CLOVIS — It was hard work, but the Curry County Cats got it done on Saturday.
Quarterback John Props threw his second touchdown pass of the contest, a 17-yarder to J.J. Gross with about 3 1/2 minutes to play, and the Cats edged past the Las Cruces Kings 14-13 in their New Mexico Premier Football League Pecos Division opener at Leon Williams Stadium.
Curry County (1-1 overall) fell behind 13-7 when the Kings scored about midway through the final period, but the Cats blocked the PAT key, then mounted a 65-yard scoring drive following the kickoff.
Las Cruces struck first in the second quarter, but the Cats tied it just before halftime on a 42-yard pass from Props to Jacob Jones. Rico Urquizo kicked both extra points for Curry County.
Turnovers plagued the team, coach Paul Lopez said.
“We had five or six turnovers,” he said. “John Props pretty much won the game for us. He had a bad first half (with two red-zone interceptions), but when we needed him at the end he played really well.”
The Cats lost former Clovis High standout running back Manuel Robles to an ankle injury in the first quarter. Lopez said he returned to the sideline on crutches, adding he didn’t know the extent of Robles’ injury.
Lopez said the turnovers have been tough to overcome. Because of the nature of the sport, it’s hard to get the practice time needed to iron out the kinks, he said.
“With the spread offense, you live and die by it,” Lopez said. “With the limited practice time, it’s hard to get the timing down.”
The Cats are off next week, returning to action on March 25 with a division road game against the El Paso Raiders.