Was it any surprise that Carrizozo’s eight man football team had the troubles it did against Gateway Christian in a 60-7 loss?
Not really, according to coach Dale Jackson.
That didn’t mean his team didn’t have some good moments, they were just too few and far between.
“We knew they were going to score, the idea was to make them earn it,” Jackson said. “But we fumbled on our first drive and they got the ball at midfield.”
After spotting the Warriors 28 points, the Grizzlies (5-2, 2-2 District 3) were finally able to score in the second quarter, and Jackson felt things might start turning around.
“Finally, our offense started connecting,” Jackson said. “We scored with about two minutes to go in the first half, and my thought was we could hold them on defense and we’d get the ball back to start the second half.”
But Gateway (8-0, 4-0) got the ball back after another Grizzly turnover and were able to score three times in 2½ minutes.
It gets worse.
“During that exchange, we lost our quarterback, who also happens to be our leading tackler on defense,” Jackson said of Garrison Ventura, who later had an MRI to determine the extent of the injury.
With Ventura out, that mean that three of the top four men I the Grizzly secondary were no longer playing due to other injuries, and Jackson had to bring in the few remaining subs until there was no one left standing on the sideline. If you were in a Grizzly uniform, you were in the game.
“Our younger kids, I was really pleased with after halftime,” Jackson said. “We took the game into the middle of the fourth quarter.”
Next is another Christian school, this one Mesilla Valley out of Las Cruces.
MV is the only team that came close to defeating Gateway Christian, losing by two. They also lost by two to Magdalena.
Having dropped down from 3A last year, the SonBlazers have a ton of kids on the sidelines.
“Mesilla Valley has a heck of a quarterback,” Jackson said, referring to sophomore Josh Castillo. “He likes throwing from the pocket, but is an effective runner as well.”