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

Foxes hand Buffs 44-14 setback

 

Last updated 3/27/2021 at 2:46pm



FORT SUMNER — Melrose and Fort Sumner officially collided for the first time in football since 1991 on Friday night. Suffice it to say, it didn’t go well for the Buffaloes.

Senior quarterback Kane Burney threw for four touchdowns and also caught a scoring pass and the Foxes (4-0), playing their first season in 8-man, dominated the middle two quarters en route to a 44-14 victory over the Buffs.

Melrose (3-1) tallied first early in the second quarter on a 50-yard TD strike from freshman Michael Cardonita to sophomore Dathan Yeary, but the Buffs didn’t score again until senior Devon Bailey returned one of three interceptions by Burney into a 10-yard touchdown return early in the final segment.

In between, it was all Fort Sumner. Burney caught a 4-yard scoring pass from senior wide receiver Creed West, then hit senior Chance Drake with a 2PAT toss for an 8-6 lead with just over seven minutes left in the half. By the time intermission arrived, Burney had three scoring tosses — two to Drake and another to sophomore Clay Norman — for a 28-6 halftime lead.

West then returned the second-half kickoff 70 yards for a touchdown to dampen any comeback hopes Melrose might have entertained.

Burney finished 15-of-30 passing for 386 yards. Most of it was to West, Norman and Drake, who combined for 11 catches and 310 yards.

With the truncated basketball season almost here, both teams are expected to pass on a possible season-ending “bowl game” offered next week by the New Mexico Activities Association.

Elida 31, Dora 25 — In a bit of a shootout at Dora, the twice-defending 6-man state runnerup Tigers built a 24-12 halftime lead and held off the host Coyotes down the stretch.

Senior Ryan Fair ran for a pair of scores for Elida (2-2), and caught a 30-yard touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Levi Victor. Meantime, Victor also found senior Alex Castro on a pair of scoring tosses.

The second TD pass to Castro gave the Tigers a 31-19 lead late in the third quarter. The Coyotes (1-3) closed to within a score early in the final stanza on senior James Rooney’s second TD run of the game, then recovered an onside kick, but they weren’t able to reach paydirt down the stretch.

Coaches Jereme Woodruff of Elida and Clay Ferguson of Dora, who was an assistant to Woodruff last season, said they are anxious for their teams to get the extra game being offered by the NMAA.

“It was a great game, going up against Jereme,” said Ferguson, who still lives near Woodruff in Elida. “He’s one of my really good friends, and one of my neighbors.

“Both sides left it all on the field tonight.”

With a number of new players this season, Woodruff said he isn’t disappointed with the way things have turned out.

“We beat our in-county rivals (Dora and Floyd), and we still have a chance for a winning season,” he said.

 
 

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