Mickey Winfield, Freedom Newspapers
BLACKWATER DRAW — The Goddard Rockets jumped out to a 21-7 halftime lead behind a strong running game, and held off a late Portales rally en route to a 21-13 win Friday at Greyhound Stadium.
Despite the loss, Portales head coach Andy Correll said the Rams (1-3) played well, especially against a physical team such as Goddard.
“I really feel like our kids rose up tonight and they played the game that we expected them to play tonight,” Correll said.
Midway through the fourth quarter, Portales (1-3) put together a time-consuming drive, taking more than five minutes off the clock, highlighted by several Chris Mosier runs, and culminating in a 1-yard touchdown dive by senior Eric Segovia to bring the Rams to within eight.
But the Goddard defense held tight for the remainder of the quarter to preserve the victory.
After allowing 231 first-half yards (198 on the ground), the Portales defense tightened up, and allowed 33 second-half yards for the Rockets.
“We were getting up the field, and closing some lanes,” Correll said about his defense. “The kids wrapped up well, and really took care of business.”
Mosier finished the game 7 of 15 for 97 yards, and despite the two costly penalties in the second half that wiped out touchdowns, said the offense started clicking in the second half.
“We played really good,” Mosier said. “But we shot ourselves in the foot tonight. We just have to overcome (the penalties) by the time district starts.”
Segovia also had another big night rushing the ball, carrying 27 times for 107 yards.
“Our offense finally stepped it up,” Segovia said. “Our defense has been playing really well for a while, and our offense finally got it going tonight.”
It took the Rockets (4-1) just three offensive plays to take the lead as senior running back Jay Johnson broke free for 78-yard run.
The Rocket offense found pay dirt again in the first half when senior quarterback Richard Moreno found fellow senior Gabriel Flores for a 20 yards score. Flores broke a Ram tackle en route to the end zone.
Senior defensive back Richard Cage set up Portales’ first score, returning a midfield interception to the Rocket 30 late in the first half.
After a 13-yard pass from Mosier to senior running back Cruz Ontiveros, Mosier kept the ball and scored up the middle from 8 yards out just seconds before halftime.
But the Rockets struck right back with Moreno returning the ensuing kickoff 82 yards up the middle for a score.
“(The kick-off return) was a backstabber,” Correll said. “We got the momentum and gave it right back.”
Holding penalties wiped out two Portales third quarter touchdowns — Segovia’s 19 yard-run and a 24-yard Moiser pass to Todd McBroom.
“Like I told the guys, if you’re busting your tail and get caught, that’s going to happen,” Correll said. “It’s just unfortunate it happened on scoring drives.”
Both drives stalled.