By Mickey Winfield: Freedom Newspapers
RATON — The Portales Rams gave first year head coach Andy Correll his first win as a Ram, as the Portales defense dominated the younger Raton Tigers (0-2) in Raton’s home opener, 13-0 Friday night.
“I’m glad we got this, these kids deserve it,” Correll said. “I’m proud of our guys, the kids traveled well and we came and got after it.”
The Rams offense would get things started midway through the second quarter as junior Chris Mosier picked things up at the Portales 11-yard line. Mosier quickly fired a 54 yard pass to Cruz Ontiveros to get the wheels oiled, then, Mosier kept the ball and picked up another 25 yards on the ground. Three runs and 9 yards later, Ontiveros took it in from the 1-yard line to put the Rams on top for the first time this season.
Correll had great praise for his junior signal caller’s ability to lead the 89-yard touchdown drive.
“I was proud of him, he read (the defense) right, and that’s not easy, that’s a hard part of our offense to run, and he did a great job with that,” Correll said.
Once the Rams offense got some points on the board, the Portales defense took control of the game, holding the Tigers to negative 29 yards on the ground in the first half, just one first down, and 4 total yards of offense.
“We take a lot of pride with (our defense) and we want to be physical and play up and down the line of scrimmage and our kids did that pretty well tonight,” Correll said.
Mosier threw two interceptions just before the half, but the Ram defense held.
The teams traded several fruitless possessions in the third quarter, and Mosier threw another interception as the quarter ended, but the Portales defense held once more.
Mosier and the Portales offense spent the entire fourth quarter pounding the ball on the ground with senior running backs Eric Segovia and Cruz Onteveros, who combined for 80 yards rushing in just the last quarter alone, capped by an insurance touchdown from Segovia.
Segovia, Ontiveros and Mosier accumulated 208 yards on the ground. The Rams offense as a whole churned out 311 yards of total offense, while the Portales defense held the Tigers to just 5 yards of offense. Segovia ran the ball 19 times for 124 yards and one score.
“My tongue almost fell out,” said Segovia referring to a mid-week comment from Correll that the senior would carry the ball “until his tongue fell out.”
Segovia didn’t seem to mind the heavy workload Friday night.
“It was nice,” Segovia said. “We’re clicking, all the blocks are coming together and everything seems to be clicking.”
Mosier completed six of 16 passes for 103 yards and three interceptions. Correll wasn’t too concerned after the game about the turnovers because it meant his quarterback was being aggressive.
“You gotta overcome adversity,” Correll said. “those are going to happen and like I’ve told him, I can handle an interception, if he’s giving our receiver a chance to go get the ball and make a play.”
Portales ran the ball 41 times compared to just 16 passes.
“We want to be fairly balanced, I know we’re not yet, but we still want to be able to keep defenses guessing,” Correll said.