Emanuel Carrillo tries to fight his way to end zone while Melrose’s Carlos Ruiz tries to save a touchdown Friday night in Melrose. Carrillo was tackled inside the Melrose 5-yard-line. Photo by Mike Linn
By Tony Parra
MELROSE — The Melrose Buffaloes defeated the Floyd Broncos 42-26 in a six-man District 3 game on Friday night.
“The rivalry it has become the last five years has been unbelievable,” Melrose coach Dickie Roybal. “I think the biggest key of the game was the way we blocked. We ran out of a tight set for the first time and it was hard to stop.”
Melrose running back Carlos Ruiz ran ragged through the Broncos’ defense and scored four rushing touchdowns. He also threw one touchdown pass and was involved in five of the Buffs’ seven touchdowns.
The teams struggled to move the ball in the early going with Melrose holding a 6-0 lead at the end of the first quarter. The Broncos were unable to pick up a first down on back-to-back possessions late in the first quarter and early in the first quarter.
The Buffaloes broke through in the defensive struggle with 7:31 left in the first half. Melrose trickled down the field and scored on a 3-yard touchdown run by Ruiz.
Ruiz went up the middle and was met head on by Floyd linebacker Ryan Kroph at the 2-yard line. Ruiz kept his legs churning and pushed Kroph into the endzone for Ruiz’s second score of the game with 4:36 left in the first half.
It was a sign of things to come as Ruiz piled up yardage, breaking tackles and gaining extra yards with his second efforts.
“He is a strong runner,” Roybal said. “He gives extra effort on those tough runs. Brock made some big passes, too.”
The Broncos drove the ball into Buffalo territory on the ensuing drive, but their march stalled at the Melrose 24 when they turned the ball over on downs.
The first break for the Broncos came when Melrose’s Brock Graham fumbled the ball and Floyd’s Emanuel Carrillo recovered at the Melrose 30. Chance Chenault tossed a 30-yard touchdown pass to Jerrod Lang on the next play and Floyd converted the extra point, to cut the deficit to 12-8.
Ruiz would not allow the Broncos to surpass Melrose as he scored for the third time in the first half on a 7-yard touchdown run. This time Floyd’s Jason Martinez dove helmet first into Ruiz’s legs, but Ruiz was able to land in the endzone. Melrose took back the momentum with the score and took an 18-8 lead into halftime.
“We had a lot of dropped passes, turnovers, mental mistakes,” Floyd coach Jeff Gillespie said. “We just didn’t do a good job of executing.”
After another Melrose touchdown, Lang threw an arching touchdown pass over a couple of Melrose defenders and into the arms of wide receiver Chenault to pull the Broncos to within 24-20.
Melrose scored another touchdown to balloon the lead to 30-20, then Floyd answered with a bullet 4-yard touchdown pass from Chenault to Carrillo to trim the Melrose lead to 30-26. But it was as close as Floyd would get.
Melrose had the advantage of two short kicks during the game giving the Buffaloes the ball at midfield and the Buffaloes went on a 12-0 run to close out the game.
“We needed to kick the ball a little deeper,” Gillespie said. “We were trying to keep the ball from Ruiz and limit his returns..”
Floyd defeated Bethel Christian on Sept. 20 to improve to 3-1 and since then the Broncos have gone 2-2 with loses to the Tatum Coyotes and Melrose. Melrose improved to 1-0 in the district and 6-2 overall. The Coyotes have defeated Melrose and Floyd.
The game was to take place in Floyd, but was moved to Melrose because the Broncos’ field wasn’t ready.