Portales senior Hunter Rackler catches the ball over Muleshoe junior Dusty Clayton Friday at Greyhound Stadium. (Staff photo: Andy DeLisle)
By Mickey Winfield: Freedom Newspapers
BLACKWATER DRAW — Mother Nature did what the Portales defense couldn’t do Friday night: Stop the Muleshoe aerial attack.
With just under two minutes remaining in the first half, and with the Mules leading Portales 20-0, the Rams home opener was called off due to lightning in the area.
The game will go down as a ‘no-contest’ and the game won’t be made up, according to first-year Portales head coach Andy Correll.
“Tomorrow, it’s supposed to rain all day so we just called it, and we won’t make it up,” Correll said.
Junior quarterback Garrett Riley powered the Mules’ charge, completing 11 of 16 passes for 201 yards and three scores in Muleshoe’s season opener.
Midway through the first quarter, Riley threw down the middle of the field to a wide open Dusty Clayton for a 35-yard touchdown pass.
The Muleshoe defense held the Rams offense, and toward the end of the opening quarter, it was back to pay dirt for the Mules.
From the Ram 24, junior running back Eric Washington turned a screen pass up the middle for the second score of the game, to give the Mules a 14-0 lead.
The Portales offense started to get on track early in the second quarter as senior running back Eric Segovia reeled off a 14-yard scamper for a first down, followed by an 11-yard completion from junior quarterback Chris Mosier to senior receiver Kevin Gonzales. The Portales drive came to a halt, however, as the Mule defense intercepted a Mosier pass at midfield.
As half-time approached the Mules put it in the air again, and into the end zone once more.
Riley’s third touchdown pass was a slant to senior receiver Brant Hamilton.
Just before the Mules kickoff, the Greyhound Stadium lightning warning sounded, and play was called about 30 minutes later.
Riley described Muleshoe’s passing offense as simple but effective.
“We don’t have many plays, we just executed,” Riley said.
Correll was also impressed with the Muleshoe passing game.
“Anytime you’re playing against that kind of speed, they’re going to make you look bad,” Correll said. “Our secondary just has to keep jell.”
Segovia led the Rams rushing attack with 34 yards on eight carries.
Mosier went 4 of 8 for 34 yards and an interception in his first start.