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

Rams hope blowout win gets them going


Last updated 9/28/2021 at 5:02pm

RIO GRANDE — Portales High’s football team got off the schneid in a big way on Saturday. Now the Rams are looking to string some wins together.

Sophomores Elijah Kladiihbah and Zane Mayberry combined for five touchdowns and PHS routed Rio Grande 53-0 in a game called on the New Mexico Activities Association’s 50-point mercy rule after Mayberry returned the second-half kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown.

Both teams came into the tilt 0-4, but it was pretty clear from the get-go which side was stronger.

“We needed this win big-time,” Rams coach Jaime Ramirez said. “We played good in all areas. We scored a couple of special teams touchdowns, which we hadn’t done all year.”

The Rams will try to make it two in a row on Friday when they welcome Dexter (2-2) in a 7 p.m. kickoff at Greyhound Stadium.

Four players tallied in the opening stanza as the Rams rolled to a 28-0 lead. Meantime, Kladiihbah had a pair of TDs, including a 50-yard punt return, as Portales extended the margin to 47-0 at halftime.

“We probably had under 30 plays (from scrimmage),” Ramirez said. “I think we only gave up two first downs the whole game. We played really good defense, to be honest.

“I definitely think we can build on this. We’ve been getting better every week.”

Sophomore quarterback Devin Diaz threw for three TDs in the contest, all in the first quarter, connecting with Kladiihbah for 50 yards, Mayberry for 10 and senior Eric Ramirez for 6. Junior Emmanuel Diahn got PHS on the board with an 8-yard run, and senior Brandon Blidi added a 1-yard touchdown run late in the half.

Since forfeiting their season-opener to Atrisco Heritage, the Ravens have been outscored 196-6 over the last four games. Their only touchdown came in a 36-6 loss on Sept. 3 at Valencia, a team which defeated PHS 32-22 in Week 3.

Dexter (2-2) gives opponents a variety of looks on both offense and defense, Ramirez said.

“They’re fast on both sides of the ball,” Ramirez said. “Dexter’s always scrappy and always tough.”

It will be the penultimate non-district tilt for the Rams, who visit Hatch Valley next week and open District 4-4A action at Ruidoso on Oct. 15.

Right now, though, Ramirez said the Rams are focused on the immediate task at hand.

“We try not to look ahead of who we’re playing week-to-week,” he said.


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