Cardinals notch win over PHS

Staff report
LAS VEGAS, N.M. — The Portales Rams hung with Class 4A top-ranked Las Vegas Robertson for a half on Friday night.

The Cardinals got away in the third quarter, though, scoring three touchdowns to pull away for a season-opening 33-20 victory.

Coach Jaime Ramirez said the Rams found out shortly before the game that junior center Drew Jackson would be unavailable due to a hairline fracture in his back, apparently suffered in practice earlier in the week.

Ramirez said he’s hopeful Jackson could return by the Sept. 12 home opener at Blackwater Draw against Texico.

“We had to stick some new guys in there, and they struggled with the snaps,” Ramirez said. “Once we got that squared away, we did a little better.”

Robertson, last year’s Class 3A state champion, scored in the second quarter and led just 7-0 at halftime. But Ramirez said the Rams reached the Robertson 2 early in the third quarter, only to have an errant snap result in a long return for a touchdown that made the score 21-0.

Junior Bronte Staugaard returned the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown, but PHS spent the rest of the game trading scores with the Cardinals and couldn’t get that close.

Matt Martinez scored on a 5-yard quarterback keeper later in the third period, then threw a 7-yard scoring pass to senior Ed Banda in the final quarter. Senior Dylan Knox went 2-for-3 on PAT kicks for the Rams.