Following an open date, the Portales Rams are ready to begin the second half of their 2008 football season.
Portales (3-2) has a pair of tuneup games before moving on to District 4-3A action, beginning with today’s 7 p.m. clash against St. Michael’s (2-3) at Greyhound Stadium.
Next week, the Rams play at Roswell High before starting district play Oct. 24 at Lovington.
The Rams remain the top-ranked team in Class 3A despite a 64-19 loss to Roswell Goddard, Class 4A’s No. 1 squad, in their most recent outing.
“We really just looked at the positives out of that game,” Rams coach Andy Correll said. “When we did things right, we were able to shut them down and we moved the ball.”
St. Mike’s isn’t in Goddard’s class, but Correll believes the Horsemen will provide a good test, led by senior running back Manuel Trujillo and sophomore running back Russell Disch.
“They’ve got some good athletes,” Correll said. “Their two running backs are about 95 percent of their offense.”
St. Michael’s, ranked fifth in 3A, has a 20-19 win over second-ranked Bloomfield. Its losses have all been against Class 4A and 5A competition.
Senior guard Devon Stinson said the week off from game competition benefited the Rams.
“I think it did,” he said. “We’ve had some extra time to focus on St. Michael’s.”
Stinson said he hasn’t watched film on the Horsemen, and doesn’t particularly care to, either.
“As long as we execute well and play as a team, we can go a long way,” said the 5-foot-7, 150-pound Stinson, who also fills in occasionally at nose guard on defense. “We’ve just got to work together and not get our heads down when things don’t go well.”
Perhaps surprisingly, this is only the second time the teams will have played in perhaps 30 years. The Rams won in Santa Fe 25-20 in a 3A playoff semifinal two years ago.
Junior center Pablo Urioste, who missed the Goddard game after spraining his ankle that week during practice, is not expected back until next week, Correll said. Senior Junior Olivas will fill in at center for the second consecutive game.