The Portales Rams were disappointed by their loss at Lovington last week, but not discouraged.
Portales will play its final two District 4-3A and regular-season games at Greyhound Stadium, beginning with today’s 7 p.m. clash against Albuquerque Academy.
“We’ve still got a pretty good chance (to make the Class 3A playoffs),” senior wide receiver-cornerback Logan Erf said. “I’ve never been on a team that’s so fundamentally sound in every spot.”
Erf said it may not hurt that the Rams (5-3, 0-1 district) fell from No. 1 to No. 3 in this week’s New Mexico High School Coaches Association Class 3A rankings.
“It sort of humbled us now that we’re not ranked No. 1,” he said about the 17-14 loss at Lovington. “Now we can just go out there and play football.”
This will be the first time the schools have played in football. The Chargers (4-4, 0-1), ranked 10th in 3A, played in Class 4A until about six years ago, and only this year were they placed in District 4-3A.
Rams coach Andy Correll said the Chargers, whom he scouted in a 21-11 loss at Ruidoso on Saturday, rely heavily on their ground game.
“They’ve got good size and decent speed,” he said. “They try to lull you to sleep and then throw it over you.
“Anybody in this district can play with anyone. We just didn’t play our best game last week.”
Erf said playing a team for the first time doesn’t make a lot of difference in preparation.
“We just take it as it comes,” he said. “They’re pretty athletic and they have pretty good size.”
Portales nearly pulled out last week’s game, but disdained a potential game-tying field goal in the final seconds. A pass into the end zone fell incomplete as time ran out.
Correll said the Rams probably would have tried a potential game-tying field goal — about a 22-yarder — except that kicker Junior Olivas had been bothered by leg cramps after playing offense and defense most of the game.
For now, though, it’s back to work.
“We’ve still got to just take care of our business,” Correll said. “Two years ago, we were in the same situation (with an early district loss) and we ended up district champs.”