By Mickey Winfield: PNT sports writer
SLATON, Texas — Slaton scored early and often and dominated the Portales Rams 36-13 Friday night in another game delayed by lightning.
Slaton scored the game’s first 26 points and finished with a 329 to 180 edge in total yards.
Portales head coach Andy Correll has plenty of respect for the undefeated Tigers.
“Their physical, their big, they have speed, and they play aggressive smash mouth football, and they smashed us tonight,” Correll said.
On the first play, Slaton quarterback Moe Coronado handed the ball off to sophomore running back Andy Garcia, who found a wide open Chris McDaniel for a 34-yard gain down the right side. Two plays later, McDaniel scored from a yard out.
“We haven’t see that, and it’s about discipline, and we just weren’t disciplined on that play,” Correll said.
After a Portales drive fizzled at the Slaton 25-yard line, the Tigers (3-0) took a 20-0 lead when Coronado put up a jump ball down the middle of the field. Jace Chancellor, a 6-foot-4 sophomore tight end, outjumped Portales’ Kevin Gonzales and scampered into the end zone for a 75-yard reception to put Slaton up 20-0.
On the ensuing possession, Portales was forced to punt. Slaton senior linebacker Mario Torres blocked the punt, picked it up, and scored from 50 yards out to put the Tigers up 26-0.
With 44 seconds left on the clock in the first half, and with Portales driving, the lightning warning sounded, and it was off the field for an hour delay, and halftime.
“We were driving, we got it down to the 15 and had a chance to punch it it,” Correll said. “I really wish we could have finished that half and gone on in.”
Portales’ season-opener against Muleshoe was cancelled at halftime due to lightning.
The Portales defense held to open the second half, and the Rams special teams made noise as well, blocking a punt and getting it down to the Slaton 3-yard line, where senior running back Eric Segovia scored.
But the Slaton offense continued to make big plays.
Senior running back Bryce Hastings sped 56 yards down the right sideline for Slaton’s fifth touchdown and a 33-7 lead.
Slaton added a field goal and Portales finished the game on a positive note, as junior Portales quarterback Chris Mosier fired a pass down the right sideline to senior reciever Richard Cage for a 52-yard gain. Segovia took it in from the 5-yard line to make it 36-13.
“We have a lot of things we can build on, some negative things, and we’ll work on those things before we play Goddard next week,” Segovia said. “This game will help us in the long run, with the district we play in.”
Correll pointed at dropped passes and dropped interceptions that prevented the Rams from staying in the game.