By Mickey Winfield, PNT Staff Writer
Upon hearing that they didn’t get a first-round bye week heading into the Class 3A playoffs, the Portales Rams felt it was in their best interest to play a game anyway — and they may have been right.
Portales junior quarterback Chris Mosier threw for a touchdown and ran for another in leading the Rams to 43-14 triumph over the 10th-seeded Cobre Indians on a frigid Friday night at Greyhound Stadium. It was the Rams’ first state playoff win in three years.
In his first action since returning from a dislocated shoulder, Portales senior running back Eric Segovia rushed for 135 yards and two touchdowns as Rams finished with 356 yards.
“It felt good to be back out there. It’s not fun to be on the sidelines,” Segovia said. “We came into this game wanting to make a statement that we should have had a bye, we are district champs, and we wanted to make that statement, hopefully we did.”
The top four teams in the 12-team playoffs received first-round byes. Seeds were determined by a New Mexico Athletic Association committee.
The Portales defense did its part as well, holding the visiting Indians to 27 yards in the first half, and picking off Cobre senior quarterback Daniel Martinez three times.
The Rams (5-5) scored on their second drive on a 10-yard touchdown from Mosier to Portales senior receiver Hunter Rackler. The score capped an eight-play, 67-yard drive.
Portales took a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter on Mosier’s 7-yard scamper. The drive covered 50 yards in 10 plays.
“It was real important to get on top because then our confidence level is up,” Mosier said. “The coaches said that they’re a second-half team, so we had to get on top early.”
Segovia gave the Rams a 21-0 lead midway through the second quarter, breaking several tackles and scoring from 30 yards out.
In the fourth quarter, backup quarterback Michael Trujillo threw a 62-yard pass to Todd McBroom and Cruz Ontiveros added a 6-yard run.
Cobre (3-7) scored on a 15-yard pass from Martinez to Alex Black and Andrew Gomez’ 1-yard run.
The Rams play at second-seeded Bloomfield (7-3) either Friday or Saturday in a quarterfinal game.
“(Our guys) had battles throughout the years in high school,” Rams coach Andy Correll said. “And part of their battle right now is learning how to be successful, and that’s a different thing for them somewhat.
These guys have worked hard, and their starting to believe that if they work hard, good things will happen.”