By Mickey Winfield: PNT Staff Writer
The Raton Tigers (0-1) host the Rams (0-2) tonight at Tiger stadium with both squads looking for that first victory.
“I’m excited, I think we’re better prepared for this (game) than we were for either of the other two,” Rams head coach Andy Correll said during Thursday afternoon’s practice session. “I think the kids are ready, I told ‘em we’re primed, so it’s time.”
Senior runningback Cruz Ontiveros summed up the week of practice.
“Right now we’re just trying to work on the fundamentals, and pick up our blocking scheme, hopefully we can do that against Raton,” Ontiveros said.
The young Portales secondary was also exposed in the Rams’ home opener against Muleshoe last Friday.
The Ram defense gave up more than 200 yards through the air in less than a half last week, something Correll says can’t happen again.
“They think they can throw it on us, with what Muleshoe did to us last week, we’ve adjusted some things, and solidified our secondary,” Correll said. “We just need to fix those little things, its technique type stuff.”
Correll also plans to stir up the secondary rotation a bit to keep fresh legs on the field.
“I think some of our secondary guys, especially the ones going both ways are getting a bit winded,” the first year Rams head coach said. “Michael Trujillo is going to come in and play some safety for us, and he’s a good athlete and I think he’ll help us out.”
When the Rams offense hits the field, Correll says he plans to deploy a his most potent weapon.
“They’re fixing to get a dose of Eric Segovia,” Correll said. “We’re going to run him till his tongue falls out.”
Ontiveros likes the Rams ground attack, if the blocking up front works out.
“If we follow through on everything and execute to a hundred percent we should be able to run the ball all night,” Ontiveros said. “If everything works out, we should blow them out of the water (running the ball).”
“One thing we’re going to be ready for is (Raton) blitzing us. They get in a 4-4 stack, and they like to play games,” Correll said. “They’ll shoot their defensive line in, and their backers out, so we’ve got to be sound on our blocking schemes and we’ve worked very hard on that this week.”
Once the Rams establish the running game, they plan to open things up.
“(After running the ball) we want to hit them with some hot passes. We’re going to test their secondary a little bit, because with what we’ve seen them adjust to, we think we have some stuff to hurt them.”
Correll’s keys to a Rams victory tonight were simple.
“They need to just stay in the game, stay in their position, and play within themselves, Correll said. “We got in the habit last week when things were going south on us a little bit, we started trying to cover for someone else, and we got out of our position. We do that, and we’re going to be all right.”