Even though Ruidoso’s football team came into their Class 4A State quarterfinal game against Robertson as a heavy underdog, Nov. 19, the Warriors refused to go quietly in a 34-22 loss.
The final score was a far cry from Ruidoso’s 47-14 loss to the Cardinals earlier in the year, but mistakes again proved costly.
“We went into that ball game believing we could win,” said Ruidoso coach Kief Johnson. “Unfortunately we made a few mistakes here and there, and that’s where you lose it.”
After going three-and-out on the first drive, Ruidoso had a bad snap on a fourth-down conversion attempt put the ball near midfield on a 29-yard loss.
After spotting Robertson (11-0) a 14-0 lead in the first quarter, Ruidoso closed out the period with a 75-yard kickoff return by Isaiah Otero to cut the lead in half.
Ruidoso (6-6) trailed 21-10 near the end of the half, but the Cardinals were able to score on the final play, a five-yard touchdown pass from Arjay Ortiz to Antonio Padilla.
That capped an 80-yard drive to send Robertson to the locker room with a 17-point lead.
But the Cardinals were only able to score one more time the rest of the way, as Ruidoso made things closer on a touchdown pass from Brennam Stewart to Otero in the fourth quarter.
In the end, though, those early mistakes proved too much to overcome.
“That’s what’s happened to us all year, we’ve made mistakes and lost games we felt like we should have won,” Johnson said. “But I’m real proud of these guys that stuck with us. It was a great year. We went up there and played a lot better, that’s for darn sure.”