Rams claim crown in 4A

Portales tops Bloomfield for sixth title in school history.


December 1, 2019

Matt Hollinshead

The Portales Rams celebrate winning the Class 4A state football title Saturday at Bobcat Stadium in Bloomfield. The Rams closed out the season with a nine-game winning streak.

BLOOMFIELD — Portales was well-aware of the blistering numbers Bloomfield’s offense has generated all year along, and the Rams’ defense was ready for the challenge.

And they delivered, wreaking havoc front to back to win Saturday’s 4A state football championship game, 23-0, at Bobcat Stadium.

“It’s something no one can take away from you. It just feels really good, to finish my high school career like this,” said Portales defensive end Philip Blidi, who will continue his football career at Texas Tech University. “I just wanted to go out with a bang.”

Portales (12-1) won its sixth blue trophy in school history, including two in just the last four years. The Rams, concluding their seventh season under Jaime Ramirez, have reached at least the semifinal round in each of the last five years.

The win pushed Portales’ win streak to nine games and ended one of its more dominant seasons in school history. Of the Rams’ 12 wins on the season, just two were decided by single digits while eight were decided by 20 or more.

Making back-to-back state finals appearances, Bloomfield (12-1) was again denied what would’ve been its first state title since 1966.

“We were on the field a long time (on defense). We struggled offensively. It’s a hell of a defense that Portales has. We weren’t having that success finding holes in their defense. That causes struggles for us,” Bloomfield coach Bob Allcorn said. “This community should be proud of these kids, I know they are. We came up short again, and it’s unfortunate.”

After scoring 48.5 points a game coming in, the Bobcats were shut out for the first time in two years.

Blidi and company kept attacking the pocket, kept chasing down players sideline to sideline.

Bloomfield quarterback Vince Marquez was under endless siege trying to scope out any downfield targets he could.

Passes hit the ground and were deflected on multiple occasions.

“We just executed it to perfection,” Portales defensive back Kellan Hightower, who had a pair of interceptions, said of constant pressure. “It was huge. It turned the whole game around. It gave us the momentum.”

Portales’ defense gave up just 4.7 points a game during the playoffs, surrendering a mere 11.8 points per game overall in 2019.

“This is just what we grind for, man,” Blidi said.

Matt Hollinshead

Kellan Hightower of Portales fights off Bloomfield's Anthony Gonzales for extra yards.


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