Ram senior quarterback Chris Mosier eludes the Lovington Wildcat rush just prior to a 55-yard pass completion to senior Michael Nunez. The Rams lost to the Wildcats 28-0 in the District 4-3A championship Friday.
BLACKWATER DRAW — The Portales Rams gave up three touchdowns to Lovington in the second quarter and never recovered as the Wildcats claimed the District 4-3A crown with a 28-0 win.
The Rams (2-1) now await their seeding fate on Sunday for the state playoffs.
The Rams looked good during the first quarter and looked ready to score at the end of the period after a 51-yard catch and run by senior Michael Nunez. Ram junior wide receiver Aaron Worten then made a short catch in traffic at the Wildcat 5-yard-line but coughed up the ball on the hit.
It was the first of three red zone frustrations for the Ram offense.
“You’ve got to be able to overcome those,” Ram coach Andy Correll said. “Down inside the 5 you’ve got to score, and we didn’t.”
The Cats (3-0) got their first score early in the second quarter after a 40-yard ramble by senior Nat Hernandez to the Ram 24. The next play, Robert Hargrove scampered in for a touchdown.
Lovington stopped a Ram drive with an interception at midfield then immediately connected for a score on a 45-yard pass play from sophomore quarterback Ty Black to senior Orlando Sanchez.
Before the half was done the Cats had gotten another Black to Sanchez hookup — this one for 15 yards — to go up 20-0.
“We knew we had to win the battle at the line of scrimmage and stop their running game,” Lovington coach Jaime Quinones said. “We also knew we couldn’t let him (Mosier) pass. We played pretty well in all of those areas.”
The Rams couldn’t buy a break in the second half either. After Lovington scored its fourth touchdown of the night on a 1-yard run by Hernandez, Portales came unwound.
After Ram sophomore Zach Terry recovered a Wildcat fumble at mid-field the Rams began a sustained drive with runs of 13 yards from senior quarterback Chris Mosier and a 10-yard first down run by senior Ricky Lovato followed by a first down reception of 18 yards by sophomore Shawn Carrasco at the Cat 7-yard-line.
On fourth and goal Mosier hooked up on a pass with junior Brandon Adkins who was stopped a foot short of paydirt.
The Rams found frustration once more in the fourth as they turned the ball over on downs at the Cat six early in the quarter.
“We didn’t even step off the bus right tonight,” Correll said. “I don’t know what team stepped off the bus, but it wasn’t the Rams. It felt like we were in the twilight zone or something out there tonight.”
Quinones felt his team had one of its better nights of the year just when they needed it most.
“It was probably the best we’ve played totally across the board,” Quinones said. “We were able to run the ball and throw the ball.”