By Dave Wagner
CMI sports writer
After a solid start through four games, everything came apart last week for the Portales Rams.
PHS turned the ball over eight times and had 13 dropped passes, second-year coach Jaime Ramirez noted, in Friday’s 46-13 shellacking at Dexter.
Portales (4-1) will try to get back on the winning track at 7 p.m. today when it hosts Pojoaque (3-2) at Greyhound Stadium.
“We definitely need to bounce back from the way we played at Dexter,” Ramirez said. “We have to (get back to) Rams football for four quarters.”
The Rams outscored their first four opponents 133-33, including a combined 106-point outburst in the latter two games, against West Las Vegas and Raton.
That all changed against Dexter (4-1), a solid Class 2A squad which dominated pretty much from the get-go.
Ramirez said there doesn’t appear to be any hangover for his contingent.
“I’ve been pleased with our practices this week,” he said. “All we want to do is get back to playing the way we did in Games 1-4.”
Meantime, the Elks are on a bit of a run, having won their last three games after an 0-2 start. Each of Pojoaque’s contests has been decided by at least 21 points.
“We started a lot of young kids this year, and it kind of took its toll,” said second-year Elks coach John Ainsworth, a Clovis High grad. “The first two games we missed 30-plus tackles. Since then, we’ve made an extreme effort to try to wrap guys up and get them to the ground.”
Pojoaque runs a veer offense, directed at quarterback by the coach’s son, senior John Ainsworth Jr., the District 2-3A co-player of the year in 2012. Senior running backs Juan Rios and Adrian Trujillo and junior wide receiver Isaac Martinez are other key contributors.
Martinez has caught at least one TD pass in each game so far, coach Ainsworth noted.
For the Rams, it will be their fourth game against a District 2-3A opponent — they have wins over Las Vegas Robertson, West Las Vegas and Raton.
Ramirez said the Rams enter the contest relatively healthy.
“They’ve got a lot of good athletes,” he said of the Elks. “We definitely need to take care of the football, and we need to tackle better than we did last week.”
Pojoaque (3-2) at Portales (4-1)
• When: 7 p.m. today at Greyhound Stadium
• Radio: KSEL-FM 105.9
• Last week: The Elks won at Socorro 35-14, while the Rams lost for the first time in a 46-13 setback at Dexter.
• Last meeting: None.