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

Area football preview: District duels on tap


October 9, 2019

Kevin Wilson

Texico's Josh Myers stretches for the one-handed grab on a two-point conversion as teammate Brennan Davis lines up for the catch as well in the first quarter of Friday's 55-0 win over Tucumcari. The Wolverines head to Clayton Friday for their District 6/7-2A opener.

The first time around this season, the Melrose Buffaloes dispatched rival Tatum with ease, winning 42-6.

Unfortunately, that was not an 8-man District 3 game. The Coyotes turned the tables on the Buffaloes last Friday in Melrose, handing them a 32-14 setback in the district tilt.

It was the first loss in six games this season for the Buffs, who resumes district play at 7 p.m. on Friday at home against Dora, also known as the Coyotes (2-2, 1-1) who are also coming off a district loss, falling 20-6 on Friday at Logan.

Both teams are now 1-1 in district, and will try to bounce back on Friday when they meet up in Melrose.

"They're a tough team," said Buffs coach Caleb King, who was a coach in the Dora school system before coming to Melrose. "They're big; we're going to have to do a good job on the line, and keep them from pressuring us."

Melrose, seeking a fifth 8-man state title in six years, has its work cut out, according to King.

"It's going to (match) two really good teams," he said of this week's clash. "Whoever shows up to play will come out on top."

King said Tatum (5-1, 2-0 district) simply played much better last week than in the earlier contest.

"They made some adjustments," he said. "The (rainy) weather wasn't in our favor. It was just muddy."

No rest for the Coyotes, meanwhile, who come off that loss to Logan and plunge right into Melrose to face an even tougher district opponent.

"This week we have a huge task at hand, against one of the best teams in the state," Dora head coach Chris Lozano said. "They have many weapons, and we have to be ready to play a very physical game. Defensively, we must minimize the amount of big plays they have on offense. Offensively, we must be consistent and control the tempo of the game.

"Last Friday, we learned that you can't take anything for granted. We showed up to Logan flat and they took advantage of the situation. We committed too many physical and mental mistakes that we could not overcome. Hopefully we learned from this game and realize the focus required to be successful."

Texico (3-4, 0-0 Class 2A District 6-7) at Clayton (1-6, 0-0), 7 p.m. Friday

Things haven't gone as well this season as the Wolverines had hoped, but it's a brand new start for everyone with the beginning of district play.

"We're just trying to get up there and play our best," first-year Texico coach Bob Gilbreath said. "You can't look back; that's not going to help you. We've lost some close games this year to some really good teams."

As for the Yellow Jackets, Gilbreath said inexperience may be playing a factor.

"I think they're maybe a little young this year," he said. "That may be part of the reason their record isn't a little better."

San Jon/Grady (2-4, 0-1 6-man District 1) at Elida (7-0, 3-0), 4 p.m. Saturday

The Tigers, coming off a 49-6 thumping of Springer-Maxwell in a battle of unbeatens last weekend, can now wrap up an undisputed district crown with a win over the struggling Coyotes.

"It was a big win," Elida coach Jereme Woodruff said of last week's game. "It was our Homecoming, and Springer's got a really tough team. They're the first team that made us play four quarters."

Elida will celebrate Senior Night, recognizing its six seniors before the game. "Most of those guys have been playing together since they were in third grade," Woodruff noted, adding that unlike most 6-man teams, the Tigers don't have to start many players both ways.

Elida has a final tuneup game next week, traveling out-of-district to face Hondo on Oct. 18 before entering the postseason.

Springer-Maxwell (6-1, 1-1 6-man District 1) at Floyd (1-4, 1-1), 2 p.m. Friday

The Broncos figure to get an angry opponent this week after the Red Devils' loss at Elida.

"They were the No. 2 team (behind Elida in 6-man)," Floyd coach Todd Horton said. "They had pretty much beaten all their opponents the same way Elida has (before last week)."

Meantime, the Broncos are coming off a forfeit win over Roy, which earlier had to cancel its remaining games due to lack of numbers.

"We're going to have our plate full," Horton said. "It'll be a big challenge for us."

Farwell (3-2, 0-0 Class 2A Region I District 2) at Seagraves (2-4, 0-0), 7 p.m. (CDT) Friday

As he looked ahead, beyond his bye week, to the Steers' next game against Seagraves, Farwell head coach Jhett Norman saw a team similar to his.

"They're young, kind of like us," Norman said.

The Steers are unbeaten at home but have dropped their only two road games as they get ready to visit the Eagles in the district opener for both teams.

In their last game before the bye, the Steers posted a 32-28 win over Dimmitt on Sept. 27. Coming out of the break, they're ready for anything.

"Who knows what to expect," Norman said. "I'm excited to get district started, if we can play a little faster from the jump."

- Staff writer Peter Stein contributed to this report.


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