By Dave Wagner
CNJ sports writer
The Portales Rams are hoping they can build on last week’s good start.
Meantime, Texico is looking to bounce back from a tough loss at Dexter when the teams clash at 7 p.m. today at Texico.
The Wolverines dropped a 7-0 decision against the Demons, committing six turnovers — including one that led to the lone score late in the first half.
“They totally dominated the game, except for the turnovers,” Rams coach Jaime Ramirez said. “They’re a very good football team, and I expect a competitive ballgame.”
Texico has won three of the four meetings with Portales since the teams began playing in 2009, including a 35-23 decision at home last year. Because that contest was moved after a lightning storm knocked out some lights at Greyhound Stadium the week before the game, this is the third year in a row and fourth time since the series began that Texico will host.
Wolverines coach Ryan Autrey said there were just too many turnovers to overcome at Dexter.
“We played physically; the kids played hard,” he said. “It’s hard when you have six turnovers and they only have one.”
Getting his team to regroup won’t be a problem, though, according to Autrey.
“I don’t think so,” he said. “I felt like for the most part we played well (at Dexter). We just have to eliminate the mental mistakes.”
Portales turned in a stout defensive effort in last week’s 14-6 win over Las Vegas Robertson at Greyhound Stadium, limiting the Cardinals to 205 total yards, including just two pass completions for a net of minus-2. Meantime, sophomore running back Bronte Staugaard rushed for 127 yards on 22 carries, including a 53-yard TD run in the opening period.
“They’re big and physical,” Autrey said of the Rams. “Their quarterback (senior Daniel Sanchez) is a good athlete, and he throws well when you give him time. And the young running back is good.”
Ramirez said the teams are almost evenly-matched.
“They had some turnovers, but you can fix that,” he said of the Wolverines. “I think they’ll be focused and ready to go.”
Sanchez, a tall left-hander, can give the Rams some balance on offense and showed some ability to throw deep last week.
“I was pleased with the way he threw the football for the most part,” Ramirez said.
Portales (1-0) at Texico (0-1)
When: 7 p.m. today
Last week: The Rams beat Las Vegas Robertson 14-6 at Greyhound Stadium. Texico dropped a 7-0 decision at Dexter.
Last year: The Wolverines posted their third win in four seasons over the Rams, beating Portales 35-23 at Texico.