The Tucumcari Rattlers season ends with a 48-0 loss to the Santa Rosa Lions
Rattlers quarterback senior Andrez Apodaca passes a quick pitch to Lucas Benavidez.
Rattlers sophomore Lucas Benavidez moves into the gap trying to pick up a couple more yards.
Lions wide receiver Jake Meairs moves in to take the hand off as running back Aaron Maestas motions the opposite way to draw the defense.
The Tucumcari Rattlers’ playoff run ended with a 48-0 loss to the Santa Rosa Lions.
“I have to give Santa Rosa credit,” said Rattlers coach Dub Smith. “They did everything that they needed to do to advance. I hate that we disappointed the crowd, but this team will move on.”
Despite the hard loss after the game coach Smith encouraged the players to keep pressing forward.
“These young men will graduate and be successful,” Smith said. “As coaches we are helping to mold these young into future leaders. We encourage them to continue to participate in athletics.”
Senior Michael Fazekas is one of the players who is saddened that football is over but plans to continue with athletics throughout the rest of the year.
“I play sports from the very beginning to the end of the year,” Fazekas said. “It’s disappointing that we are not going further in football but I think in wrestling well have at least six state champions this year.”
The Rattlers offense struggled throughout the game to move the ball consistently down field while the Lions took care of business early on.
The Lions put it away early, scoring on all seven first-half possessions and ran out the game with a running clock in the second half.
Senior Aaron Maestas started the Lions off with a 10-yard run, and the Lions’ second possession began with a 60-yard touchdown run from Jake Meairs. Senior Jesus Roybal ran for a 92-yard touchdown for the Lions’ third possession and freshman Jason Martinez would cap the first quarter scoring with a 42- yard touchdown scamper of his own.
In the second quarter it was a 1-2-3 punch by the Lions that drove the game out of reach. First off Roybal chalked up another touchdown with a 43-yard run, followed by two more touchdowns by senior running back Aaron Maestas.
The Lions will now move on in the playoffs to face the winner of Lordsburg and Eunice. Lions coach Frank Ortiz already has his team focusing on the next game.
“At this point we are one game away from a state championship game and that is what this team has worked towards all year,” Ortiz said. “Winning big at home helps out a lot and we are going to keep playing hard and keep going forward.”