reminders Friday was their first time this season on the wrong side of a mismatch.

“We’ve seen some adversity,” Ramirez said. “We saw a team that was bigger than us across the board, much stronger across the board. They had their way with that. We’re playing guys on both sides of the ball, and they wore us down.”

The Rams will host St. Pius Friday, followed by a bye and non-district road games at Santa Fe Capital and Dexter to open October.


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