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Rams take on Bobcats in 4A semis

Asked if his Portales High football team has seen anyone the likes of Bloomfield this season, Rams coach Jaime Ramirez said it would have to be his squad.

“They play the same defense we do, and the same offense,” Ramirez said Monday. “We’re real similar teams.”

They’re set to collide in a 1 p.m. semifinal on Saturday at Greyhound Stadium. In the other semifinal, third-seeded Silver (9-2) plays at No. 2 Lovington (8-3), also on Saturday.

Both squads have pretty much run roughshod over the competition this season. While the Bobcats, ranked No. 2 in 4A by MaxPreps behind Lovington but seeded No. 1, enter the game 11-0, the only blemish on Portales’ record is a 29-21 setback at Lovington in the District 4-4A and regular-season finale.

Bloomfield, seeking to defend its 4A championship of a year ago, has outscored its opposition by a ridiculous 527-34 margin this season, including eight shutouts. Most of the damage against the Bobcats came in the season opener, a 41-20 win over St. Pius.

The fourth-seeded Rams (10-1) have been almost as impressive, outscoring their opponents for the year 452-63.

The Sartans are one of three common opponents for the teams. PHS claimed a 41-0 win over St. Pius on Sept. 15, and both teams easily handled Albuquerque Academy and Valencia.

In fact, the Bobcats have two lopsided wins over the Chargers, having beaten them 41-0 in the regular campaign and 55-0 in Saturday’s quarterfinal round.

“They’re very fast on film,” Ramirez said. “Honestly, I think we’re going to have to play solid defense and not give up big plays. On offense, we need to take what they give us.”

Junior quarterback Blake Spencer leads a balanced offense for Bloomfield, having thrown for more than 2,100 yards with 31 touchdowns and just three interceptions. His top target is senior Drew Perez, who has nearly 900 yards receiving and 16 TDs.

“Their receiving corps is all good,” Ramirez said.

The playoffs have set up well for the Rams, who won their opener at home over Bernalillo 17-0 on Friday night. If they get past the Bobcats, PHS would stay at home against either Lovington or Silver in the finals on Nov. 25.