PNT Photo: Kevin Wilson
Portales junior Eric Segovia runs up the field and tries to separate himself from Denver City defender Jeremy Flores.
BLACKWATER DRAW — Both coaches predicted Friday’s Denver City-Portales game would be a game determined by field position. The first quarter, and the game, were decidedly won by the visiting Mustangs.
Denver City stayed undefeated by taking advantage of good field position early and holding off Portales the rest of the night in a 35-0 rout at Greyhound Stadium.
The Mustangs took advantage of a short field three times in the first quarter, scoring 21 points on three drives that started inside the Ram 30.
Denver City had 274 total yards of offense, not spectacular but more than enough with early scores and a dominating defense that held Portales (2-2) to 46 yards.
“We had good field position early,” Denver City coach Terry Summers said. “(When) you’re 20 or 30 yards out it makes things easy.”
Portales managed a first down on the game’s opening drive, but a penalty and a pair of sacks knocked the Rams back to their own 5 and a 22-yard punt put the Mustangs in position early. Denver City senior quarterback Rashaad Williams ended Denver City’s first drive with a 4-yard scoring run, then opened its next offensive series with a 30-yard scoring pass to tight end Brandon King.
Portales’ third drive lasted just two plays after a lost fumble, and Denver City scored at the 11:59 mark when Williams took off for a run, but pulled up before the line of scrimmage and flipped a 6-yard touchdown pass to Jeremy Flores.
As the game was decided in the first half, Portales never got the ball beyond its own 33. The Mustangs’ average drive in the first half, meanwhile, started on the Portales 41.
“The first quarter, we played on our end of the field,” Portales coach Glenn Johnson said. “Against good football teams, you can’t do that. We made mistakes we couldn’t make in controlling the football in a field position game.”
Portales shut out the Mustang offense in the second half, but rarely converted on offense. Portales only held the ball two times in Mustang territory — the first time due to a lost Mustang fumble.
The second time the Rams got inside Denver City territory happened in the game’s closing minutes, and junior Brittan Golden added a final exclamation point by intercepting a tipped pass and running it back 100 yards for the score.
Williams accounted for 188 yards of offense (53 rushing, 135 passing) and played a part in all four offensive touchdowns for the Mustangs. The final score for the Mustang offense came with 4:53 left in the second, as Williams found Golden for a 45-yard scoring pass.
Johnson said the Rams need to get into situations where they aren’t playing catch-up and become predictable on offense, but he felt the team was making progress in a difficult pre-district schedule.
“The pre-district schedule is a very tough one and as long as we’re improving, as long as we’re doing good things against good football teams, then we’re very pleased with that,” Johnson said.
The Rams head to Goddard on Friday, followed by an open date.
Denver City 35, Portales 0
Denver City 21 7 0 7 — 35
Portales 0 0 0 0 — 0
D — Rashaad Williams 4 run (Ethan Summers kick), 7:44
D — Williams 30 pass to Brandon King (Summers kick), 5:39
D — Williams 6 pass to Jeremy Flores (Summers kick), :01
D — Williams 43 pass to Brittan Golden (Summers kick), 4:35
D — Golden 100 interception return (Summers kick), 1:30
First Downs 15 5
Rushes-Yards 35-139 32-6
Passing Yards 135 40
Total Yards 274 46
Comp-att-int 9-16-0 8-20-2
Punting 4-37.8 8-31.4
Fumbles-Lost 3-2 2-1
Penalties-Yards 11-90 6-40
Rushing — Denver City, Rashaad Williams 9-53, Jeremy Flores 5-29, Bobby Hunt 4-15, Chris Rodriguez 4-13, Ethan Summers 4-9, Bryant McLaurin 4-7, Brittan Golden 2-7, Ray Romo 3-6. Portales, Eric Segovia 19-8, Mario Salazar 12-minus-3, Cruz Ontiveros 1-minus-5.
Passing — Denver City, Williams 9-16-0-135, Summers 0-2-0-0. Portales, Salazar 7-20-2-40.
Receiving — Denver City, Golden 3-62, Brandon King 1-30, Danny Fuentes 1-14, Romo 1-11, Chris Poe 1-6, McLaurin 1-6, Flores 1-6. Portales, Ontiveros 3-19, Richard Cage 3-17, Segovia 2-4.
Records — Denver City 3-0, Portales 2-2.