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

By Dave Wagner
Staff writer 

Rams look to fix mistakes


Last updated 9/7/2021 at 3:35pm

Kevin Wilson

Senior Eric Ramirez, left, and sophomore Zach Mayberry fire passes during drills at Monday's Ram football practice. Portales hosts Valencia this week.

PORTALES - Even though his team scored 38 points last Friday, Portales High football coach Jaime Ramirez said there's plenty of blame to go around for the Rams' 0-2 start.

None of the three platoons - offense, defense or special teams - is without fault as PHS prepares to host Valencia in a 7 p.m. matchup on Friday at Greyhound Stadium.

"We're just making a lot of mistakes everywhere," Ramirez said. "If we can improve on that, I think we can put together a pretty good year. So far, we just haven't been able to finish well.

"The whole purpose of watching film is so we can correct our mistakes. We'll be better this week."

The Jaguars (2-1) lost their opener at Alamogordo 45-6, but have since put together matching 36-6 triumphs over Del Norte and Rio Grande, both at home.

Ramirez said Valencia plays a spread offense and a basic 4-3 on defense, at times moving its outside linebackers up to the line of scrimmage.

The Rams are looking to shake off a 46-38 loss to West Las Vegas last Friday at Greyhound Stadium. Portales came up short on a potential tying 2-point conversion with 4 1/2 minutes left, and the Dons added a touchdown on the final play of the game.

The teams combined for more than 800 yards of total offense.

Senior Nate Rodriguez started at quarterback for the Jaguars last week after senior Ray Garcia had the first two contests under center. Ramirez said Valencia has several potent weapons on offense, operating behind a decent line led by 6-foot-1, 240-pound senior two-way lineman Jonathon Croker.

"I believe it's going to be a good ballgame," Ramirez said. "It's one of those situations where I think we're getting better every week."

Cats visit Rio Rancho - After taking a 62-0 battering from Frenship on Friday at Wolfforth, Texas, Clovis High now faces one of the top teams in New Mexico this week when it visits Rio Rancho (2-0), ranked second in Class 6A behind cross-city rival Cleveland.

"They're always good," CHS coach Cal Fullerton said. "They've got a good offensive line and one of the best running backs in the state (in senior Zach Vigil).

"We're going to try to stop their run and force them to throw."

It figures to be a tall order against a team which has already thrashed two of Clovis' Class 6A District 2/5 foes - 50-0 over La Cueva and, last week, 41-0 over Eldorado.

Among the Rams' other top players are 6-foot-5, 320-pound senior left tackle Cayden Romero and senior free safety Lucas Lucero.

Fullerton said the Wildcats were simply overmatched at Frenship (2-0).

"I haven't seen (an offensive) line as good as Frenship's since at least 2018," he said.

Still, the Cats didn't help themselves. They fumbled on the game's opening possession after reaching the Frenship 22, and had two more turnovers before the half was over.

"We're trying to keep the team upbeat," Fullerton said of his squad. "For the most part, I think the kids still believe (they can be successful)."

It will be the final non-district game for Clovis. After a bye next week, the Cats play the first of six district games on Sept. 24 against La Cueva at Leon Williams Stadium.


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