BLACKWATER DRAW — Any problems the Portales Rams might have been having on offense when they lost at Lovington 17-14 two weeks ago certainly appear to be clearing up.
After putting 60 points on Albuquerque Academy in a rout last week, the Rams got five touchdown passes and two scoring runs from senior quarterback Michael Trujillo Friday night in handing Ruidoso a 48-24 District 4-3A shellacking at Greyhound Stadium.
Portales (7-3, 2-1 district) was trying to lock up a first-round bye in the Class 3A playoffs, and appeared to do that with an efficient offensive performance that produced 423 total yards.
Trujillo mixed short and long passes, completing 22-of-31 overall for 286 yards. Seven Rams caught at least one pass, led by junior running back Jesus Davalos with eight for 41 and senior wide receiver Brandon Adkins with six for 86 yards and two touchdowns.
Trujillo deflected credit to his teammates.
“With our talented receivers, and I had all day to throw, we just had fun out there,” he said.
The bigger, slower Warriors (5-4, 1-2) tried to stay close behind 230-pound running back Marcos Rubio, who rushed for 134 yards, but the Rams intercepted four passes by quarterback Daryl Carr — two by senior linebacker Nick Bliss — and took control of the game with three touchdowns in the final six minutes of the first half.
Trujillo accounted for all three of them through the air with scoring tosses to Shawn Sites, Shawn Carrasco and Brandon McAfee as the Rams turned a 12-7 deficit into a 27-12 halftime lead.
“He’s just got an arm,” Rams coach Andy Correll said of Trujillo. “I thought he read the defense pretty well, and he put the ball where it needed to be.”
Trujillo capped a seven-play, 53-yard drive early in the third quarter with a 1-yard run. After Ruidoso used up 5 1/2 minutes to score, Trujillo weaved his way though the defense on the first play after the kickoff, getting a key downfield block from senior wide receiver Steven Howard en route to a backbreaking 58-yard TD run with 1:17 left in the period.
“We kind of hit a lull (early in the second quarter), but we showed signs of a great team,” Trujillo said. “Our receivers came out to play, our linemen stepped up and the defense played well.
“It was a team effort.”
The only downer came late in the game when Rams senior wide receiver Lukas Pickard landed awkwardly near the sideline going up for a pass. He was taken to a Portales hospital with a possible neck injury, but Correll said he thought it was a precautionary move.
“They think it’s muscular, but they’re going to check him out,” Correll said.